If Home Alone has a single Christmas message — besides don’t forget your kids and appreciate your family, blah, blah, blah — it’s that heroes are born out of adversity. At the beginning of Home Alone, Kevin McCallister was simply the family runt who couldn’t pack his own suitcase and was denied a single slice of cheese pizza. But by the end of those 90 minutes, he was a survivor. A warrior. A blonde-haired, 9-year-old John Rambo if you will. Sure, it was later revealed that he grew up to be a psychopath, but being deserted by family twice will do that to a boy.
We all know that Kevin defies the odds and proves to his family he’s not completely helpless, but would the other young McCallisters have been so lucky? Let’s take a moment to ponder just how well Buzz, Fuller, Linnie, and the others in the McCallister clan would have fared had it been them who had to defend the home from Harry and Marv.
Fuller and Brooke McCallister
Had brother and sister Brooke and Fuller McCallister been left behind, Home Alone would have taken a drastically dark turn. There’s no way these two kids would have made it more than half a day before succumbing to the perils of non-adult-supervised life. Neither one can do much more than stare at Harry with a deer in the headlights look when he stops by to case the place, and Fuller’s only known character trait is Pepsi-guzzling followed by bed-wetting. None of this gives any sort of credit to their chances of surviving alone for three days.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that we’re all on the same page concerning Kevin’s cousin Rod’s chances of survival. We don’t get to know Rod too well, but the kid doesn’t exactly give off a house warrior vibe. We see Rod tapping on the glass of the aquarium where Buzz keeps his tarantula, peering out the window at Old Man Marley and then giving Kevin the evil eye in the kitchen. Not exactly a lot to go on. Judging a book by its cover, though, the Wet Bandits would have probably shoved Rod in a closet without even bothering to lock it and then taken their time with cleaning out the place.
Kevin’s sister Linnie doesn’t appear to get picked on by Buzz and Jeff in the way that Kevin does, but given that she has two older brothers, it’s unlikely she’s a pushover. Having to put up with Buzz and Jeff year-round might give her an advantage over some of the others in the event that she was left home alone — for a while at least. Linnie might have done okay those first couple of days, and Harry and Marv would have been the true test to whether it was she who was truly the “incompetént” one.
Kevin’s older brother Jeff isn’t as harsh of a bully as Buzz, but he’s still one of Kevin’s tormentors nonetheless. How Jeff would fare is sort of a toss-up. He’s not quite as young and helpless as some of the other children in the McCallister clan, but he never really shows any real sense of maturity. We really don’t even see much of Jeff other than him ganging up on Kevin after the pizza incident and when he hurls his packed suitcase down the stairs. Maybe he’d do alright in the beginning, but once the Wet Bandits launched their attack, his chances of survival would probably be 50/50.
Heather’s a college student, so one would hope she’d be capable of surviving alone in a giant house with a stocked kitchen for a few days. If anything, the only concerning factor for Kevin’s parents might be if Heather trashed their pad by inviting friends over for a house party — which would’ve made Home Alone an entirely different movie. Now, had the Wet Bandits shown up, there might have been trouble. I say this only because if the girl can’t correctly do a headcount of the number of children in the airport shuttle, there’s no way she can launch a strategic home defense plan.
Megan McCallister would definitely survive being home alone for a few days. She does fall into the same mindset as the others and chastises Kevin for being “helpless,” but she displays more maturity than nearly any of the other siblings. Once Kevin is left behind, she seems to be the only child who realizes the gravity of a 9-year-old boy by himself on the mean streets of suburban Chicago. Truth be told, if it had been Megan McCallister who was been left behind, Home Alone would have been a rather dull movie. Megan would have phoned the police, the airline, and her uncle Rob’s apartment almost immediately upon waking up and probably spent the remaining couple of days crashing at a friend’s house. Or she would have gotten on the next plane to Paris.
Sondra and Tracy McCallister
Tracy and Sondra don’t have many lines and aside from the pizza incident and a scene at their uncle’s apartment in Paris, they’re not around much. Despite the fact that they present no verbal air of confidence for their chances of survival of being left home alone, their prospects look good for one reason only — that teenage girl death stare. They both have the teenage girl death stare perfected and have the ability to wield it with striking accuracy. That stare says “I don’t care if you’re Old Man Marley, a pizza delivery punk or a low-life burglar, don’t f*ck with me.”
Out of all the McCallister kids, Buzz definitely has a survival advantage above the rest. First off, he was a straight-up d*ck to his siblings and sometimes being a d*ck can be the difference between life or death. Escape From New York’s Snake Plissken — d*ck. Dirty Harry’s Harry Callahan — d*ck. Not to mention, a good portion of Kevin’s arsenal belonged to Buzz: the firecrackers, BB gun, and tarantula are all Buzz. Now, had Buzz had the cajones to actually use his weaponry and go toe-to-toe with the Wet Bandits, we’ll never know. But based on his personality, war chest, and physical size — always a plus — my money says he would have survived. Then again, Buzz does assume that his family “lives on the most boring street in the United States of America, where nothing even remotely dangerous will ever happen” and that kind of naivety could be his downfall. He’s also probably too stupid to construct traps in the way that Kevin did. Though that’s just a theory. That does bring us back around to the marvel that is Kevin, though. So deceptively devious and creative in his torture. You’d never know it to look at him, so this whole list might be turned on its ear. Hell, maybe Fuller really is a bad-ass who knows exactly what he’s doing.
If you’re a little fuzzy on Kevin’s trap-making abilities, check out Home Alone on Blu-ray.