It feels like it was just yesterday that Home Alone introduced filmgoers to the joys of transfusing Three Stooges-like slapstick into a John Hughes-penned comedy and watching a prepubescent kid look shocked. But it’s been 25 years since the modern holiday classic crashed into theaters on November 16th, 1990, and the blockbuster that introduced kids to the word “flemwad” has truly stood the test of time.
By now, the movie’s story is so engrained in American culture that they might as well teach it in schools: Young Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left behind by his family on their way to a Christmas vacation in Paris. When the two most incompetent burglars in all of suburban Chicago (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as “The Wet Bandits”) target the residence for a bit of season’s burgling, the “little trout sniffer” is forced to transform his house into a giant Rube Goldberg death machine. It’s pretty much every eight-year-old’s ultimate fantasy.
Home Alone was a hit because there’s nothing kids love more than watching one of their own repeatedly devastate two adult men, but the film has become a hallmark because it understands that the holiday season is all about family, and how painful it can be to remember that you love them. In honor of the movie’s 25th anniversary, Rolling Stone cut together a little season’s greetings from the McCallister family.