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Like many of you, I’m a big fan of Home Alone. And for the last 30 years, I’ve watched this iconic film many, many times.

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However, for the first time, during my 100th (thereabouts) rewatch, I found myself thinking, “Wait. What the heck is that thing?” During this scene:

Kevin from Home Alone hanging a hot ring on the front door handle

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I’m specifically talking about the hot metal thing Kevin uses to heat up the front door knob.

Close up of the hot ring

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I guess, as a kid, I just assumed it was some kinda weird tool for heating up a cold house? IDK!

TBH, I’d never spent much time wondering what this thing really was — all I knew was that it heated up the fancy door knob enough to burn an “M” into Harry’s hand. And that was that.

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But, I guess after so many rewatches of a movie, one gets curiously distracted by mundane details like this. So, I was determined to figure it out!

I asked a couple of friends and coworkers of varying ages if they knew what it was, and the response was the same. No one knew what it was:

Text messages of people saying they don't know what the object is

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TBH, it didn’t take me long to find an answer. After a quick Google search, I found out what it was through trusty ol’ Reddit (shout out specifically to u/wedderspoon). So, without further ado, here’s what that weird thing is:

Apparently, an electric charcoal starter is designed to quickly heat coals for a barbecue without kindling. All you have to do is plug it in and turn it on! And if you wanna see how this thing is ~actually~ supposed to be used (as opposed to, you know, being used for burning people’s hands), check out this video.

And now you know.

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