‘Home Alone’ Fans Noticed This Hilariously Tiny Detail

Christmas has come and gone, but new Christmas memories have been formed thanks to fans noticing something fake — not fake in a bad way, but fake in a funny way: Daniel Stern’s feet in Home Alone. 

Macaulay Culkin on the red carpet
Macaulay Culkin | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

That’s funny for two reasons: first, fake feet are just funny in and of themselves, especially when you spot them in a movie and you weren’t supposed to.

The other reason is, it’s not the only Christmas movie with fake feet. 

Why did Daniel Stern have fake feet?

Simply put, Daniel Stern was wearing fake feet probably because the filmmakers didn’t want to turn the wet bandits into the ice bandits. As a commenter on a Reddit thread pointed out, “Multiple takes walking around in bare feet in snow would be hell.”

Stern surely appreciates not getting frostbite and having to amputate one of his feet or toes. Marv’s feet even have their own Twitter account. 

Much has been made of the fact that if the movie were realistic, the traps Kevin sets would have put the Wet Bandits in intensive care, if not the morgue. Mental Floss wrote a piece with a medical doctor talking about how bad the injuries would be if they were inflicted in the real world.

It wasn’t pretty. For instance, the iron that smacks Marv in the face would have fractured the bones surrounding his eyes, impairing his vision and/or disfiguring him. 

Of course, none of this is meant to be taken seriously. Many of the gags are direct steals from Warner Bros. cartoons or MGM cartoons directed by the legendary Tex Avery. The flaming hot doorknob gag was used in the Avery toon Rock-a-Bye Bear, where one dog is trying to get another dog to make noise by inflicting various grievous injuries. 

Bruce Willis had fake feet too

One of the arguments that goes around every year is whether Die Hard is really a Christmas movie. It’s pretty evident that it is. Bruce Willis travels across the country to try to mend fences with his estranged wife at her company Christmas party. There are sleigh bells in the opening score. “Christmas in Hollis” by Run DMC plays prominently on the soundtrack. And just as in Home Alone, there are fake feet.

One of the most ingenious bits of writing in Die Hard is that a passenger on Willis’ flight to Los Angeles recommends taking off socks and shoes as a stress reliever. This becomes important later for a good and a bad reason. The good reason is that this allows John McClane to sneak around without making a lot of noise.

The bad reason is that his feet get sliced to ribbons thanks to all the broken glass — something the villains take advantage of. 

So if you look closely, particularly in a scene where he goes tumbling down the stairs, you’ll see that Willis’ feet look abnormally large. This was because he was wearing rubber feet so he wouldn’t experience death by a thousand cuts. 

Disney+ took ‘Home Alone’ away

Disney had both Home Alone and Home Alone 2 on Disney+ thanks to their acquisition of 20th Century Fox. Both no doubt got a lot of play around Christmas. But when 2019 became 2020, the Home Alone movies vanished. Fans were upset because they were under the impression that once movies appeared on Disney+, they wouldn’t leave. After all, doesn’t Disney own the rights?

They do, but here’s the thing: Disney made licensing deals with other streamers they still have to honor, even though they have their own streaming service now. It’s why Avengers: Endgame appears on Disney+ but Avengers: Infinity War does not. Disney made a deal with Netflix that allows Netflix to stream the movie through June of 2020, after which it will migrate over to Disney+.  A similar arrangement is in place with Home Alone.

Streaming platforms are still a relatively new technology, and rights issues will only get more complex as other streamers like HBO Max and Universal’s Peacock arrive on the scene. As for Home Alone, it will almost certainly be back on Disney+ by the time Disney’s reboot comes out.