Five Lessons Learned from Watching Die Hard


Some of us can't afford to go to college. We're not all a bunch of champagne-sipping, migrant-worker-hiring John D. Rockefellers. Those of us who may not necessarily be able to pay for things like schooling or clean pants receive our education from the School of Hard Dieing. We may not be able to cure cancer, or repair a spaceship or even read beyond Sunday school-level, but Professor John "Fuck You" McClane, in just four movies, has taught us all we need to know to succeed in life.

It Is Impossible to Get Fired from the Police Force

NYPD, LAPD, it doesn't matter. We haven't worked out the exact science on this, but there is definitely a direct correlation between throwing Hans Gruber off a building and total immunity. Seriously, you cannot blow up enough buildings, crash enough cars or drink enough booze to ever get fired.

Lesson learned: These four movies have single-handedly informed our decision to leave and join the police force. As we understand it, we can ignore the orders of our superiors and kill whomever the hell we want every single Christmas and no one will care. Taking out maybe one or two terrorists a year evidently gives us the total freedom to wreck boats, drive cars through helicopters and generally avoid doing any actual police work.

Honestly, in Live Free or Die Hard, an on-duty John McClane just hung around Rutgers terrorizing his daughter's boyfriend for about 20 minutes. Why was he doing that instead of protecting innocent people from deranged stalkers? Shut the fuck up, that's why.

Every Single German Is a Dick

Go ahead and take a random sample. Pick any one of the German characters who have appeared in a Die Hard film. Really, close your eyes and pick any goddamn one: We guarantee you that he (or she) is a total bastard. And, we're not just looking at one movie: We've got four movies here that span about two decades. That is more than enough evidence. Ten out of 10 German guys that have gotten in McClane's way have been total dicks. It naturally follows that 10 out of 10 German people in the real world are to be mistrusted and shot on sight. Go ahead and try to argue with math, we dare you.

Bonus: With the addition of a handful of evil French bastards in Live Free or Die Hard, just to be safe, we might as well change the category to include all foreigners in general.

Black People Can't Wait to Help You

Whether you're murdering a guy for holding your wife hostage or simply murdering that same guy's brother for no good reason, there will undoubtedly be a zany black stereotype who just can't wait to help you. If you're driving around Harlem and you need directions or a light, well you're screwed. But if you need someone to follow you around all day and help you blow up terrorists, there will be a line of eager, wacky black folks who want nothing more than to quit their jobs and help you while pointing out the subtle differences between black and white people.

Note: If you completely run out of black people, Justin Long is just as talkative and quirky, though significantly less zany.

A Well-Timed "Yippee Ki Yay, Motherfucker" Will Get You Out of Any Jam

Watching the Die Hard documentaries (Diecumentaries), one might think that all confidently saying "Yippee Ki Yay, Motherfucker" does is make you bulletproof-but that is, as advanced students will recognize, a gross understatement. It just happens that Professor McClane only uses the phrase when he's about to dive face-first into a tornado of bullets and accents, but don't let his sparing use of the ol' YKYMF fool you; its powers are almost limitless.

Truth be told, "Yippee Ki Yay, Motherfucker" has, without fail, helped us out in all of the following areas:

  • Parking tickets
  • Jury duty
  • Heart surgery
  • Out of toilet paper
  • Bees
  • 12-page paper on postcolonial literature
  • Wedding vows

Go ahead and try it out. There is not one problem you could possibly face whose solution isn't eight syllables of ass-kicking-American-cowboy awesomeness. "Yippee Ki Yay, Motherfucker" isn't just a tasty garnish for blowing up terrorists anymore.

Alcohol Makes You a Stronger, Louder, More Efficient American Killing Machine

Before we saw the Die Hard franchise, we thought alcohol was just something to get our moms through their pregnancies. Based on the Gospel according to McClane, however, we now know that you don't need assistance, shoes, a badge or even a reasonable excuse to blow up anyone or anything that (maybe) interferes with your God-given right to live free and/or die hard; you just need a socially degenerative drinking habit.

If these movies have taught us anything, (and this article pretty much lives and dies on the fact that they've taught us five things), it's that either binge-drinking or a hangover directly preceded 90 minutes of solid ass-kickery in every single movie. Step one: Drink. Step two: Save America.

So, the next time you catch a coworker drinking on the job, don't report him to your boss, ya narc. Or, when you see a homeless man desperately sucking out the last few drops of someone else's discarded bottle of wine, don't shake your head disapprovingly. Or, when you see your dad hurling slurred insults at those "filthy, job-stealing Mexicants," do not rudely point out how you can completely understand why mom left. You thank them for their patriotism, and you get the hell out of their way .
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