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Ranked: The Wet Bandit’s injuries in Home Alone

Words: Katie Gartland

Can you believe that the masterpiece that is Home Alone has been in existence for 30 years? I sure can’t. I’ve watched Home Alone without fail every Christmas. And every Christmas since I was a kid I’ve wondered, which of the Wet Bandits was injured the worst?

So, today is the day. The day I scientifically rank the injuries of Harry and Marv in Home Alone 1 on a pain-o-meter. If you’ve been living on the Moon and haven’t seen the film, here’s a quick synopsis: 8-year-old Macauley Culkin gets left home alone over Christmas by accident, he fights off two robbers with booby traps and tricks as they try to burgle his house on Christmas Eve.

A 20-minute long scene ensues where Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) get tortured with blow torches, rusty nails, paint cans and ice. Let’s delve in to who was injured the worst.

Let’s start with Marv:

Shot in the face with a pellet gun- the dent on Marv’s forehead says it all. The bullet ricocheted straight off his head like a bouncy ball. 7/10

Slid down the basement steps- might bruise a little but not the worst in the ice-slipping theme sequence. 4/10

Slid around the basement door/ got hit by a crowbar- he definitely felt that glute stretch the next morning. The perfect ‘ting’ of the crowbar hitting his noggin was beautiful. 5/10

Hit in the face with an iron- after pulling on a lightbulb string, he actually tugs the cord of an iron. His face looks like a Birdseye potato waffle after. 8/10

Stands on a nail- this shot would make your eyes water. After trawling up a tar-laden staircase, Marv stands directly on a shiny nail poking up from the black goo. Lord have mercy. 8.5/10

Stands on Christmas ornaments- Holy Mary his poor toes are going through it. After giving up on the basement, Marv heads to an open window and crunches on a load of Christmas ornaments on the floor- worse than lego. 7.5/10

Paint can to the face- both Harry and Marv receive this o.g. trick. I think Marv got it worst. He was hit first and therefore acted as a cushion for Harry’s fall. (7/10)


Shot in the nuts with a pellet gun- I’m a cis woman, and therefore have never felt this pain. However, judging by the length of Harry’s incoherent angry mumbling it seems pretty damn sore. I’d give it a 8/10 on the pain scale.

Slipping up the front door steps (twice)- whacked straight onto his back like a slapstick fall. Looks like it cracked a few vertebrae on the way and paralysed him slightly? 6/10

Burns his hand on the door handle- this part makes me gag. Even worse, if you’ve seen Home Alone 2 you know this injury scarred his hand with a large ‘M’. Good grief. 9/10

Blow-torched head- Joe Pesci’s facial expressions are priceless. Harry’s skull cap is absolutely scorched but at least it serves as protection for his head. 6.5/10

Feathered- Harry walks into a sticky wall of cling filmed honey, is temporarily blinded then covered in a mound of feathers. Not very painful but I’m sure it wasn’t a treat to pick every feather off one-by-one. 4/10

Paint can to the face- (see my above reason). 6/10

Crowbar to the ribs- basically self-inflicted, but the crunch of the bone is like nothing else. After flinging a tarantula on Harry, Marv swiftly tries to remove it with a swing of his crowbar. Yikes. 7/10

Final Score:

Marv: 47/70
Harry: 46.5/70

Oof that was close. That concludes Macauley Culkin’s evil treehouse of horror. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed making it. By an extremely slim margin, Marv was the worst effected in Home Alone (I hope his face and toes recovered). Either way, I would not like to go through either route of the McCallister’s mansion.

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