I have my own personal Christmas tradition. Every year, when I finally sit down to wrap presents, I throw on Die Hard. Why? Because not only is it awesome and one of the best action movies ever, it’s also one of the best Christmas movies.
Now, some might say that it isn’t a Christmas movie (like my sister, for example), but it totally is. So to prove my point, I listed every little detail of this movie that proves that it is in fact the perfect movie to watch this Christmas season. Yippee Ki Yay, motherfuckers!
- The entire film takes place on December 24th at a Christmas party.
- The airline attendant on John McClane’s plane announces “Merry Christmas!” over the intercom as the passengers depart.
- John carries a stuff bear, presumably a Christmas present for one of his kids.
- During John’s first scene in the airport, the score employs a heavy use of sleigh bells.
- Among many other Christmas decorations that we see at Nakatomi Plaza, the 30th floor features the first Christmas tree we see.
- Takagi gives a speech to his employees about how great a year it was for the company. He ends it by telling everyone to have a “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”
- Ellis offers to take Holly out to dinner. Holly rebuffs his offer by saying “Harry, it’s Christmas Eve… families, stockings, chestnuts, Rudolph and Frosty…”
- Holly tells her assistant, “Go join the party, have some champagne. You’re making me feel like Ebenezer Scrooge.” We will overlook the fact that this woman is pregnant.
- Holly calls her children. She talks to Lucy and tells her “No snooping around, looking for presents.”
- Lucy asks if her daddy is coming home with Holly. Holly responds: “Well, we’ll see what Santa and Mommy can do.”
- John meets Argyle, his limo driver. After some conversation, Argyle plays ‘Christmas in Hollis’ by Run DMC.
- John’s reaction to this song choice: “Don’t you have any Christmas music?”
- Argyle responds: “Man, this IS Christmas music!”
- There is a second Christmas tree in the main lobby of Nakatomi Plaza.
- John McClane whistles ‘Jingle Bells’ as he approaches the elevator of Nakatomi Plaza.
- As John arrives on the 30th floor, he walks through the crowd, looking for Holly. A drunk guy grabs him and tells him, “Merry Christmas!”
- Takagi introduces himself to John and ushers him to Holly’s office where they catch Ellis doing a line of cocaine. In the background, there is a Santa Claus decoration.
- John tells Takagi “I didn’t realize they celebrate Christmas in Japan.” Sort of racist, as Takagi has been in America long enough to have been interned during World War II.
- As Hans and his group of terrorists seize the building, the score plays a song overtly inspired by “Winter Wonderland’.
- The first terrorist that John kills is Tony, Karl’s brother. After he kills him, he sends him body down in the elevator to the 30th floor with a message and a Santa hat. On Tony’s shirt, John writes ‘Now I have a machine gun. Ho. Ho. Ho.’
- As Al is buying snacks for his pregnant wife at the convenience store, he hums ‘Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!’.
- Al enters Nakatomi Plaza to investigate the emergency call that John made. While there, he talks to the Huey Lewis-looking terrorist, and they exchange ‘Merry Christmas’ greetings to each other as he leaves.
- Al sings ‘Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!’ as he gets into his car, before John drops a terrorist body on his car.
- When the cops arrive at Nakatomi Plaza, they immediately try to force their way into the building. Theo, the computer genius of the terrorist group is watching them on camera. He gives the play-by-play to the others, saying: “ ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring… except for the four assholes coming in the rear in standard two by two cover formation”
- Theo cracks 6 of the 7 locks to the safe, but cannot crack the 7th electromagnetic lock. He tells Hans that he’ll need a miracle. Hans tells Theo, “It’s Christmas, Theo. It’s the time for miracles. So be of good cheer!”
- When the FBI shows up, they immediately cut the power to the building, which breaks the 7th lock for the terrorists. When the vault opens, Theo exclaims: “Merry Christmas.”
- Right before the final standoff, John needs to find a trick to put up his sleeve. On a table, he finds Christmas-themed tape, which he uses to tape his handgun to his back.
- The closing seconds feature the word ‘Christmas’ three times. John McClane and Argyle exchange ‘Merry Christmas’ greetings to each other and the final line is Argyle saying: “If this is your idea of Christmas, I’ve got to be here for New Year’s.”
- The film goes to credits while ‘Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!’ by Vaughn Monroe plays.
There you have it: 29 perfect examples to why Die Hard is a Christmas movie. Let us finally put this all to rest. There are more important things to argue about. Like the best order to watch all the Star Wars movies.
Those are literally just examples of Die Hard TAKING PLACE DURING Xmas. Nothing about the plot or story are what a “Christmas Movie” is about.
Your better argument would’ve been that he’s trying to reunite w/his wife. But even THAT isn’t the actual plot…nor is it his goal really. His GOAL is to stop the terrorists to save his wife. The fact that he learns she’s captured is the inciting incident that gets him involved. But that’s about it.
Is the requirement to be a Christmas movie rooted in inciting incidents? Home Alone is about a kid defending his home from burglars; it merely takes place during Christmastime. It’s a Wonderful Life is about a man realizing that, although his life doesn’t measure up to his own metric, the effect he had on the lives around him is immeasurable. White Christmas is about throwing one hell of a retirement party and getting Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye laid.