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Every Time Marv And Harry Would Have Died In Home Alone

Ahh... Christmastime. That special season where you drink eggnog, spend time with loved ones, and set up a bunch of Saw-like traps around the house to ward off burglars. At least, that's the lesson we think we were supposed to learn from Home Alone.

The 1990 holiday classic is pretty self-explanatory at this point. Little Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) starts off detesting his family, wishing he could just get away from them all. His wish is granted when the rest of the McCallister clan heads off to France for the holidays, and accidentally leave him behind. While it's all fun and games at first, Kevin soon becomes the target of the Wet Bandits, Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern). After he learns to appreciate his family, it's up to Kevin to defend his home ... namely, by setting up a series of elaborate booby traps.

It's a heartwarming Christmas comedy with a thrilling climax, but it's a good thing the movie had to be rated PG, because Marv and Harry absolutely would have died from Kevin's attacks. Seriously, we're thankful they stopped making these movies after a certain point, because eventually, the plots would have just been about Kevin seeing a psychologist to get a handle on his own violent tendencies. And yes, sure, the burglars would have killed Kevin if they had the chance, but at a certain point, Kevin's assaults really just become overkill. The burglars in Home Alone must have some Luke Cage-esque skin to survive the traps Kevin sets for them, and we have the receipts to prove it. 

NOTE: We're only analyzing the injuries with a high likelihood of death in the original Home Alone film. Grabbing a hot doorknob would hurt like crazy, for instance, but it probably wouldn't kill you. 

Harry could've broken his neck slipping on the ice

When the Wet Bandits first try to get into the McCallister house, Harry tries his luck at just walking through the front door. The only problem is that clever Kevin sprayed the stairs down with a hose, which froze into slippery ice. The first time Harry tries to go up, he falls backward, and lands right on his back. Really, that should've been the end of their escapade, as Harry would have suffered vertebral fractures as a result from the fall. 

Amazingly, he gets up to walk, and tries again. On the second attempt, he slips and falls on what looks like his neck on the stairs. If you watch the scene, you can even hear a distinct crunching noise, which we can only assume is the sound of the bones in his neck breaking apart, as Harry tumbles backwards. 

Best case scenario: Harry ends up with partial paralysis. Worst case: Harry's dead, right then and there, while Marv is completely unaware of the horrors waiting for him inside the house. 

Marv's skull would've been crushed by the iron

Later, Marv triggers a booby trap when he tries to illuminate the basement, which causes an iron to fall through the clothing chute directly onto his face. In the movie, this leaves behind a humorous red impression, but in reality, Marv's skull likely would've been broken on impact. 

These days, there are fancy, newfangled irons that only weigh two pounds. Those, maybe, Marv would have been fine with — but this movie was released in 1990. That means this was an old-school iron, that probably weighed at least a good 10 pounds, and it fell from the house's second story all the way to the basement. In addition to suffering from a second-degree burn, the iron would have crushed his face, and likely broken his neck, given the angle in which it hit him.

The fact he could get up and retain all his motor skills after this hit is nothing short of a miracle. 

Marv stepping on a nail is no joke

Public service announcement: Make sure to stay up-to-date on your Tdap booster shot! Everyone over the age of 19 should receive one every 10 years. 

If you need a reminder of why you need one, allow us to remind you of this scene in Home Alone, where Marv steps on a nail while ascending the staircase. He becomes quickly aware of the error he's just made, and falls back down into the basement (a lot of falling happens in this sequence). 

While stepping on a nail wouldn't kill Marv immediately, tetanus — a disease caused by puncture wounds that bring bacterium into the body which can then enter the bloodstream — is a potentially fatal disease that could be a real risk, in such a scenario. In 1990, when Home Alone takes place, 314,000 people around the world died from tetanus (via Our World in Data), and Marv doesn't exactly seem like the kind of guy who would stay current with all his vaccines. Treatments are available, so hopefully at some point after getting arrested, Marv told someone he needed to see a doctor. Otherwise, there's a good chance he might have died from this injury ... albeit, over time. 

Harry could die from necrosis of the skull bone from the blowtorch

In one of the most recognizable moments from the entire film, Harry tries to sneak into the house through the back door. While the BB gun is gone, there's another threat in the way — a blowtorch. It proceeds to light his cap on fire, and despite the obvious danger, Harry decides to just stand there for about seven seconds before finally getting out of harm's way. 

In an interview with The Week, Dr. Ryan St. Clair of the Weill Cornell Medical College discusses the injury that should have resulted: "What was likely a simple second-degree skin burn is now a full thickness burn likely to cause necrosis of the calvarium (skull bone)." 

That means his skull is literally going to rot, which is something you typically only see in high voltage electrocutions, not necessarily guys who chose to stand in front of fire for longer than they needed to. He likely helped himself a little by getting his scalp into the snow right away, but he has bigger problems to deal with than a ruined cap: With timely treatment, a transplant may be able to save him, but the outlook is not too great. 

The paint can booby trap would've made them choke on their missing teeth

You would assume, at a certain point, that the Wet Bandits would realize that whatever trinkets they might steal from the house wouldn't be worth the injuries they're sustaining. Can you imagine the hospital bills? And it's not like these guys probably have the best insurance in the world. The deductibles have got to be huge. 

Yet, they persevere one should-be-fatal injury after the next. 

Kevin's next booby trap involves swinging what we can only assume to be full cans of paint directly into the Wet Bandits' faces. It seems, at the bare minimum, the cans would knock out their teeth, but considering they immediately fall down the staircase onto their backs, there's also a high likelihood of any broken teeth getting lodged into their throats. They'd want to flip themselves over right away (provided they're in the proper state of mind to do so) to avoid suffocating on their teeth. 

Plus, the fall from fairly high up on the staircase could lead to bleeding in the brain, as well as potential strokes, either of which could cause death. 

The treehouse fall would've led to paralysis or death

After everything the Wet Bandits have gone through, they somehow manage to rally and ascend a rope halfway to Kevin's treehouse. Unless you haven't caught on to the theme so far, Kevin goads the robbers to climb the rope leading from his bedroom to his treehouse. Harry and Marv, who clearly aren't the brightest bulbs in the box, think it's somehow a good idea to climb their way across ... and once they're halfway through, Kevin takes out a pair of hedge clippers to cut the rope. This leads them to swing across the backyard until they slam against the side of the house and, once again, land on their backs. 

As with most of the other "pratfalls" so far, this bad landing will likely lead to some form of paralysis, if the robbers are lucky. Combined with everything else they've sustained so far, at this point in the film, there's a good chance they'd never get up from the backyard. 

Conclusion: Harry and Marv are immortal beings who should be studied for science

Finally, the goons are knocked unconscious by an old man weakly hitting them in the head with a snow shovel. Out of all the things the burglars just experienced, this is probably the event they should have the easiest time surviving, and yet, it's the one thing that takes them down. 

To be honest, the Wet Bandits shouldn't have even gotten to the point where they could threaten to bite off Kevin's fingers. They certainly would have died before that, and then the police would have more than a few questions for Kevin about how, exactly, he ended up with two dead guys on his family's property. No wonder fans have developed an insane theory that Kevin grows up to become the killer in the Saw movies.

However, the fact Harry and Marv somehow did survive their encounter with Kevin means they got to come back for the sequel, where they would proceed to be hit in the head with bricks and electrocuted. Are we sure these guys are humans, and not immortal demons from another realm, sent to Earth, for the sheer purpose of tormenting Kevin? There are a lot of things we can ignore in Home Alone, but we just can't overlook the absolute carnage the Wet Bandits went through.