An action classic (and contested Christmas film), Die Hard was a box office hit when it was released in 1988. Many years and sequels later, dozens of Die Hard fan theories now circulate among its viewers.
From those that claim Hans Gruber may be a wizard in disguise to others that link the movie to a popular '90s sitcom, viewer speculations are in no short supply. Found deep within the trenches of Reddit, some of these theories about John McClane and his adventures are more probable than others, but any one of them may just change how you view the movie.
- 1246 VOTES
Gruber Planned To Eliminate His Henchmen
One of the plot holes in Die Hard that fans like to point out is the fact that the getaway vehicle wouldn’t have been able to fit all of the terrorists. Not even close! The ambulance is far too small, especially considering that it would also be packed with stacks of bank bonds. Redditor /u/thistlemusic has a theory that just might explain the situation.
As we know, Gruber’s plan was to force all of the hostages onto the building’s roof and blow it up to make sure the police thought it was a terrorist attack. Even though McClane ends up taking out most of his men - leaving plenty of room in the ambulance - Gruber couldn't have expected that to occur. However, he may not have intended to make his getaway with his henchmen anyway.
This Redditor suggests that Gruber planned to set off the detonator while his henchmen were still on the roof, ensuring the body count would be higher than the number of hostages. By doing this, it would confirm to police that terrorists were behind the attack and they intentionally took their own lives in the explosion. Gruber could then make his getaway with the cash and no one would be the wiser.
- 2241 VOTES
‘Die Hard’ Is A Christmas Movie
There has been much debate over the years as to whether or not Die Hard should be considered a Christmas movie. Redditor /u/blergz seems to have found the proof we’ve all been waiting for.
In one of the earlier scenes, when McClane is being driven to Nakatomi Plaza, he asks the limo driver if he has any Christmas music. The driver points out that they are listening to Christmas music, since Run-DMC is playing in the background. While it may not be the traditional holiday tunes McClane has in mind, the song is certainly Christmas-themed.
The Redditor believes this sets up the rest of the film as a non-traditional Christmas movie. It has all the music and scenery of a holiday movie, but the action-packed script gives it a bit of a spin.
- Photo: The Fifth Element / Gaumont Buena Vista International3217 VOTES
McClane Is Immortal
Many Die Hard fan theories revolve around the fact that McClane is able to get himself out of impossible situations alive and unscathed. Some believe he’s a god, but Redditor /u/Albata3 suggests he’s simply immortal. It takes him a while to realize this, but in the most recent Die Hard films, he seems to know he can’t perish.
To further prove this theory, the Redditor connects the Die Hard franchise to The Fifth Element. They suggest that McClane lives long into the future, eventually becoming Korben Dallas (also played by Willis). This is evident in their similar personality traits and disregard for authority figures.
Additionally, this theory could explain why Dallas isn’t so great with the technological gadgets of the future, as well as the long list of weapons he has experience using. The Redditor also points out that Dallas’s calm and cool exterior may be a response to the fact that he’s seen everything a dozen times over and knows he’s immortal.
- 4173 VOTES
It's In The Same Universe As ‘Family Matters’
Redditor /u/professorhazard has come up with a theory that revolves around Sergeant Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson). After getting to know McClane during their limited radio communication, he admits to accidentally firing on a child. “He was 13 years old,” Powell says. “It was dark. I couldn’t see him. He had a ray gun, looked real enough.”
According to this theory, Die Hard takes place in the same universe as the '90s sitcom Family Matters. If you’ve seen the show, you know that VelJohnson plays police officer Carl Winslow. The theory goes that Winslow accidentally offed his nerdy neighbor, Steve Urkel (Jaleel White), after seeing him with one of his many inventions.
These events ultimately destroyed his marriage, encouraging him to start over by transferring from the Chicago Police Department to the LAPD, where he runs into McClane. By changing his name from Winslow to Powell, he’s trying to cut ties with his past. However, he reveals his past to McClane in order to gain his trust.