- When John looks utterly out of his element when he is using the computer monitor at the front desk of Nakatomi Plaza to see what floor his wife is on (realize that this is 1988):
John: Cute toy.
Guard: Yeah, if you ever have to take a leak, it'll even help you find your zipper.
- The operators roll their eyes and sighed when he said that.
- Every bit in all the movies when McClane talks to himself like a schizophrenic.
McClane: (saying what Holly said to him to have him meet up in L.A.)
"Come out to the coast! We'll get together, have a few laughs!"
"Why the fuck didn't you stop them, John? Because then you'd be dead, too, asshole!" Said after witnessing Hans shoot Takagi.
"Oh John, what the fuck are you doing?!
" Said while in the middle of a desperate and unlikely Indy Ploy
- The scene where Argyle is having a one-man party in his limo and talking on his cellphone with the music up while in the background, and Powell's car roars by while being shot at.
- And the body that John dropped on the hood flies off as Powell hits a bump.
- During his frantic running around the upper floors of the building, McClane keeps passing the same private corner in the elevator room where an engineer left a wall covered with Playboy centerfolds. His simple response is "Girls..."
- The Santa hat on Tony's dead body in the elevator takes an epic moment and adds some epic hilarity to it.
- Not to mention the way Alan Rickman reads the last part in this incredibly annoyed yet-deadpan manner. "Ho...Ho...Ho."
- John McClane dropping one of Hans' henchman's dead body onto Al's cop car just as the latter is getting ready to chalk the call up to a false alarm and leave, and Al's reaction to it, is extremely way funnier than it should be.
Powell: SHIT! GOD DAMN IT! JESUS H. CHRIST!
McClane: Welcome to the party, pal!
- Hans decides to buy time against the police by pretending to have terrorist demands for them. The "demands" he makes are for numerous terrorist prisoners around the world to be released (none of whom have any connection to him), including members of the "Asian Dawn" organization. Karl does a double take:
Karl: *mouthing* Asian Dawn?
Hans: *shrugs* I read about them in TIME magazine.
Karl: Do you think they will even try to do it?
Hans: Who cares?
- While John is crawling through an air duct: "Now I know what a TV dinner feels like."
- John McClane verbally bitch-slapping the Deputy Chief of Police when he tries to tell him to back off.
Chief: You listen to me, you little asshole. I—
John: Asshole? I'm not the one who just got butt-fucked on national TV, Dwayne! Now you listen to me, jerkoff, you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Quit being part of the fucking problem and put the other guy back on!
- Argyle was listening on this conversation, laughing.
- Immediately before:
John: Is the building on fire?
Al: No, but it's gonna need a paint job and a shitload of screen doors.
- When the FBI shuts down the electricity to the building, the electromagnetic seal on the vault is lost, and as it opens, Gruber and Theo get looks on their faces that say what they're seeing is beauty incarnate. At that moment, Ode to Joy starts playing.
- It's made even better by how (deliberately) preposterously overblown the scene is: a lens flare shines over Gruber's shoulder like the sun rising, and if you look closely, you can see his hair blowing because of a wind machine.
- Naturally, the gloriously smug Johnsons get it all wrong, with Powell remaining skeptical.
Big Johnson: Those bastards are probably pissing in their pants right now
Al: Well, what are we gonna do now, arrest them for not paying the electric bill?
- Much of Theo's dialogue.
[walking into the building with Karl]
" So Kareem rebounds, right? Feeds Worthy on the break, over to A.C., to Magic, then back to Worthy! Right?" [Karl shoots and kills the guard with a shot to the head that is perfectly timed to Theo's speech pause]
"Boom! Two points!" [SWAT team on camera]
"All right, listen up guys. 'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except... the four assholes coming in the rear in standard two-by-two cover formation." [SWAT APC comes zooming in]
"What have we here, gentlemen? The police have themselves an RV." [Karl blasts APC with rocket launcher]
"OH MY GOD, the quarterback is TOAST!
- If you pay attention after Hans shoots Takagi, you can see Karl hand a bill to Theo.
- Which is foreshadowed minutes earlier when Theo mutters "I tooold you" to Karl, who replies "it's not over yet." Implying those two had bet on Takagi's reaction probably during the planning stages. Enhancing it some more, Hans produces an scolding Death Glare during their exchange.
- When Hans tells the hostages that Takagi "won't be joining us for the rest of his life".
- When Hans tries to imitate McClane's Catch Phrase.
- When the terrorists lock-down the building for the police's initial assault, one of them positions himself in a concession stand to assemble his weapons... and help himself to some candy.
- The best bit is how he looks around to make sure nobody's watching first. He's already party to murder, terrorism, and is planning to do a lot more. But it's nicking a Nestle Crunch bar that he's worried about people seeing.
- Even better, this was a Throw It In improv by the actor, who thought that the scene could use some comic relief.
- In two scenes, Argyle talks to the teddy bear in the backseat.
(talking to John on his cell, but the connection was cut off by the terrorists)
Argyle: (to the bear) You know the number?
(after trying to find a way out, he parks his limo and sighs. He looks at his rear view mirror and sees the bear)
Argyle: Shut up.
- Special Agent Johnson and Agent Johnson. Note: no relation. Followed later by an unheard but implied question when a caller asks if the black Johnson is the one on the phone. "No, the other one."
- In a scene near the end of the movie, while McClane is walking through the wreckage of the room where the hostages had been kept for most of the movie, an elevator arrives on the floor, complete with chime, then explodes for no reason.
- An apparent throwaway scene has a beautifully condensed Take That! against pundits and anchors; The so-called terrorist expert refers to the "Stockholm Syndrome" as the Helsinki Syndrome, the anchor trying to add context "as in Helsinki, Sweden", gets the country right in his mistake, only to be corrected by the expert, "Finland"note . Cue baffled reactions and facepalms from behind the camera.
- When Hans stops pretending to be an escaped hostage and points his gun at McClane, John is surprisingly relaxed about the gun in his face, even taunting Hans a bit. Then we get this:
(Hans pulls the trigger, the gun clicks without firing)
(Hans pulls the trigger a few more times, the gun still doesn't fire)
(Elevator arrives on the floor containing several of Hans's accomplices)
Hans: You were saying?
- Before that, Hans pretending to be an escaped hostage, complete with American accent.
Oh, no! You're one of them, aren't you? You're one of them!
- The movie ends with Argyle saying "If this is their idea of Christmas, I gotta be here for New Year's."
- A member of the SWAT team pricking his hand on a rose bush.
- As Gruber and his men head up to Takagi's office on the elevator, Gruber hums a tune, then glances at Takagi.
Nice suit. John Philips, London? I have two myself. Rumor has it Arafat buys his there.
- Added bonus, the tune Hans is humming? Ode to Joy.
- The negotiation between Ellis and Hans. Ellisí hilariously smug attitude and Hansí deadpan response to him.
- The whole time, Hans has a look on his face that just screams "who the hell is this idiot?"
- After Holly goes through almost the film's entire run time after the terrorist takeover without ever seeing John again, he comes walking up to her near the end looking like he just came out of a meat grinder:
John: [deadpan] Hi honey.
- McClane finds some cigarettes on one of the terrorists.
- Although he's played mostly to be a complete fool, Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson has a couple of witty comebacks:
Dwayne T. Robinson: We don't know shit, Powell. If there's hostages, how come nobody's come to us with ransom demands, huh? If there's terrorists in there, where's their list of demands? All we know is that somebody shot your car up. It's probably the same silly son of a bitch you've been talking to on that radio.
Sergeant Al Powell: Excuse me, sir! But what about the body that fell out the window?
Dwayne T. Robinson
: Well, who knows? Probably some stockbroker, got depressed.
Powell: [about McClane] In fact, I think he's a cop. Maybe not LAPD, but he's definitely a badge.
Robinson: How do you know that?
Powell: A hunch, things he said. Like being able to spot a phony ID.
Robinson: Jesus Christ, Powell, he could be a fucking bartender for all we know.
- After watching the helicopter containing Agents Johnson & Johnson get blown up:
Robinson: [mildly concerned] We're gonna need some more FBI guys, I guess.
- Made even better by Powell giving him a look that screams, "Are you for real??"
- During the initial failed assault on the building, one of the terrorists opens fires on the LAPD. The SWAT commander passes it off as panic fire, Powell however observes in the most nonchalant manner possible that they're shooting at the spotlights. Not two seconds later, all of them are shot out, to which Dwayne yells "They're going after the lights!" Powell simply rolls his eyes in disgust.
- During the shootout between Hans, Karl, and McClane:
Hans: Karl, Schieß dem Fenster.
Karl: (gives Hans a confused look)
- Holly chewing Hans out as nothing more than a thief as he and his men collect the bearer bonds from the vault; her slightly amused grin is what really sells it.
Holly: After all your posturing...All your little speeches, you're nothing but a common thief.
Hans: (Slightly agitated) I am an exceptional thief, Mrs. McClane. And since I'm moving up to kidnapping, you should be more polite.
- The look of sheer joy on Argyle's face after he punches out Theo. He looks like a little kid thinking, "I helped!"