The Famous ‘Home Alone’ Tarantula Scene Included a Real, Venomous Spider Named Barry, Says Daniel Stern

Home Alone has some of the most iconic, yet hilarious scenes from any Christmas movie ever made. Some folks argue that the sequel is even better than the original. The physical comedy is through the roof, but it still maintains the holiday spirit throughout the movies’ runtimes. Actor Daniel Stern once explained how the tarantula in the legendary Home Alone scene was a real-life, venomous spider.

‘Home Alone’ is a holiday favorite

1990’s Home Alone is a Christmas movie that follows Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) who is accidentally left at home after his family leaves for vacation. He wakes up in the family’s empty Chicago home around Christmas, but burglars Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Stern) are looking to score from the house that’s supposed to be empty. Kevin isn’t willing to let them in without a fight.

The holiday comedy was the highest-grossing live-action comedy until 2011’s The Hangover Part II. Home Alone also opened to positive reviews, Golden Globe nominations, and an Academy Award nomination. However, the movie continues to live on television screens around the world to help folks get into the holiday spirit.

Daniel Stern’s iconic ‘Home Alone’ tarantula scene used a real-life spider

Stern went into detail in a Facebook post recalling Home Alone‘s legendary tarantula scene. He explained how both the spider crawling across his face and his scream are real. He prefaced his statement noting that some of his memory could be slightly off.

Stern initially expected to use a mechanical tarantula for the sequence. The prop department had a couple of replicas, including one that could somewhat move and one that was stationary. However, production wanted to ensure that Stern’s performance was the best that it could be, so they brought in the animal wrangling department with a real tarantula

“The wrangler introduced me to “Barry the Tarantula” (possibly mis-remembering his name, apologies),” Stern wrote. “They had Barry crawl around on my hand and head. I asked if Barry was trained and was told they had been working with him for a few days but tarantulas are kind of tough to train.”

Stern continued: “I asked if his poison had been removed, and was told that if the poison was removed, Barry would die. I said, ‘Right, but if the poison isn’t removed, then I’m gonna die. See where I’m going here?!’ ‘Just don’t make any sudden, threatening moves and you’ll be fine.’ ‘But I’m going to be screaming in Barry’s face. Do you think he’ll feel threatened by that?!’ ‘Barry doesn’t have ears. He can’t hear. Relax.’”

The actor spent the scene trying to not scare Barry, but he ultimately appreciated having the tarantula as a scene partner. “Once I got used to him and what he was doing, he turned out to be a great scene partner,” Stern wrote. “I think I felt comfortable enough to have let out that scream right at him in the scene, but there’s another legend that says I only mimed it and added in the scream later.” However, he denied the miming theory.

Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas

Home Alone is a part of Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas. The channel’s programming includes all four installments. However, the Home Alone movies aren’t necessarily in order, so audiences will need to plan out their holiday viewing to catch all of them during Freeform’s holiday programming. However, most of them are also available to stream at any time on the Disney+ platform.

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