Die Hard Wiki

This is a description of John McClane's actions during Die Hard.

Die Hard[]

Arriving in LA[]

As the plane was landing the runway in the LAX Airport, McClane was clinching on the armrest uncomfortably. The passenger seated next to him knows that McClane doesn't like flying and suggests to make fists with his toes on carpet while barefoot to cure his jetlag. As they stopped, the passenger noticed a gun on him, McClane tells him that he's a cop for 11 years as he took a large teddy bear with him as a Christmas gift to his family and left the plane.

Argyle and John at the airport

John meets his limo driver, Argyle.

As McClane was walking from the baggage claim to arrivals, he sees the sign with his name and came to the chauffer holding it. Argyle, the limo driver, is assigned to drive him to Nakatomi Plaza, where his estranged wife Holly works. Argyle tells him it's his first time driving a limo and McClane replies that it's his first time riding one.

As McClane rides up front of the limousine while placing the teddy bear in the back seat, Argyle says that he used to drive a cab and used to chatting with people. Argyle asked about the problems with his wife. McClane says that she has a good job and moved to Los Angeles while John stayed behind in New York since he was a cop to deal with some open cases, but he unofficially expected her to fail. Then they arrived in the 35-story Nakatomi Plaza. Arglye offers McClane that he'll wait by the parking garage to be cretain that he will take him and Holly home or to drive him to the hotel if things between them don't work out. McClane enters the building and is met by the Nakatomi Security Guard and looks at the computer screen to find Holly. He finds out that she changed to her madien name Gennero and sees that she's in the 30th floor, where the party is being held. McClane took the elevator to the 30th floor where the party is held in the foyer.

McClane was walking around the area and is met by Joe Takagi, President of Nakatomi Trading and Holly's boss. Takagi shows McClane to Holly's office and he sees the office door is named H.M. Gennero. They see Harry Ellis, a businessman who's in charge of international development who was obviously snorting cocaine. Takagi introduces Ellis to McClane and Ellis says he heard a lot about him. McClane tells Ellis he missed "some", knowing that he snorted cocaine. Then

John smiles at Holly

McClane smiles at Holly.

Holly enters to her office and sees John. The two jilted lovers give each other a subtle greeting at the office. Ellis tells John that Holly just closed the biggest deal in the company's history and received a Rolex watch for it. John knows Ellis has got an eye on her. He asked Holly where he can clean up and she's lead him to Ellis' office where a private bathroom is at.

At the private bathroom, McClane was washing up as they were talking. McClane says he could stay with an old friend of his who retired from the NYPD. Holly suggests that he'll stay in the spare bedroom in their house to make it easy for their kids, Lucy and John Jr.. They comment how much they missed each other, but quickly begin arguing about Holly's decision to move to California and changing her last name to Gennero. Then Holly's pregnant secretary, Ginny, comes in and tells her that Takagi request her to join the party and make a speech. Holly left the office as McClane went back to wash up, displeased with himself with their latest argument.

Nakatomi Plaza Takeover[]


John peers out the door to see what was the matter.

McClane was making fists with his toes like the passenger told him to earlier and was surprised that it is actually helping with his jet lag. McClane calls Argyle and tells him that he does not know where he will be staying yet. However, the call was interrupted when Karl Vreski used a chainsaw to cut the phone lines and the call was abruptly disconnected. A confused McClane was fiddling with the phone when he heard gunfire and people screaming. McClane grabbed the holster for his Beretta 92 pistol and peeked through the door. McClane sees a group of terrorists rounding up everyone on the floor into the main room. He was about to be spotted by James, one of the terrorists, when he got distracted by a couple having sex. Because of this, McClane is able to slip into the stairwell and run upstairs. He opened the door to the 31st floor and he sees some terrorists pushing equipment. He runs up to the uncompleted 32nd floor and went to the phone to try and call the police, but to no avail. McClane panics and contemplates on his next move. McClane checks the 33rd floor and sees that it is full of computers and offices. He went upstairs and looks at the


John witnesses Takagi's murder.

35th floor and sees three men, Uli, Marco and Heinrich, loading missiles on that floor. He went back downstairs and to the 34th floor. He sees three men, including the leader and two men, Karl and Tony taking Joe Takagi to the conference room where their technical expert Theo awaits. He quietly leaves the room with his pistol leveled and listens to part of the conversation while hiding under the table. McClane witnesses the terrorist leader execute Takagi. When he sees that they were about to leave, McClane makes a noise as he quickly bolts away and hid in a office before they could find them.

PDVD 042

John McClane holds his pistol on Tony.

McClane rushes back to the 32nd floor and curses at himself for not doing something. After seeing a fire sprinkler above him, he comes up with a plan to pull the fire alarm. After doing so, McClane celebrates when he sees approaching fire trucks. But when he sees them shutting off their sirens and turning around, he gets angry that the terrorists had called it off. Then he sees Tony coming to him. As he hid from him, McClane turns on a power saw to distract him and points his gun at him. McClane starts a fight with Tony while holding him from behind. They went through the stairway, fell down some stairs and McClane breaks Tony's neck, killing him. McClane takes Tony's Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun and its magazines, as well as a two-way radio and a Zippo Lighter. He places Tony in the elevator and tried to put on his shoes, but finds out that they are too small, while saying to himself that he killed a terrorist with feet smaller than his sister's. He sees a Santa hat and smiles as he has a way to taunt them and writes the message "Now I have a machine gun. Ho Ho Ho" on Tony's shirt.


McClane counts and writes the terrorist's names down on his wrist.

After using a pipe to unlock the elevator doors and a screwdriver to hold it open, McClane goes on top of the elevator and listens in as the terrorists see Tony's body, which shocks them. McClane writes their names down on his arm and begins counting how many he sees.

The terrorist leader reads McClane's message on Tony's corpse. Then McClane hears that the terrorist leader, revealed to be named Hans, has to tell Karl that his brother is dead. He writes down the possible number of men, as well as the names of Hans and Karl on his wrist with a black marker. They moved the elevator up to the top floor and McClane had to duck down to avoid getting hit by the elevator overheard steel beam. He climbs out of it and exits the elevator shaft to the roof access of the building.

Warning the Police[]

PDVD 051

McClane attempts to contact the police on the roof of the Nakatomi building.

McClane gets to the roof of the Nakatomi Plaza. After seeing the roof is cleared, he calls in the radio and yells out that terrorists have seized the building and holding people hostage. The dispatcher just chided him that he's using a channel that's reserved for emergency calls, which McClane yells at to send help. Then Karl, along with Franco and Fritz, fired at him. McClane eludes gunfire back retreating away from them and firing at them. He fires at the locked closet door to get it open and sees a ventilation fan there. He fires at the entrance to distract the terrorists pursuing him. He blocks the fan with his

PDVD 055

John McClane decides to go through an industrial ventilation fan.

machine gun and climbs through it. He quickly climbs down the ladder and went to the elevator since the exit is blocked by Fritz. He went to the elevator shaft, but sees the elevators are too far down below. He then forces the vent grate open. He extends the stock of the gun as a makeshift anchor to climb down the shaft with the gun's sling. But then it gives out, allowing him to fall two vents down and grabs a vent to prevent himself from falling further.

PDVD 058

John climbing down the elevator shaft from the 35th floor.

McClane climbs to that vent and uses the lighter to see in. As he crawls into the vents, he sees Karl searching for him. After Karl fires his Steyr AUG rifle into the vents, it came close to hitting McClane. As Karl searches for the man who killed his brother, Tony, by using his gun's muzzle to press into the vents to search for him, McClane quietly turns the safety off on his pistol, hoping that Karl wouldn't find him. Then Fritz calls out to Karl that a cop car has arrived and Karl left, much to McClane's relief. As he exited the dirty vent, McClane went to the conference room where Takagi was killed. He sees a police car arriving at the entry of the building. After awhile, he sees the cop pulled over to the stop and went inside the building. Realizing that terrorists may be deceiving that cop, McClane bashes the window with the chair that was spotted by James, who warned Heinrich on radio. As McClane continued to bashed the window with the chair, he sees Marco coming at him and points his pistol at him.

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McClane draws his Beretta on Marco.


John McClane shoots Marco under the table, killing him.

As Marco was feigning surrender, Heinrich appeared behind Marco and yells out to get down. McClane fires two rounds at Heinrich, killing him before McClane ran underneath the conference table. Marco kept firing his machine gun through the table until McClane reached the end. As Marco was reloading he says "next time you have a shot, don't hesitate", John responds by shooting Marco fifteen times through the table, killing Marco, and sarcastically thanking Marco the advice.

PDVD 064

"Welcome to the party, pal!"

Then McClane went back to the window, he was dismayed when the cop is leaving after being deceived by Eddie, a terrorist disguised as a Nakatomi security guard. But has a idea to warn the cop, he tossed Marco's body out of the window and it landed on the hood of his car. As the cop, Sgt. Al Powell, reserved fast and was fired upon, McClane says "Welcome to the Party, pal." Then the police have arrived and have sealed off the building. Then McClane checks in on the radio to Hans, taunting him that he killed Tony, Marco and Heinrich, the latter whose name he didn't know, and mentions the name of Karl and Franco while looking at Heinrich's bag. Hans checks in on McClane, assuming that he's a security guard. McClane taunts him that he's not a security guard. When Hans asked who he was, McClane says to him, "Just a fly in the ointment, Hans. The monkey in the wrench. The pain in the ass." As he said that, he finds the bag was carrying C4 explosives and it's detonators. Knowing that they will find him in the 34th floor, McClane began to head for the stairway as Hans contacts him again, not knowing his name. Hans asked McClane if he knew his name, who is he? Hans asked McClane if he's just some American who saw too many movies as a child or another orphan of a bankrupt who thinks


John goes up on an elevator.

he's John Wayne, Rambo or Marshal Dillon. McClane arrived in the doorway to the stairway as he replies to Hans that he's always kind of partial to Roy Rogers. Hans asked his intruder does he really have a chance against him and his men. As McClane heard the elevator beeping sound, McClane taunts to Hans, "Yippee Ki Yay, Motherfucker" before leaving the floor.

As McClane was reaching the 33rd floor, he was contacted by Powell on the radio. McClane asked Powell if he was the guy in the car and Powell replies that he was the one in the car. McClane refuses to give out his name to Powell to maintain his cover and gives him the situation report about the whole takeover, despite Hans and his men listening in. Powell tells McClane that the LAPD will be on it and asked what to call him for now, which McClane tells him to call him "Roy". McClane sits down on the wall of the 33rd to rest for a bit and compose himself.

Dropping C4 down below[]

As he was about to smoke one of the terrorist's cigarettes, he noticed that the spotlights outside are being turned on. Powell tells him to sit tight, but McClane tells him that these terrorists are heavily armed. He watches the actions by the Los Angeles SWAT team from the window. When he sees four SWAT officers coming in to the rear of the building, he yells out helplessly not to come in as they going to get themselves killed. Then he sees an RV tank coming in. McClane sees an elevator next to him is being used to go down and realized that they are going to use missiles at it.


McClane placing blasting caps into a brick of C-4.

As the missile hits the tank, Hans tells James and Alexander to fire again, to which McClane angrily tells him to let the SWAT team pull back. Hans refuses to listen to McClane and tells his men to hit the tank again. Outraged, McClane uses a fire axe to open the elevator door. He puts a C4 explosive block on a chair and sets a detonator on a C4 explosive block. McClane then pulls a computer screen off the cord and puts it on top of the C4 block. He tosses the chair down to the elevator shaft and it hits the elevator where James and Alexander are at, causing a huge explosion that destroys the entire third floor and killing James and Alexander. Then he sees a fireball coming at him from the elevator shaft and jumps out of the way, as the fireballs reaches the 33rd floor and rips through the open elevator door, causing minor damage.

McClane checks in to Powell at the smoke-filled 33rd floor. Powell asked what happened in the second floor. McClane tells him that it was C4 explosives and asked if the building was on fire and Powell tells him it's not on fire, but it will need a paint job and a new load of glass. Powell also informs him that he killed two men in the blast. Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson, angered by the explosion of the second floor, takes the radio from Powell and confronts McClane over his actions. But McClane, unhappy with Robinson's tone at him, insults Robinson and says he only speaks to Powell. Powell tells McClane to hang in there.

Identity Compromised[]


As McClane was smoking an old cigarette, McClane and Powell talk about their personal lives. Powell says that his wife is working on their first child and McClane replies to Powell that he has two kids as he looked at the pictures of himself with Holly, Lucy and John Jr. on his wallet. Hans interrupts their radio conversation as he reveals to McClane that he knows who he is as he mentions his name. McClane, shocked that Hans knows his name, taunts that Sister Teresa called him McClane in the third grade & his friends called him John and he's neither.

Hans tells McClane that someone wants to talk to him, claiming that a special friend with him at the party. As McClane prepared himself for the worst, he was surprised that it was Ellis on the radio. Ellis claims to try to some sense to him. McClane asked Ellis what has he told Hans and says that he told him he was an old friend who was invited to the party. Somewhat relieved that Ellis hasn't revealed Holly's identity to Hans, McClane tells Ellis that he should've been doing what he is doing now. Ellis tells that Hans and his men want him to return the detonators or they'll kill him. McClane refused to do it and tells Ellis to give the walkie-talkie to Hans. McClane tries to tell Hans that Ellis doesn't know what kind of man he is like he does. McClane tells Hans that Ellis is not his friend and he just met him tonight and he tries to tell Ellis to do the same thing, saying these people will kill him. Ellis sticks to his pretending. Hans kills Ellis as McClane heard the sound of gunfire. Then he heard hostages screaming on the radio and Hans unhappily asks him where the detonators are. Hans tells McClane that he'll find someone he does care about sooner or later. McClane tells Hans to go screw himself as he tried to compose after failing to save Ellis.

As Hans was speaking to Deputy Chief Robinson on the radio that he has comrades-in-arms around the world imprisoned and wished to be released, McClane listens in and knows something isn't right. After the radio talk, McClane checks in with Powell and tells to believe him that there was nothing he can do to save Ellis. Powell says it will cost both of their jobs if he's wrong. McClane tells Powell that Hans' demand doesn't make much sense to all that he's done now. Powell says that he's just a desk cop on his way back home when he rang. McClane left the 33rd floor as he admits to Powell about his driving ability, which impressed him.

Close Encounter with Hans[]

PDVD 091

John hands "Bill Clay" his Beretta 92 pistol.

At the roof access of Nakatomi Plaza, McClane stumbles upon Hans. Hans feigns that he's a frightened hostage and that he escaped, using a fake American accent. McClane buys his story since he never saw Hans' face and escorts him to safety on the 33rd floor.

As McClane hands Hans a pack of cigarettes, Hans says he doesn't work for Nakatomi and pretends as if he wasn't one of the terrorists. McClane says he's a cop from New York and lies that he got to the Christmas party by mistake. He introduces his name to Hans and asked for his name. Hans tells him his name is "Bill Clay". McClane sees the name "Clay" and "William" underneath it on the billboard and realizes that the man he is with is Hans. He quietly empties his Beretta pistol and hands it Hans, pretending he should have a gun with him to survive the terrorists.


John reveals that he tricked Hans.

As McClane was walking away, Hans radios to Karl that they are at the 33rd floor. Hans points the gun at McClane. He demands McClane to drop the Heckler & Koch MP5 gun and hand over his detonators. McClane taunts Hans that he's pretty good with his fake accent. Hans says he'll count three to drop his gun and McClane says that he did that with Takagi. When Hans fires the pistol, he takes his Beretta pistol from him. But before he can get to Hans, Karl, along with Franco and Fritz, arrive from the nearby elevator. McClane fires the machine gun at them, killing Fritz as he retreats away from Karl's gunfire. He gets down to one of the offices. When Franco was charging at him, McClane fires the machine gun at him and shot off Franco's knees, causing him to fall head first, into the glass window, killing him. As he was firing at Karl, who took cover at the office desk, Hans remembers that McClane is barefoot and he & Karl

Die Hard - Glass in his feet 2

John McClane pulls glass from his feet.

fired at the entire room full of glass, causing the glass to shatter all over the floor. As McClane fires the entire last magazine at Karl, he was forced to retreat from the floor while a glass impales his left foot, leaving the bag carrying the detonators behind.

McClane reaches a restroom, slowly crawling into it while his left foot was bleeding from the glass. Then he turns on the sink and puts his injured foot on it to clean the wound with water flowing from the faucet. Powell checks in on the radio and McClane puts the radio on speaker as he was pulling the glass off his foot. McClane tells Powell that he killed two more bad guys. Powell says that they got a poll going on him, he asks what kind of odds he's getting. Powell replies he doesn't want to know. McClane asks Powell why he's on desk duty as he successfully pulled the glass out of his foot. Powell tells him that he shot a 13-year-old boy who had a ray gun that looked real enough and couldn't bring himself to draw his gun on anybody again. McClane expressed his condolences. Powell then tells that the LAPD is not calling the shots down there anymore since the FBI has taken over the situation.

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John asks Powell to tell Holly he loves her if he should die.

McClane was bandaging his foot with his dirty sleeveless T-shirt when the main power went off and he asked Powell what was going. Al tells McClane that the FBI are running the terrorist playbook step-by-step, starting with the building's power. He was getting his injured foot down on the floor as he checked in with Powell. He says he's got a bad feeling and tells him to find his wife, Holly. He wants her to tell her that he said goodbye if anything happens to him. But Powell pulls through it for her and their children. McClane wonders what Hans was doing in the machinery room and left the bathroom to find out.

Violent revenge fight with Karl[]

PDVD 102

John strings Karl up by the neck in some chains.

As McClane made it back to the machinery room on the roof access, he checks the top of the panel and sees C4 on top of it. He realized that Hans intends to kill the hostages on the roof of the building. As he tries to warn Powell on the radio, Karl held the barrel of his Steyr AUG assault rifle to McClane's cheek and took his gun and radio away. Karl tells McClane that they are both professionals, but this time, it's personal. John tricks Karl into a false sense of security before knocking Karl's gun away starting a fistfight. After landing several hits at him, Karl gets the upper hand and throws McClane down onto a stack of metal pipes. He kicks McClane in the face several times, but McClane manages to get the upper hand, angrily yelling out that Karl should heard his brother's squeal when he broke his neck.

As the brutal hand-to-hand combat continued, Karl grabs McClane's pistol and fires at McClane, hitting him in the shoulder as he retreated to the doorway that leads to the roof. As Karl followed, McClane attacked him from above, knocking the gun away. Then they wrestled on a loading cart, while McClane was yelling that he'll kill him. Then Karl gets the upper hand again. Suddenly, McClane grabs a chain and wraps it around Karl's neck and throws him off the railing. He then pulls the chain along the track and lets it go, causing Karl's hanging body to slam into the wall. McClane retakes the pistol and rushes to the roof to save the hostages.

Saving the hostages and jumping down the building[]

PDVD 111

McClane dangling on the fire hose outside the Nakatomi Plazza.

Once McClane got to the door of the building, Uli opened it. McClane kills Uli before he can react. He takes Uli's machine gun and rushed upstairs, looking for Holly. Ginny tells him that Hans took her to the vault upstairs in the 30th floor. When McClane sees a helicopter coming to the building, he yells to the hostages to get out of the roof since it's wired to blow. When they weren't responding, he fires Uli's gun up in the air to scare them away. The FBI agents mistake McClane for a terrorist and fire at him. He barely makes it off the edge of the helipad and yells out, "I'm on your side, you assholes!" McClane quickly takes a fire hose and rushed to the side of the roof to repel down. As he was tying the hose to his waist, McClane curses at himself for doing something crazy. As he goes to the ledge of the roof, he has forces himself to jump down as the FBI helicopter was coming behind him as Special Agent Johnson points his sniper rifle

PDVD 109

John is almost pulled out the window by the hose.

at him. As he jumped, the explosives on the roof were detonated, incinerating the roof and destroying the helicopter carrying FBI agents. As McClane goes down, the fire hose reel snaps off. But stops at the ledge of the it. McClane shoots through the window with his pistol and lands through the 30th floor before the reel gave out. But the reel broke and the weight of it was pulling him down. McClane was able to untie the hose in time.

As he was walking through the damaged floor, the helicopter falls and explodes on the 30th and its surrounding floors, causing more damage. McClane jumps into the water fountain to shield himself from the explosion. As he got out of the fountain, the elevator is affected by the blast and it explodes through the elevator doors. He goes upstairs to search for Holly and Hans.

Saving Holly and defeating Hans[]

PDVD 117

John arrives in the vault room.

As McClane was searching, he hears Holly screaming to Hans and Hans yelling back at her. McClane finds the magazines in Uli's gun are out. He finds that he only has two bullets left in his pistol. He finds a mail cart with Christmas-themed tape and other supplies. McClane tapes his pistol to his upper back to hide it. As he was heading for the vault, Kristoff was running with a load of bearer bonds, only to be pistol whipped by the butt end of McClane's empty machine gun. McClane arrives in the vault where Hans and his last henchman Eddie are at. Hans holds Holly at gunpoint. McClane sees that they were actually robbing the vault. Hans orders him to drop his gun. Eddie picks up his machine gun, but Hans instructs him not to shoot him. McClane puts his hands behind his head, as planned for the surprise attack. Hans says that McClane is still a cowboy. John laughs. Hans and Eddie laughed too, knowing the situation is futile. But McClane grabs his pistol taped on his back, fires the first round on Hans' shoulder and shoots the second one to Eddie's forehead, killing him instantly.

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"Happy Trails, Hans."

As Hans was falling through the window, he grabs Holly by her Rolex watch, pulling her to the ground and towards the window. Hans makes one last attempt to kill them by raising his pistol, only to fall to his death 30 stories below after McClane unclasped the watch.


PDVD 125

John and Holly embrace.

In the aftermath of the Nakatomi takeover, McClane and Holly made it out of the building. Then Al and John meet each other for the first time and they hugged. McClane introduces Al to his wife. Holly introduces herself as Holly McClane, rather than Gennero. Deputy Chief Robinson came over, demanding a debrief, including Ellis' murder, among other things such as destruction of property and interference with police business. Just as McClane was about to confront Robinson, screaming was heard behind him. Karl, who is still alive, draws his Steyr AUG assault rifle at him and Holly, hoping for one last chance to kill him. But Al manages to draw his revolver and kill him to save John and Holly. Suddenly, Argyle rams through the gates with his limousine. McClane vouches Al that

PDVD 128

McClane meeting Powell face-to-face for the first time.

Argyle is with him. As he and Holly we're heading for the limousine, reporter Richard Thornburg asks McClane for an interview. But Holly punches him in the face for interviewing her children and endangering the life of herself and her husband. Then Argyle lets them in the limousine and they kissed as they drove out of sight.

John McClane on...
Die Hard - Die Hard 2 - Die Hard with a Vengeance - Live Free or Die Hard - A Good Day to Die Hard