If you come of age in the '90s, at some point in your childhood you slapped both hands to either side of your face in mock horror.
Sorry, those are just facts.
So popular was Macaulay Culkin's portrayal of intrepid—and perhaps a touch psychotic—Kevin McCallister, an 8-year-old from the Chicago suburbs whose parents weren't the best at keeping track of their outsized brood, that 30-plus years after Home Alone's Nov. 16, 1990 release, his signature move is still instantly recognizable. (And reason enough to avoid aftershave at all costs.)
And that's not the only thing that keeps John Hughes' instant classic, about an elementary school kid teaching two, largely incompetent, career criminals what happens when they don't get their ugly, yella, no-good keisters off his property, firmly at the top of holiday movie watcher's wish lists.
The box office sensation (it held the No. 1 spot for 12 weeks and grossed more than $476 million worldwide) may be short on realism (yes, Kevin's antics would have killed Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern's burglars many times over) and relevance in today's uber-connected times. But it's filled with one-liners any millennial worth their highly nutritious microwavable macaroni and cheese dinner can still recite today. And the laugh-out-loud moments still smack as hard as a grown man getting his face smashed in by a can of paint.
Plus, quite simply, it's a holiday tradition.
"You never know how something's going to turn out and you hope for the best, but all you can go on is the script and the people that you get to work with," Catherine O'Hara told E! News of signing on as Kevin's mom Kate. "And in that case, it definitely worked out."
As in, three decades later, the film—and its follow-up, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, released on Nov. 20, 1992—is a treasured part of the Christmas movie canon. "To think that I'm in one of those movies that has become a tradition for other people and their families?" said Catherine, who's watched both with her own kids a time or two. "That's great."
So let's celebrate the holiday classic that you're probably watching right now by diving deep into all its private stuff. If you need us, we'll be eating junk food and watching rubbish until the end of 2023. You better not come out and try to stop us.
(Originally published Nov. 16, 2020, at 12 a.m. PT)