A minor Die Hard fan theory
This post is part of Fan Theory Fridays, in which we share and explore a new fan theory about a film, television series, book, or other fictional narrative. For more on what a fan theory is—and what it isn’t—please read D. F. Lovett’s previous explorations of the subject.
Much talk is made every year about whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas film. This article does not seek to resolve, or even directly address, that debate.
Instead, I’d like to highlight one aspect of that film that occurred to me on a recent viewing. While it’s never stated in either Die Hard or any of its sequels, I think that a close viewing of Die Hard suggests that John McClane is a huge Christmas guy. Like, a major Christmas guy. And that this detail of his personality explains a lot of his behavior throughout the film.
“Got any Christmas music?”
During the first scenes—and opening credits—of Die Hard, a few details are revealed in short succession about John McClane:
- He doesn’t like flying
- He’s married
- He’s a New York City cop (and has been for eleven years)
- He smokes cigarettes
- He brought an oversized teddy bear on the flight, presumably as a gift for someone
- His wife lives in California and he lives in New York and he doesn’t like talking about it
But there is one more detail about him. A subtle one, that isn’t stated as blatantly as the other exposition above… John McClane likes Christmas music.
Before the Die Hard title card flashes onscreen, the limo driver Argyle puts a cassette in and Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” begins to play.
John McClane: Don’t you got any Christmas music?
Argyle: This is Christmas music.
Now, let’s reconsider everything we’ve seen until this moment. John McClane is anxious, confused, overwhelmed, and doesn’t seem to like California very much. He’s also carrying a giant teddy bear with a big red bow on it. Is he anxious because he’s about to see his estranged wife?
Or, is he anxious that his Christmas is getting ruined? Continue reading “Is John McClane in a Bad Mood Because He Loves Christmas?”