One of the biggest running jokes about the Christmas classic Home Alone is “What did Peter McCallister do for a living to afford that house?”
And it isn’t just the 4,200 sq ft red-brick Georgian-style home sitting on a half acre in suburban Chicago (I looked the house up on FancyPantsHomes.com). Aside from professional ball players, who can afford to send a family that large to Paris over the holidays? First Class for the adults, no less.
One of the fan theories that has been around since the film’s original release in 1990 is that Peter McCallister is actually an organized crime boss! And after re-watching this holiday treasure, that theory is actually alluded to multiple times throughout the film.
On this edition of Fan Theory Friday, lets break down a few of these instances and see how plausible this fan theory is.
Peter McCallister’s Reaction To A Police Officer
When Peter meets the cosplaying police officer (played by Harry played by Joe Pesci) just before the family’s trip to France, his first reaction is a defensive “Am I under arrest or something?”
Not “Can I help you with something officer?” or “What is this about?” He jumped right to the conclusion that he was being taken into custody. Gee Peter, guilty conscience much?
Even if we chalk this up to just being a bad ‘dad joke,’ why would Peter immediately jump so hard on the defensive at the sight of a uniformed officer?
The Wet Bandits referring to the McCallister home as “the big score.”
In a subdivision full of similar looking homes, why did Harry so strongly single out the McCallister home from the surrounding houses?
Being the small-time crook that Harry was, he may have done jobs for the McCallister crime family in the past. That would explain why he was so focused on the probable loot available in the McCallister home, even after realizing that there was a kid there. He had to have been certain that the home was loaded full of valuables, such as stacks of protection money.
Also, for those that believe Peter simply would have put a hit out on the Wet Bandits, remember that when we see them in the sequel, it was in New York City. Why did they flee Chicago? Could it have been because Peter did put a contract out on them?
Multiple members Of The McCallister Family Display Psychological Behavior
This is not just limited to Peter’s nonchallannt attitude towards finding out his 8-year-old was left behind. (Although seriously, I showed more emotion last time I went to Target and forgot my Pampers coupon than Peter did finding out he forgot his kid.)
How about Uncle Frank’s (Peter’s brother) attitude throughout the film. From small clues, such as snatching the pizza from the delivery kid without paying for it or trying to steal silverware on the airplane, to verbally abusing his 8-year-old nephew literally over spilled milk.
The worst being he equated Kevin being left behind to him leaving behind a simple pair of reading glasses. Uncle Frank displays as much mental stability as Joe Pesci’s Nicky Santoro in Casino.
And how about Peter’s oldest son Buzz. Beyond his bizarre fascination with the alleged “South Bend Shovel Slayer” Old Man Marley, he fed his pet tarantula “a whole load of mice guts” to sustain him during the Paris trip. Yuck!
While in Paris, Buzz was asked if he was worried about Kevin, to which he responded “No, for three reasons. A. I’m not that lucky, 2. We have smoke detectors, and D. We live in the most boring street in the United States of America, where nothing even remotely dangerous will ever happen to him, period.” I doubt Buzz has a future career at the suicide prevention hotline.
Good thing that Peter is so loaded cause Buzz’s psycho therapy ain’t gonna be cheap!
Then there is Kevin’s own psychological behavior. Let’s set aside the fact that he was happy that he thought he made his family disappear. Let’s simply chalk that up to character growth.
How about the amount of lethal traps and obstacles he was able to dream up and assemble with so little prep time! The Jigsaw killer from the Saw franchise probably took notes while watching this movie!
I mean Harry and Marv should have literally died multiple times over! And showed less remorse than Drago did after killing Apollo in the ring in Rocky IV!
This kid could have taken down the Predator with a little prep time! And I maintain that movie needs to be made!
So how plausible is the fan theory of Peter McCallister Being A Mob Boss: Very Likely Actually!
The only real train of logic I could think of to disprove this theory is the thinking that no-one is dumb enough to try to rip off the mob. But when you look at Harry and Marv, you realize…they actually are that dumb! So there goes that thought.
While researching this, I did find where, in the novelization of the film, the book refers to Peter as simply “being in business,” but isn’t that what he mob refers gambling, racketeering and collection of protection money as anyway?
What do you think of this Fan Theory? Do you think Peter McCallister may have been involved in organized crime? Let me know in the comments below!
And just to debunk another theory: NO, Piers Morgan was NOT the pigeon lady in Home Alone 2: Lost In New York!
Also check out my previous Friday Fan Theory: Modern Family Is A Sequel To Married With Children That Takes Place In Al’s Mind
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For other Christmas themed fun, please check out my list of Top Ten Christmas Movies For Guys! (AKA What To Watch When The Mrs. Puts On Hallmark Christmas Movies!)