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The McClane Family
- Badass Family: You might be a Big Bad armed to the teeth and have a brilliant Evil Plan, but the moment a McClane gets involved, disaster will inevitably follow as they stare you down with more steely courage and determination than you can possibly counter.
John McClane, Sr.
Played By: Bruce WillisA New York City Detective who, when visiting his estranged wife’s office building to reconcile with her, finds himself having to take on organised terrorists. He has a very abrasive personality, but more than makes up for it with determination and a sense of heroism.
- Action Hero: Action films, action hero.
- Action Survivor: From the second film onwards.
- Anti-Hero: He drinks, smokes, curses, bloodily dispatches his enemies, causes wide scale property damage and neglects his married life.
- The Alcoholic: In the third film a character comments that John McClane is two steps away from being a full-blown alcoholic. McClane corrects him by holding up a single finger and saying "One step."
- Badass: The essence of the character. What made the Die Hard series stand out over other action films, especially the ones from the 1980s, was that McClane is very vulnerable. Just watch his reactions with Hans, especially when he tries to convince Ellis to say they didn't know each other just to save Ellis' life in the first movie, or trying his best to signal the plane that Stuart was gonna crash. He could also barely fight when badly hurt, and had to rely on hiding and dirty tactics to overcome his enemies and stay alive.
- Badass Grandpa: From the fourth film onwards. His own son even lampshades this.
- Bald of Awesome: From the fourth film onwards. The previous three films are Balding Of Awesome.
- Being Good Sucks: He lives this trope. Over the course of all five movies, his wife has divorced him, his daughter is distant from him, he's completely estranged from his son and when he tries to save him he ends up destroying a secret CIA mission that took three years to plan, and he simply finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time at all times. His fellow officers don't seem to care much for him, he's nearly an alcoholic, he's bitter, alone, and depressed, yet time after time, he continues to save the day simply because he's "that guy", as he puts it in his own words.
- Catch Phrase: "Yipee-ki-yay, motherfucker!"
- The Chew Toy: On top of the amount of abuse he takes in each film, his life in general just sucks.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Even if he doesn't like it, but in a world filled with terrorists, incompetent cops and innocent victims, someone has to be the hero.
- Combat Pragmatist: He's not above putting hairspray in your eyes, for example.
- Cool Old Guy: From the fourth film onwards.
- Cowboy Cop: Lampshaded. In the first film, the first mook he kills tells him that he won't hurt him because there are rules for cops. He states that his captain keeps telling him that and proceeds to Pistol Whip the mook.
- Deadpan Snarker: A strong trait of his.
- Defective Detective: For John saving the day is much easier than saving a marriage.
- Dented Iron: Throughout the films, the injuries he takes leave him battered, bruised and bleeding. This is particularly notable in the first film, especially since he's barefoot for the entirety of the hostage situation.
- Destructive Saviour: Sorry, Washington DC and Moscow. Hope you have McClane insurance.
- Determinator: In the first film, he gets beat up, shot at, nearly blown up, jumps himself off a building and crashes through a glass window, his feet get lacerated, and he eventually gets shot in the shoulder. This does not stop him. The third film has him getting pistol-whipped, blown up, beaten, drowned, shot at, beaten, and blown up again. This makes him angry. In the fourth film, he is shot at, blown up, shot at some more, thrown out of a car, beaten up by a Dark Action Girl, dropped down an elevator shaft, frozen, beat up again, shot at by a jet fighter, shot, and then shoots himself. He doesn't give up at any point.
- Good Is Not Nice: Rather downplayed in the first 3 films in that his behavior's still well-meaning and heroic, just that his actions on occasion can be more violent than necessary.
- Honor Before Reason: He'll often turn down bribes and blackmail, saving the day instead.
- Heartbroken Badass: He still loves Holly, even if they are not married anymore. It becomes a factor in Die Hard 3 where he wants to get back with his wife, only for work to get in the way.
- Hypocrite: To an extent, he smokes, but tells other people that smoking is bad for you.
- Improbable Weapon User: Down to his Combat Pragmatist tendencies, he'll use plenty of Improvised Weapons to get the upper hand, including fire extinguishers, hairspray, cars, chains and whatever else comes to hand.
- Indy Ploy: Most of his "plans" are these.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Particularly in the fourth film.
- Knight in Sour Armor: He may be tired, but what matters is that he still cares.
John McClane: You know what you get for being a hero? Nothin'. You get shot at. You get a little pat on the back, blah, blah, blah, attaboy. You get divorced. Your wife can't remember your last name. Your kids don't want to talk to you. You get to eat a lot of meals by yourself. Trust me, kid, nobody wants to be that guy.Matt Farrell: Then why you doing this?John McClane: Because there's nobody else to do it right now, that's why. Believe me, if there were somebody else to do it, I'd let them do it, but there's not. So we're doing it.
- He even gives a trope-defining little speech in the fourth movie:
- Love Cannot Overcome: John and Holly clearly care about each other, but their marriage is already strained in the first movie. While Die Hard ends with them back together, ultimately their relationship can't survive John's Chronic Hero Syndrome. They're officially separated by movie three and divorced by movie four, adding to John's Knight in Sour Armor bitterness.
- MacGyvering: His ability to create makeshift gadgets to save the day would make the Trope Namer himself proud.
- Made of Iron: Over the course of each Die Hard movie John McClane takes a lot of physical abuse, but he still manages to keep fighting.
- Manly Tears: When he fails to save a plane full of innocents from being murdered in Die Harder.
- Motivational Lie: Cleverly uses one to get Zeus to help him in the 3rd movie.
- Mr. Fanservice: Many female audiences surely remember his famous Walking Shirtless Scene from the first movie.
- Mutilation Conga: It seems like each movie is just an excuse to put McClane through one of these.
- Perma Stubble: In the third movie. Because he was pulled out of bed while still hungover from a night of hard drinking.
- 4th movie as well (he was up all night borderline stalking his daughter, and then had to go all the way from NYC to DC).
- Right Man in the Wrong Place: The story of his life.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!:Simon: John. In the back of the truck you are driving, there is $13 billion worth in gold bullion. I wonder if a deal would be out of the question?John: Yeah, I got a deal for you, crawl out from under that rock you hiding under and I'll drive this truck up your ass.
- Self-Deprecation: Many of his stings. Sometimes, as he's talking to himself. ("Oh, John. What the fuck are you doing?")
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Whenever John meets someone who is snarkier then he is, there's bound to be some of them.
- The Southpaw: Since Bruce Willis is left handed so is he. Every single Video Game adaptation of Die Hard tends to forget this though.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: He's grumpier in the fourth movie, but still a good man underneath.
- Well, he was very alienated from loved ones during the time, so it might have been somewhat understandable.
- Would Hit a Girl: With his fists, with a computer monitor, with a car...
Played By: Bonnie BedeliaJohn McClane’s estranged wife. A hard working businesswoman who cares deeply for John and her children despite the separation.
- Damsel out of Distress: While she can't join the fight with her husband, she is the one person who is able to reliably get a rise out of Hans Gruber repeatedly. Furthermore, she is able to negotiate with him on behalf of her coworkers and does everything she can to hide her relationship with John for as long as she can to avoid complicating his fight with Gruber's gang.
- In Die Hard 2, she is the only one able to shut Thorton up when he is recklessly creating a panic with his news story.
- Defiant Captive: While she is held hostage like her co-workers, she doesn't hesitate to confront Hans and insult him when she needs to help one of her co-workers. Even when Hans finds out she is married to John, and she finds herself in real danger, she doesn't hesistate to insult him.
- Love Cannot Overcome: John and Holly clearly care about each other, but their marriage is already strained in the first movie. While Die Hard ends with them back together, ultimately their relationship can't survive John's Chronic Hero Syndrome. Before movie three Holly leaves John, and by movie four they're long divorced.
- Married to the Job: Moved to the west coast for the sake of her career while John stayed in New York.
- You Are in Command Now: She winds up being the hostage negotiating with the terrorists after Takagi is killed.Holly: "I have a request."Hans: "What idiot put you in charge?"Holly: "You did. When you murdered my boss. Now everybody's looking to me. Personally, I'd pass on the job. I don't enjoy being this close to you."
Played By: Mary Elizabeth WinsteadThe daughter of John and Holly McClane.
- Ascended Extra: Small role in the first Die Hard, turns out to have a major one in the fourth one.
- Defiant Captive: While Gabriel still kidnaps her, Lucy isn't about to get all upset about it.Lucy: (over the phone as Gabriel's forcing her to beg for her life): Daddy? There's only five of them now.
- Demoted to Extra: In the fifth film, where her brother was the one that was taking stage. She only appears taking John to the airport, talking to him on the phone in the extended cut, and picking both of the McClanes from the airport.
- Fiery Red Head: Red hair and a defiant, headstrong and snarky personality.
- Like Father, Like Daughter: Defiant, headstrong, snarky and very able to put a useful fight against her captors.Matt: Wow, I know that tone. It's just weird hearing it come from someone with... hair.
- Rescue Romance: At the end, it looks like Lucy and Matt are flirting hard with each other. This causes Lucy's dad even more pain than anything Gabriel inflicted on him...
John "Jack" McClane Jr.
Played By: Jai CourtneyThe son of John and Holly McClane.
- Action Duo: With his dad.
- Ascended Extra: Like his sister before him, small role in the first movie and gets to hang with his father in the fifth movie, taking down terrorists with him.
- Bald of Awesome: Well, a really close buzz cut at least.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Considering he goes by "Jack" instead of "John Jr.", he calls his dad "John" and they were estranged for so long that John had no idea where his son even was before learning he was in Russia, let alone being a CIA agent.
- The Chessmaster: Compared to his father, Jack's plan took three whole years to set up and he presumably accounted for everything... except his dad.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Jack wanted to be arrested so he could infiltrate The Mafiya/terrorists/Mafiya-terrorists and then his estranged dad suddenly appears to rescues him with a hugely destructive three-way car chase (John (small truck) vs. Jack (large truck) vs. Mafiya (giant armored truck)).
- Deadpan Snarker: Gets it from his dad.John: Need a hug?Jack: We're not really a hugging family.John: Damn straight.
- Foil: The HBO making-of seems to indicate that he is — or wants to be — The Chessmaster to John's Indy Ploy master since he's a CIA agent who deliberately puts himself in dangerous situations, is described as "by-the-book", and his secret mission took three years to set up.
- Like Father, Like Son: It's pretty clear he's just as badass as his dad.Jack: Someone's gotta stop him.
John: Atta boy.
Played By: Reginald VelJohnsonA Los Angeles beat cop who becomes McClane’s only ally outside the building in the original Die Hard. He reprises the role for the second film for a short appearance.
- The Atoner: Powell shot a 13-year-old kid who was holding a realistic-looking toy gun. The guilt he feels over the incident causes him to believe that he'll never again be able to pull his gun on somebody. Thankfully, he proves himself wrong by drawing his gun and killing a crook who is about to kill McClane at the very end of the first film.
- Bald of Awesome: Though he isn't fully bald.
- Black Best Friend: Despite not meeting each other before the end of the first film, he's John's only trustworthy helper outside the Nakatomi Plaza.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Powell is never seen or mentioned again after the second film.
- Donut Mess with a Cop: Twinkies for a change. Though he claims they're for his pregnant wife.
- My Greatest Failure: Accidentally shooting a kid because he mistakenly believed he had a gun.
- Only Sane Man: He's the only LAPD cop who realizes what's happening.
Richard ‘Dick’ Thornberg
Played By: William AthertonA sleazy reporter that hounds the McClane family in the first two movies.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Last seen lying in the snow on a Dulles runway unable to stand after being tazed during the finale of the second movie.
- Determinator: He's at least determined in getting news stories on the air, even though he's completely relentless and unethical about it.
- Entitled Bastard: He expects special treatment on a plane after doing a news story on the declining quality of airline service.
- Evil Redhead: He isn't the villain but his actions in both films, especially the second goes from just unethical to outright malicious.
- Face Death with Dignity: Averted. He was crying as the plane he was residing in with Mrs. McClane was preparing to crash land since they had no more fuel left in their tanks. (Notably, he was the only one shown crying.)
- Hate Sink: The villains are usually cool, competent or have redeeming features. Richard is a dick through and through and isn't even played for laughs.
- Jerkass: Is obsessed with his job, insults his co-workers, is generally rude towards people, and doesn’t care if his actions cause harm or get other people in trouble.
- Laser-Guided Karma: He deserves all the things that happen to him, be it a punch in the face or an electroshock.
- Paparazzi \ Strawman News Media: He's a parody of over-the-top news reporters that hound people for dramatic news stories without regards of privacy, ethics or safety.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His entire purpose in both films he appears in is to unintentionally cause trouble. In the first film, he makes the villains aware that the woman they've negotiated with is John's wife, thus getting a key hostage. In the second film he causes a massive panic in the airport, most likely injuring and possibly killing many people, as well as hampering John's efforts against the terrorists.
"I am an exceptional thief, Mrs. McClane. And since I'm moving up to kidnapping, you should be more polite."
- Played By: Alan Rickman
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Very well dressed, he even identifies Takagi's suit as John Phillips, London (Gruber has two himself, so he claims).
- Batman Gambit: He was able to anticipate the LAPD and FBI's response to him. The only thing he couldn't count on was a determined cop.
- Beard of Evil: Bearded and decidedly evil.
- Big Bad: The most memorable one for the Die Hard franchise. AFI agrees, ranking him #46 among its "Villains".
- Brief Accent Imitation: He pretends to be an American hostage to trick John. The accent is very convincing.
- The Chessmaster: He set a new standard for intelligent villains when the film first came out. He planned for just about everything, and almost anything that could have been considered a problem was just factored into the overall plan, such as the FBI responding to a terrorist attack instead of a robbery. John McClane was pretty much the only thing he hadn't planned on.
- Cultured Badass: Compares himself with Alexander the Great, after taking over the Nakatomi Building.And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer... The benefits of a classical education.
- Humorously, the quote is actually "Alexander of Macedon, who, upon hearing that there were other worlds, wept that he had not yet conquered on", which is more accurate to his fate and hints to more posturing.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Even when he apparently had McClane at his mercy, he still took the time to call Karl, Fritz and Franco to his location. This ended up paying off greatly when the gun he had turned out to be empty.
- Deadpan Snarker: Emphasis on deadpan.Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way... so he won't be joining us for the rest of his life.
- Diabolical Mastermind
- Disney Villain Death: An iconic non-Disney example.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Rickman's bass voice is put to great use.
- Facial Dialogue: Beautifully expresses a great deal of disgust and contempt without words.
- Faux Affably Evil: He puts up a polite façade, but it's all an act.
- Kick the Dog:
- Killing Takagi for not knowing the password and codes.
- And of course, his actual plan for the hostages...
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Lampshaded, he went to school in England.
- Which makes a lot of sense. We see later that he can do a spot on American accent, which shows that he has a talent for accents and English. As he studied in England, he probably took on a perfect English, the parts of German getting through is the fact that he has been working with a large group of fellow Germans for a while now.
- Pet the Dog: Allowing a couch to be moved out to the lobby so that the very pregnant woman could sit on it. But then he sends everybody onto the roof that's wired with explosives .
- Predecessor Villain: To his brother Simon in the third film.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: He never raises his voice when speaking to the hostages, which makes him more sinister.
- The Sociopath: His Evil Plan includes sending innocent hostages to the roof to be killed in an explosion whilst escaping in the confusion.
- Weapon of Choice: A Heckler and Koch P7M13 pistol.
- Western Terrorist: Subverted, his group use this as a cover for committing straightforward crimes, though Gruber is a former terrorist himself. Presumably he and the others lost their radical ideals and now just want to make a heap of money and retire.
- Wicked Cultured:"Nice suit. John Phillips, London. I have two myself. Rumor has it Arafat buys his there."
- Worthy Opponent: Is the only one among the terrorists who takes McClane seriously.
- Franchise-wise, fans note Hans is one of the series' best villains.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: As soon as he runs into John McClane, he's able to think on the spot to fake an American accent and pretend he's a hostage. During his time with John, he's very observant and notices he's going barefoot. In their next shootout he takes advantage of this by having his men fire on the glass around where John is taking cover, injuring him and causing him to drop the bag with the detonator charges Hans needed.
Played By: Alexander Godunov
- Ax-Crazy: "I want blood!"
- Badass: Fights McClane on even footing.
- Blond Guys Are Evil
- *Click* Hello: Puts his gun to McClane's cheek when the latter realizes that the roof is wired with explosives.
- Chainsaw Good: Whips out a chainsaw to cut the phone lines while Tony is disabling them.
- Combat Pragmatist: Grabs McClane's pistol during their fight and shoots him in the shoulder with it.
- Dark Is Evil: Wears a black jumpsuit.
- Determinator: He'll stop at nothing to kill John.
- The Dragon: Hans' right hand man and the biggest threat to McClane.
- Dragon Their Feet: Survives after his boss's death to make one last attempt on McClane's life. He's subsequently killed by Powell.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He's deeply affected by the death of his younger brother Tony and subsequently spends the rest of the film hell-bent on killing McClane.
- Evil Counterpart: Can be seen as one to John. Both are Badass Determinators who are Made of Iron who would do anything for their loved ones.
- Genius Bruiser: Karl may be impulsive, but he's not stupid. He almost catches McClane several times and gets the drop on him before their fight, throwing John's pistol away and crushing the radio. He also predicts that McClane will be trouble and winds up being proven right when the cop tries to warn the police and steals Heinrich's bag, not to mention killing other terrorists left and right.
- Grumpy Bear: Even before his brother gets killed, he comes off as very sullen.
- Hot-Blooded: And then some!
- It's Personal: "We are both professionals. This is personal."
- Leave Him to Me: (To Franco and Fritz): "No one kills him but me."
- Made of Iron: Big time.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Is shown to be thuggish and impulsive while Tony is calm and crafty; early on, Tony attempts to disable the phone lines electronically but Karl simply takes a chainsaw and cuts through the lines instead.
- Slasher Smile: The face he makes when he traps John's arm, punches him and starts kicking him around the room.
- Unstoppable Rage: By the end of the film, he has all but given up trying to evade capture by the police and is perfectly willing to open fire on McClane in front of dozens witnesses, including police officers, in a last ditch effort to avenge his boss and brother (and the botched robbery).
- Villainous Breakdown: His brother's death causes Karl to go off the deep end. Also see Unstoppable Rage above.
- Weapon of Choice: A Steyr AUG assault rifle and Walther PPK pistol. He also uses flash grenades.
Played By: Hart Boecher
- Drugs Are Bad: He’s seen snorting cocaine at least twice. The last is when he decides to negotiate with Hans. And we know the rest.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: One could argue he was trying to help his co-workers by getting John to surrender. Still didn't end well.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Besides giving John’s name to Hans, Richard also gets the name and cause even more trouble afterward.
- Slimeball: Comes across as this from the moment we meet him.
- Too Dumb to Live: Yes, go to the dangerous terrorist leader who isn’t above casually executing hostages and try to sell out the guy you just met earlier who happens to be far more Genre Savvy on how hostage situations works.
- Wrong Genre Savvy
Played By: De’voreaux White
- Actually Pretty Funny: Starts laughing when he hears John say that Robinson "just got buttf**ked on national TV."
- Car Fu: Uses the limo to crash into Theo's getaway car.
- One-Hit KO: How he then takes out Theo.
Played By: Clarence Gilyard Jr.
- Black and Nerdy: He's the team's hacker, he wears glasses, and doesn't have any combat skills.
- Black Dude Dies First: Averted. He's the only terrorist with any meaningful screentime to survive the movie.
- Deadpan Snarker: Gives a running commentary of the police's efforts at breaking into the building.(an armored car tries to drive into the building)Theo: Looks like the police have themselves an RV.
- The Evil Genius: The team's resident computer expert and responsible for breaking into the vault.
- Mission Control: Despite being in the field with everybody else, he still counts, since he spends most of his time away from the rest of the group trying to crack open the vault, and using the building's own security system to keep tabs on police movements outside.
- Perky Male Minion: He's notably chatty and calm, even when the rest of the villains have all lost their affable façade due to McClane's interference. It probably helps that he's not on the front lines.
- Sole Survivor: The only terrorist with significant screentime (such as Hans, Karl, Eddie, Franco, and Fritz) to survive.
"Hey we're flexible, Pearl Harbor didn't work out so we got you with tape decks."President of Nakatomi Trading.
- Played By: James Shigeta
- Baddie Flattery: On the receiving end. Hans Gruber compliments him on his nice John Phillips suit.
- Benevolent Boss: He was the one that paid for the limo that brought John to Nakatomi towers and seems to get along fine with him.
- Holly quietly tries to stop him from stepping forward during the hostage-taking, as she does what she can to protect her boss.
- Defiant to the End: After finding out Hans's true motives for holding up his tower, he flat out goads him into killing him.Takagi: Get on a jet to Tokyo and ask the Chairman. I'm telling you, you're just going to have to kill me.
- Japan Takes Over the World: Truly a man of his time. Born in Japan and raised in America, he was sent to an internment camp as a child during World War II and likes to joke about Japan's economic dominance.
- Sacrificial Lion: The big-shot of the Nakatomi building and a decent guy. He puts up some resistance and his death shows that the terrorists mean business.
Johnson and Johnson
- Big Johnson: Just like fuckin' Saigon, hey, Slick?
Little Johnson: I was in junior high, dickhead.
- By-the-Book Cop: They follow procedure to the letter. Even if it means that the hostages might suffer. This is exploited by Hans.
- FBI Agent: An agent and a special agent.
- Mistaken for Terrorist: They mistake John McClane for a terrorist (he's trying to get the hostages to run back downstairs) and Big Johnson tries to snipe him.Big Johnson: Swing around again! I'll bag this little bastard.
- One Steve Limit: Played for laughs. "Johnson and Johnson, no relation". Rather amusing given that one is white and the other is black.(over the phone) This is Agent Johnson... No, the other one.
- Police Are Useless: Though they seem more capable than the local police, in the end they aren't much more effective.
- Salt and Pepper: Big Johnson is salt, Little Johnson is pepper.
- Smug Snake: Not nearly as good as they think they are. They act tough and badass, but they play right into Hans' hand.
- Those Two Guys: They show up in the middle of the movie and mostly act as one character.
Played By: Andreas Wisniewski
- Big "NO!": Delivers several shouts of "Nein!" when Karl pulls out the chainsaw to cut the phone lines.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Like his brother.
- *Click* Hello: Ends up on the receiving end of McClane's Beretta 92F like this.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Wears a pair of glasses and is one of the bad guys.
- Neck Snap: Pushed headfirst into the floor of the stairwell by McClane, breaking his neck.
- Sacrificial Lamb: For the terrorists, the first of the group to die.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: His body is sent down the elevator by John with the message "Now I have a machine gun. Ho-Ho-Ho."
- Weapon of Choice: A HK94 with a shortened barrel and converted to full-auto as a stand-in MP5A3.
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: When John does a *Click* Hello.John (with *Click* Hello): Drop it, dickhead. It's the police.Tony: You won't hurt me.John: Oh yeah? Why not.Tony: Because you're a policeman. There are rules for policemen.John: Yeah. That's what my captain keeps telling me. (hits Tony, knocking his glasses off)
Franco and Fritz
Played By: Bruno Doyon (Franco), Hans Buhringer (Fritz)
- Bearer of Bad News: Fritz has to tell Karl his brother is dead.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Indirectly. The glass raining down on Franco after he is killed gives Hans the idea to shoot out the rest of the glass partitions, as he knows John has no shoes.Hans: Shoot the glass!
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Franco wears a leather jacket.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Fritz has long hair.
- Mauve Shirts: They have the most screen time of the Mooks, much of it with Karl and chasing McClane. Franco even gets billing during the opening credits.
- No Kill Like Overkill: Fritz gets a good portion of a submachine gun emptied into his torso and Franco is shot messily in the legs, smashes his head into a glass partition, then has glass rained down upon him.
- Oh Crap!: Fritz does one when he finds Tony's body in the elevator.
- Those Two Bad Guys: With the exception of the SWAT assault attempt (Fritz is on the 35th floor helping James bring the missiles down to the third floor, while Franco is guarding the hostages on the 30th floor), they're always in the same scene together.
- Weapon of Choice: A HK94 with a shortened barrel and converted to full-auto as a stand-in MP5A3.
Played By: Dennis Hayden
- Affably Evil: Quite cordial with Powell and wishes him a "Merry Christmas."
- Boom, Headshot: Shot in the head by John.
- The Face: Eddie spends most of the film at the guard's desk, in order to distract anyone who comes in.
- Mauve Shirt: Has a lot of screen time and makes it all the way to McClane's final confrontation with Hans.
- Villains Out Shopping: He's watching TV and (as part of his disguise) mentions he's bet 50 bucks on a game that day.
- Weapon of Choice: A HK94 with a shortened barrel and converted to full-auto as a stand-in MP5A3.
Played By: Al Leong
- Beard of Evil: He's got an impressive beard.
- The Napoleon: The shortest henchman and helps to bomb the roof.
- Oh Crap!: When he opens the door to the rest of the building after bringing the hostages to the roof and finds himself on the business end of McClane's pistol.
- The Quiet One: Says very little during his time onscreen.
- Sweet Tooth: Snags a couple of candy bars before the SWAT team attempts to assault the building.
- Token Minority: The only Asian henchman.
- Weapon of Choice: A HK94 with a shortened barrel and converted to full-auto as a stand-in MP5A3.
Played By: Lorenzo Caccialanza
- All Men Are Perverts: When the terrorists begin raiding the offices on the 30th floor, Marco is seen dragging a couple that was making out from one of the offices (the woman's breasts can be seen for several seconds). This winds up being Distracted by the Sexy since McClane uses the woman's screams as a distraction to escape.
- Car Cushion: McClane throws his body 34 stories onto Al's car, causing another terrorist to attack Powell and forcing the officer to call for assistance.
- Famous Last Words: "Next time you have a chance to kill someone, don't hesitate."
- Groin Attack: gets half of a magazine emptied into his groin (the rest went into his chest).
- Large Ham: Shouts all of his lines in his confrontation with McClane.
- Token Minority: The only Italian in the group.
- Weapon of Choice: A HK94 with a shortened barrel and converted to full-auto as a stand-in MP5A3.
Played By: Gary Roberts
- Blond Guys Are Evil
- Chekhov's Gun: His bag of explosives is stolen by John after he is killed and becomes the MacGuffin in the second act.
- Famous Last Words: "Marco, down!"
- Mad Bomber: His task is to lay explosives that will blow up the roof, killing all the hostages and covering the thieves' escape.
- Weapon of Choice: A Walther P5 pistol.
Die Hard 2: Die Harder
Played By: William Sadler
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The only villainous leader in the franchise to qualify for this trope.
- A Father to His Men/Berserk Button: Despite being a sociopath who doesn't bat an eye killing a plane full of people, he cares about his men to some extent. He's not happy when Miller returns without Cochrane and almost kills him over it. When John kills Stuart's men in the skywalk, this leads to the aforementioned plane crashing.
- Big Bad: Of the second film.
- Badass: The first Big Bad to fight McClane and actually win.
- Colonel Badass: Leads his troops with military precision.
- Brief Accent Imitation: While impersonating air traffic control in order to crash the Windsor Air plane, he speaks with a Southern accent.
- Fin Gore: During his fight with John, he stabs him in the shoulder, and John responds by biting off one of his fingers.
- Karmic Death: Sending a plane full of innocents to their deaths is pretty unforgivable. So it's only fitting that he and his mooks are blown up on a plane.
- Knife Nut: Brings out a combat knife first against John, before the cop bites him.
- Knight of Cerebus: Not that the film wasn't already serious, but even Hans Gruber didn't murder a planeful of people just to prove a point. That Stuart managed this despite John's best attempts (and his No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, below) arguably qualify him for Hero Killer status.
- Lack of Empathy: He kills a plane full of people on Christmas Eve and has zero remorse for it.
- Naked First Impression: His introductory scene had him practicing martial arts in the nude.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Beating McClane to a pulp and throwing him off the plane's wing in the finale. Of the series' Big Bads, he's the only one to physically beat the crap out of McClane. Too bad he didn't kill him, because McClane still shrugged off the beating and blew up Stuart's plane.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Okay, McClane, time for the main event!"
- The Sociopath: The only villain in the franchise to murder children, and feel nothing but cold satisfaction afterwards on top of that.
- The Stoic: Not one time does he emote to anything. He always acts and speaks with a very stoic presence. And it makes him more terrifying.
- Weapon of Choice: A Heckler & Koch MP5A5 (distinguishable from the MP5A3 by the three-round burst trigger grouping) submachine gun and a Glock 17 pistol.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Sees himself as a patriot doing whatever is necessary to combat communism and save those who would aid him in that fight.
- Would Hurt a Child: Would destroy an entire plane full of innocent men, women and children just to prove a point.
Played By: John Amos
- Evil All Along: Came to the airport under the guise of a soldier with one full platoon trying to stop Stuart, but revealed half-way through the movie that he and the entire platoon were in on the plot with Stuart and Esperanza.
- Slashed Throat: Does this to the young soldier who wasn't in on the plan.
- Turbine Blender: John knocks him off the wing they were fighting on and he is sucked into the engine and diced up.
- Weapon of Choice: A Beretta 92FS pistol.
General Ramon Esperanza
Played By: Franco Nero
- Cigar Chomper: He's seen asking his guard to light his up during the flight.
- *Click* Hello: The pilot of Esperanza's plane is being told by Stuart to land at a different runway than he has been instructed to. As he's protesting the change in orders: *CLICK* "Captain, please tell the tower you will proceed as ordered."
- Kill It with Fire: Dies in the plane explosion.
- Handy Cuffs: Esperanza uses his to strangle his guard on the plane to get access to his handcuff key.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He's clearly based on Manuel Noriega, and bears a physical resemblance to Fidel Castro.
- Intrepid Reporter: She is a refreshing change of pace from the opportunistic Thornberg. Although she initially annoys McClane with her questions, she helps John chase the villains in her news helicopter. The fact she is getting a a spectacular exclusive of McClane stopping Colonel Stuart doesn't hurt either as something she legitimately earned.
Played By: Don Harvey
- Chekhov's Gun: His MP5A3 is taken by John during the snowmobile chase. John learns the hard way that Garber's gun is filled with blank rounds, which means that the firefight was staged.=
- Good Hair, Evil Hair: His hair is perpetually slicked back.
- Killed Off for Real: Killed by John during the snowmobile chase.
- Number Two: Colonel Stuart's second in command. He's not enough of a Badass to be The Dragon.
- Weapon of Choice: A Heckler & Koch MP5A3 fitted with a scope.
Played By: Vondie Curtis-Hall
- Badass: Fights McClane twice (once in the baggage handling area and once during the snowmobile chase) and survives.
- Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: After returning to the church after Cochrane is killed, Stuart threatens him with a pistol to the forehead. He even pulls the trigger-but the gun is not loaded.Stuart: You fail me again and the chamber won't be empty. Dismissed.
- Black Dude Dies First: Averted. He makes it all the way to the final fight with Stuart and McClane and is the third to last terrorist to die, being third from the front of the plane (the explosion was in the back.)
- Combat Pragmatist: Uses luggage as weapons twice during his first fight with McClane, shooting a suitcase to knock McClane's gun out of his hand and hitting him with another.
- Eye Scream: John sprays an unknown aerosol in his face during the baggage fight.
- The Quiet One: Doesn't have another word in the film after being threatened by Stuart.
- Token Minority: The only black member of Stuart's team, apart from Grant.
- Weapon of Choice: Uses a Glock 17 and Heckler & Koch MP5K submachine gun.
Played By: Robert Patrick
- Bond One-Liner: (Deleted scene): "This is Alice, we're down the rabbit hole."
- *Click* Hello: Does a silent version by putting his gun to Barnes' temple.
- Death from Above: He has Barnes at gunpoint and is about to kill him when McClane appears from the grate above him. The grate lands on him, preventing him from moving his hands until McClane shoots and kills him.
- Kill and Replace: Murders two painters in a deleted scene for their uniforms.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "A sitting duck." (Delivered to a SWAT officer to start the skywalk shootout).
- Weapon of Choice: Uses a Glock 17 and Heckler & Koch MP5K submachine gun.
Played By: Peter Nelson
- Bond One-Liner: "This is Buckwheat. The clubhouse is open." (After Baker kills the church keeper).
- Death from Above: He's the one who resets the ground level to -200 feet, resulting in the crash of Windsor 114.
- The Evil Genius: The technical expert of Stuart's crew.
- Killed Off for Real: Shot in the throat by John when Stuart goes to pick up Esperanza at the airport. It's quite bloodless.
Played By: Tony Ganios
- The Brute: The strongest of Stuart's men, who comes the closest to killing McClane through strength rather than martial skill.
- Eye Scream: McClane stabs an icicle into his eye.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "You're right about that."(When the church keeper states he feels like a part of him is dying with the church).
- Weapon of Choice: A Glock 17 pistol and a knife.
'''Played By: John Leguizamo
- Chainsaw Good: Uses a chainsaw to cut the ILS landing system lines.
- The Cracker: Hacks the church's power grid so the terrorists can use the equipment.
- Kill It with Ice/Kill It with Water: Crashes into the icy pond outside the church during the snowmobile chase.
- The Medic: Shown patching up a gunshot wound Esperanza suffered when Stuart came to pick him up.
- Weapon of Choice: A Heckler & Koch MP5K submachine gun.
Played By:John Costelloe
- Blasting It out of Their Hands: Shoots an aerosol can out of John's hand during the baggage handling fight.
- Death from Above: John jumps him from above, causing both of them to fall onto the conveyor belt.
- Faking the Dead: Apparently killed in a helicopter crash two years before the film. This is the first real clue to John that something is wrong.
- No Kill Like Overkill: He is beaten to a pulp by John, then held on a conveyor belt to the electrical baggage press before a roller either crushes his head or electrocutes him.
- Sacrificial Lamb: The first of the terrorists to die.
- Weapon of Choice: A Glock 17 pistol.
Die Hard with a Vengeance
Played By: Samuel L. Jackson
- Accidental Misnaming: "Why do you keep calling me Jésus?! Do I look Puerto Rican to you?"
- Action Duo: With McClane.
- Noble Bigot: Zeus' Establishing Character Moment reveals he has a severe grudge against white people. He still saves John's life and teams up with him to defeat Simon.
- Papa Wolf: When he finds out that the school bomb is planted in the same school his nephews attend, the first thing he does is threaten to shoot Simon.
Simon Peter Gruber
Played By: Jeremy Irons
- Affably Evil: A very polite terrorist and thief. This works against him when he gives McClane a bottle of aspirines containing relevant infomation. Steers towards Faux Affably Evil when he's robbing the bank.
- Back Up Twin: Straddles the line.
- Badass: Takes a more physical approach than his brother, and can go toe to toe with McClane. His backstory reveals he was an East German Special Forces Colonel who turned terrorist.
- Batman Gambit: Wreaks havok to divert law enforcement attention from his real target.
- Big Bad: Of the third film.
- Big Brother Instinct: He may not have liked Hans, but... "There's a difference between not liking your brother and not caring when some dumb Irish flatfoot drops him out a window."
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Blonde and a bad guy.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Simon betrays his Middle Eastern clients by trying to keep the gold instead of blowing it up and then tries to maximise his share. He keeps at least some of his accomplices in the dark about the ultimate fate of the gold, and then kills them when they find out. In the alternate ending, he's killed his girlfriend as well a few months after the movie's over.
- Criminal Mind Games: Subverted, his quests are all part of a misdirection.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In spite of the money at stake, he will not murder children in cold blood for it. After all, "I'm a soldier, not a monster...though I sometimes work for monsters."
- Evil Sounds Deep: Like his brother.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He gave McClane a bottle of aspirin, which gave him the location of their hideout in the climax.
- Large Ham: Like Scar in the previous year, Jeremy Irons seems like he has a lot of fun playing charming and devious villains.
- Laughably Evil: His brother in the first film has shades of this (mostly due to being a Deadpan Snarker) though Simon is ultimately more humorous.
- Noble Demon: The kind of leader a band of warriors have is reflected in their behavior, for unlike most moustache-twirling one-dimensional villains, Simon's men actually go out of their way to make sure children will not be hurt in their operations, and actually bother to mourn the losses of their brothers before rejoicing in their ill-gotten money. Goes hand-in-hand with Even Evil Has Standards above.
- Not So Different: Both he and McClane are suffering from headaches (no thanks to each other) throughout the movie.
- Porky Pig Pronunciation: Though out the film, Simon seemed to have a stutter of sorts when talking over the phone when "pushed". However, in the scenes when he wasn't speaking to the NYPD, he talks and speaks perfectly fine and fakes a stutter while calling New York police gullible, indicating it was just a ruse.
- Would Not Hurt A Child: An honorable and humane quality that sets Simon apart from normal Hollywood villains such as Colonel Stuart above.
Played By: Sam Phillips
- The Voiceless: The original ending to the movie suggests she may be mute, but in the final cut she does yell when shooting at McClane. She was originally supposed to have a speaking part in the film; however, it was decided that her character would be silent, since it made her appear much more imposing and lethal. This makes the scene where she slices one of the Federal Reserve guards to death much more powerful.
Played By: Nicholas Wyman
- Bomb Throwing Anarchist: Unlike most of Simon's troops, he actually did seek to "level the economic playing field" of the world. He is quite angry when he finds out that Simon is Only in It for the Money.
- The Dragon: Shares this role with Katya, but he gets the big fight with McClane.
- Made of Iron: McClane stabs a big sharp piece of metal into his leg and it does nothing to him.
Live Free or Die Hard/Die Hard 4. 0
Played By: Justin Long
- Deadpan Snarker: McClane's humor is contagious even for his sidekicks.
- Genre Savvy: Refuses to comply with Gabriel's demands even at gunpoint, knowing Gabriel will kill him regardless. It's only when he puts the gun on Lucy that he finally gives in.
- Motor Mouth: Talks about a mile a minute, which contrasts against John's more laconic nature.
- Non-Action Guy: While Matt is a bit of a wimp when it comes to fighting, he knows all the hacker tricks McClane needs to defeat Gabriel.
- Sword and Sorcerer: Has this dynamic with John; he often needs McClane to fend off bad guys long enough to hack into whatever Gabriel is up to, but can stall Gabriel's plans and figure out his plans in ways that non-tech-savvy McClane could not on his own. Their combination of brains and brawn save the day.
- Took a Level in Badass: Though he does later pick up a gun and shoots Gabriel's other Dragon during the final showdown.
Played By: Cliff Curtis
Played By: Željko Ivanek
- Number Two: To Bowman.
Played By: Timothy Olyphant
- Big Bad: For the fourth film.
- Fallen Hero: In a way. He wanted to protect the country. Then he decided that infinite wealth would be kind of nice.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Doubly so; shot by McClane with his own gun, through a bullet wound that he was torturing McClane with.
- It's Personal: He really doesn't like John killing Mai well.
- Jerkass: Described as "not a people person."
- Unholy Matrimony: With Mai.
- Smug Snake: He believes himself to be on a higher intellectual plane then everyone else, particularly McClane.
- The Sociopath: Has no problem with ruining an entire country by stealing all of its money, or how many people he murders in the tunnel to flush out McClane and Farrell. And that's not going into what happened when he blew the gas mains after Mai died. To be honest, he wouldn't give a shit.
- Weapon of Choice: A Jericho 941 pistol in stainless steel.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: At least he claims to be. The fact that he's "getting paid for his work" kind of makes this hard to believe, though.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
- Does this to the hackers who gave their codes to Mai; this is where John gets involved, when Gabriel tries to eliminate Farrell and John gets there first.
- Has all of his tech experts except Trey killed after they complete their task for him near the end of the movie.
Played By: Maggie Q
- Dark Action Girl: Battles it out with John.
- Disney Villain Death: Dropped down an elevator shaft in an SUV, which explodes.''John: "Mai? Oh yeah. Little Asian chick, likes to kick people? I don't think she'll be talking to anybody for a really long time. Last time I saw her she was at the bottom of an elevator shaft with an SUV rammed up her ass."
- The Dragon: To Gabriel.
- Made of Iron: Gets run over by an SUV and survives.''John: "How you doing?"
- Sacrificial Lion: Most people were probably not expecting her to die comparatively early in the film.
- Unholy Matrimony: With Gabriel.
Played By: Jonathan Sadowski
- Character Death: Shot in the chest by McClane.
- Evil Counterpart: To Matt Farrell.
- The Evil Genius: Although Gabriel is enough of an evil genius.
- Lack of Empathy: When the hackers put up the first video message, his only reaction is that he tried to put in more Nixon.
Played By: Kevin Smith
- In Universe Nickname: His real name is Frederick.
Played By: Cyril RaffielliA French mercenary who is tasked with killing the hackers who passed their algorithms to Mai.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: The only blond person in the cast and he's quite evil.
- Co-Dragons: With Mai and Emerson, then later with Emerson after Mai's death.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: John kicks a switch that releases liquid nitrogen that freezes Rand's arms, causing him to fall into a turbine, shredding him to death.
- Hired Guns: A French mercenary.
- Le Parkour: Has amazing acrobatic skills.McClane: "Jesus, is the circus in town?"
- Mad Bomber: His modus operandi is to rig the hackers' computers with bombs, then activate a virus. When the hacker presses delete to close windows, the bomb is triggered.
- Oh Crap!: When he sees a police car flying at the helicopter he's in. He makes it out, the pilot doesn't.
- The Unintelligible: Only speaks French.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: His job is to cover Gabriel's tracks by killing people.
Played By: Eduardo CostaAnother mercenary who is in league with Gabriel and third-in-command under him and Mai.
- Beard of Evil: Has a beard and is one of the bad guys.
- Co-Dragons: With Mai and Rand to Gabriel.
- The Cracker: Responsible for downloading the money that Gabriel wants. That is, everyone's money.
- Dragon Their Feet: Tries to shoot McClane when the latter shoots Gabriel, only to be shot dead by Farrell.
- Dressing as the Enemy: His unit wears Hazmat suits when they infiltrate Woodlawn.
- Hired Guns: His unit is described as "hardware" to the hackers' "software."
- Human Shield: Uses Lucy as one during the final standoff.
- Oh Crap!: When he captures Farrell and realizes that he's been locked out of the system.
A Good Day to Die Hard
Played By: Sebastian Koch
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Irina. Though in truth, he is the one behind it all.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Irina is his daughter.
- Walking Spoiler: Possibly a first in the Die Hard series.
Played By: Yuliya Snigir
- Avenging the Villain: What she tries to do after seeing that Jack had killed her father, while she was losing control of the Mi-26 Halo cargo helicopter she was piloting due to John's interference. It leads to her ramming the Halo right into the building the McClanes, only for them to have already escaped, leading to her death.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Somewhat with Yuri. He is the one who does most of the orchestrating, though she manages to hold her own.
- Biker Babe: First scene shows her on a bike.
- Daddy's Little Villain: She fits this trope perfectly.
- Dark Action Girl: She's a girl who's not afraid to get her hands dirty.
- The Dragon: To Yuri.
- Final Boss: She is the final antagonist who the Mc Clanes face.
- Hellish Copter: How she died.
- The Mole: To Chagarin.
- Revenge Before Reason: She rams her Halo cargo helicopter to kill the McClanes when she notices that they've already jumped out of the building she was about to crash into just to kill them.
Played By: Radivoje Bukvic
- Boom, Headshot: How Komorov kills him. Of course, he continues to fire into the body long after he had shot the guy.
- Large Ham: The dude dancing a jig in front of John, while kicking away their weapons.
- Psycho for Hire: Enjoys destruction and carnage while doing his job.
Played By: Sergei Kolsenikov