As the cold nights begin to draw in, so does a sense of excitement in the heart of every human. Why? Because with the dark days comes an excuse to binge watch your favorite winter movies. From Love Actually to Elf, we cannot resist a festive film.

No film is safe from our festive fever, as we dedicate large portions of the holiday season to watching the cult classics, despite having watched them 100 times only the year before.

By the time you’re ready to embark upon a Home Alone marathon, you are fully immersed within the Christmas spirit. Drowsy from over consumption of mince pies, mulled wine and chocolate, we watch through half-closed eyes as Kevin McCallister causes chaos.

So when we tell you that you’ve been ignorant to a major plot secret over the years, you’ll hardly be surprised. Pass the yule log, this is about to change everything you thought you knew about Home Alone

As we know, Kevin is abandoned at home by his enormous family as they take a Christmas vacation to Paris. It is a glimpse into every child’s worst nightmare, and should it have occurred in real life the McCallisters would likely have been arrested for neglect.

But, it’s a film and we do well to remember that as we watch his oblivious family leave him sound asleep in his bed as they fly over 4,000 miles away.

The McCallister’s youngest son, eight-year-old Kevin, is left in a deep slumber as his alarm fails to wake him after a freak storm caused a power-cut, which in turn reset all the electric clocks.

However, eagle-eyed movie fanatics have noticed a tiny reference in the opening scene which appears to suggest that Kevin was never meant to board that plane…

Sharp-eyed Reddit users noticed the subtle hint in the opening scene of the film, which was released in 1990, starring a 10-year-old Macaulay Culkin. When you notice this, you’ll be furious with your own ignorance…

The opening scene depicts a fight in the McCallister family kitchen, as Kevin and his older brother Buzz quarrel. Ultimately, Kevin’s blundering father sends him to his room as a result of his behavior, where Kevin wishes his family would just disappear – another foreshadow in itself.

His father can then be seen tidying the kitchen. As he does, he can clumsily be seen putting something very important in the trash…

Peter McCallister, played by the late John Heard, carelessly scrapes a handful of garbage from the kitchen counter with little regard for the fact that he is about to throw away something very important to Kevin.

As the camera cuts to the contents of the trash, Kevin’s plane ticket can clearly be seen. The doomed American Airlines ticket, adorned with Kevin’s name in black scrawl, is sent to rot with with the rest of the rubbish – with it goes any chance of Kevin ever getting to Paris.

Therefore, even if he didn’t sleep soundly through his families departure, Kevin would never have been able to join the them on holiday.

This also explains how his family never noticed he was missing until they boarded the plane, as they didn’t have Kevin’s ticket handy as a reminder of his absence.

(Even typing that made me realize how terrible Kevin’s parents are…)

This year, when you sit down to watch Kevin run riot, you will notice this subtle hint and wonder how you never have before.! With that, there is only one thing left to say: Merry Christmas you filthy animals!

While Home Alone may be entirely fictional, it has been known to come to life in the real world. This young boy was left shocked after masked men broke into his home in Escondido, California. However, he didn’t quite react like our boy Kevin!