Bruce Willis' "Yippee-ki-ay" (followed by a rather vulgar phrase) is far and away the most memorable line from Die Hard. There's no debate. However, the most memorable voice from the legendary action movie is not John McClane's. That title belongs to Hans Gruber, played by Alan Rickman — which, in fairness to Willis, is almost always the case with a movie featuring Rickman.
Rickman had a way of making the simplest statement sound masterfully maniacal. His compliments were impossible to trust. His threats were scary. Rickman carried that into his performance as Hans. It's one of his more memorable performances. What better what to honor that performance and the late Rickman than highlight 10 Awesome Hans Gruber Quotes That'll Send Shivers Down Your Spine.
10 "That's a very nice suit, Mr. Takagi. It would be a shame to ruin it."
Joe Tagaki was the preside of Nakatomi Trading, whose office building is the setting for Die Hard. Being the boss generally has some major benefits. That's not necessarily the case in this movie. But more on that in a bit. Surprisingly, things between Hans and Mr. Tagaki don't exactly start swimmingly. You'd think Mr. Tagaki would welcome Hans and his gun-bearing goons in with open arms.
Hans makes an attempt to somewhat get on the level with Mr. Tagaki by complimenting his suit — Hans is a big fan of men's fashion. But Hans just couldn't help himself on their little elevator trip and just had to slide in a little threat.
9 "I'm going to count to three. There will not be a four."
Who didn't hear the line "I'm going to count to three" or some variant from their parent as a child? For those of us who weren't rebels without a cause, it was the quick an easy way to set us straight. Because when mom or dad hit that final number, you were done for.
Now, what we all experienced as children is a slight bit different from Mr. Tagaki's situation with Hans. Rather than the threat of being grounded, losing video games or a spanking, Mr. Tagaki was three seconds from eating a bullet. Which he did. Imagine hearing that voice as a child from one of your parents? Talk about frightening!
8 "You can walk out of here or be carried out."
Shortly after shooting Mr. Tagaki in the face, Hans let the Nakatomi Trading employees know the situation: "I wanted this to be professional, efficient, adult, cooperative. Not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way… so he won’t be joining us for the rest of his life.”
That's one way to get your point across. But in case he wasn't clear, Hans let everyone know they could walk out of the situation alive or in a body bag.
7 "Just another American who saw too man movies as a child."
Often times, Americans are the only ones inspired by the badasses we see on TV or in movies? No one else around the world wishes they could become a superhero or an FBI agent, just Americans. Seems like a pretty insensitive thing to say, if you ask me, Hans.
Thankfully, McClane would not be intimidated by this hate-filled rhetoric. Who knows where we'd be if John McClane just ran away the second Hans talked to him like he was a subhuman.
6 "Sooner or later, I might get to someone you do care about!"
At this point in the movie, McClane had firmly entrenched himself under Hans' skin. He was killing all of his men, preventing Hans from fully focusing on his plans, then McClane took something Hans couldn't afford to go on without. "You hear that? Talk to me, where are my detonators? Where are they, or shall I shoot another one?"
As a kid, the second you hear Hans say, "Sooner or later, I might get to someone you do care about," the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as you think "Oh, no! Not John's wife!"
5 "You're very perceptive."
So simple, but so smooth from Gruber. This line comes in response to Harry Ellis' ever so brilliant introduction.
Hans knew the second Ellis walked through the door that the guy was meat, so why not get out of him what you can. As much as it'd be frightning to hear Hans' say, "You're very perceptive," to you, it's pretty awesome that he took some time to mock this annoying salesman before shooting him.
4 "Touching, Cowboy, touching. Or should I call you, Mr. McClane?"
Hans' continued, "Mr. Officer John McClane of the New York Police Department?"
This is one of the most suspenseful moments of the movie. Not because you're worried about the well-being of that jerk Harry Ellis, but because we didn't know if somehow Ellis tied in John's wife, Holly. Based on what we'd seen to this point, it was a wild card. In the end, it cost him more than he expected. Thankfully, he wasn't the cause of Holly being held at gunpoint.
3 "Mrs. McClane. How nice to make your acquaintance."
This might be the most "Oh, crap!" moment of the movie. Things look grim when Hans figures out Holly is John's wife, though we all now know it worked out in the end.
2 "By the time they figure out what went wrong, we'll be sitting on a beach, earning twenty percent."
Turns out, Hans is just like the rest of us. He just wants to relax all day and get paid doing absolutely nothing. Any time someone makes a crack about millennials not being motivated or just looking to have fun all the time, you might want to cite this. But maybe don't say a fictional villain said it in a movie. Say it came from Alan Rickman instead. Everyone respects Alan Rickman.
1 "Oh yes, what was it you said to me before? Yippee-ki-ay..."
Hans just had to get cocky. In typical 80s villain fashion, he had to mock the hero just before he won, giving McClane one last chance to save the day, which he did. For a guy who was so smart, this was pretty stupid. Had he just pulled the trigger, he could've saved everyone from the ensuing 15 Die Hard sequels.