7 Booby Traps from Home Alone that Would Be Deadly in Real Life

Home Alone the movie just turned 30 in 2020. Three decades down the line and its captivating scenes and crazy booby traps still replay in our cultural minds. Typical of all comic flicks, the traps are more slapstick than real. Of the 14 traps set in the McCallister house to thwart the wet bandits, here are 7 that would be potent in real life.

1. Icy Steps

Kevin’s first attempt to keep Marv and Harry off his parent’s property starts right at the entrance. He pours water all over the steps. The freezing Chicago winter ices the steps. Marv and Harry slip and fall almost immediately they start walking up the steps. In reality, both could have sustained severe injuries. Something you wouldn’t even wish on your nemesis.

2. Fake Light Bulb

Of all the traps in the movie, this has to be the deadliest. Mark gets down to the basement and pulls what he thinks is a light switch. Instead of lights coming on, a steam iron falls down the laundry chute and knocks him in the head. This appliance could easily shatter his facial bones in real life and affect his vision in the long-term.

3. Red-Hot Doorknob

Harry attempts to get into the McCallister's home through the front door. Big mistake! Kev has heated up the front doorknob from the inside until the knob on the outside glows red hot. The doorknob's temperature would easily be over 750 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning it's hot enough to burn up Harry's hand. In reality, the heat would cause severe burns, which would take pretty long to heal and render his palm useless for some time.

4. Tar-Covered Basement Steps

Marv tries to exit the basement by making his way up the basement steps. Kevin has smeared it with tar. These hold onto Marv’s shoes and socks forcing him to walk barefoot. Even before he makes the first steps, he steps on a nail. Painful as this trap is, it's not life-threatening unless the nail had rust on it. This would easily have caused tetanus if Marv wasn’t vaccinated.

5. Blowtorch

Instead of walking in through the front door, Harry goes around the house and tries to get into through the back door. In doing so, he activates a booby trap with a blowtorch that sets his hair on fire. Were it not for its height, this would have been a deadly trap. Harry would have badly scalded if the torch was slightly low.

6. Paint Cans

Marv and Harry meet up in the living room and decide to go up the stairs to catch Kev. As they start climbing the stairs, Kev swings a paint can down at them, which knocks their heads. If the paint call were full, it would have easily broken their facial bones and ruptured their skulls. Both would have been stretched off to an ambulance and undergone reconstructive surgeries to save their heads and faces.

7. Treehouse Rope

Kevin’s last booby trap is potentially the deadliest in Home Alone. In this scene, Kevin slides into the treehouse from the upper window using a rope. Marv and Harry try to get at him, but he snips the rope with pruning shears while they’re midway. They swing and crash right onto the McCallister’s brick wall. In real life, the impact of the crash would have left them with broken bones and bad bruises.


In real life, the booby traps in Home Alone aren’t slapsticks you’d want to play games with. They’re potent and can cause severe injuries. Without the homemade traps that curtailed the burglary efforts of wet bandits, Home Alone wouldn’t probably be what it is today.


I am Vera Watson. Drawing The House is a dream that was conceived when I saw a niche in consumer guide on almost everything in our homes. My main aim is to help you save money by testing the products you need and recommending you the best of them all. I believe in the family as an institution and the first way to make a family happy is providing the best for them.

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