In Die Hard 2 Holly and Dick have a heated exchange in the plane and she says something like "Listen, buster. You endangered my children and you didn't do it for anything as noble as the people ..."

In Die Hard his news report causes her to give away who she is to a very astute Hans but I am not aware of them actually being in danger. I always assumed it was a retcon to make Dick more villainous and Holly more sympathetic to the audience.

However, my brother in law thought that there was a chance that Hans could order someone to come after the children.

Have I missed a reference in the film that makes this likely?

3 Answers 3


It may not have endangered the children physically, but it definitely endangered their well-being because it greatly increased the chances that they would have ended up orphaned that night.

I don't think that Hans would have sent someone after the children, but because it gave him the knowledge that Holly was someone important to John, it enabled him to use her as leverage against him.

  • 1
    This was my view too. He endangered her life and John's (and technically all of the other hostages too) but there was no physical threat to the children that I noticed.
    – Stefan
    Feb 14, 2014 at 15:04
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    Holly's reaction could be explained as simply that of a very protective mother. Even though it was her life that was threatened, her first thought was for her children.
    – Roger
    Feb 14, 2014 at 15:06
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    Hmmmm ... maybe, I suppose. It still strikes me as just a retcon though - unless I have missed something of course! :-)
    – Stefan
    Feb 14, 2014 at 16:21
  • I don't think you've missed anything. Note that she says "you endangered my children" and not "you endangered my children's lives". There's lots of types of danger. I think she was just very angry with Dick because his interference escalated the situation needlessly.
    – Roger
    Feb 14, 2014 at 16:25
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    @Zoredache I don't think he could have spared the manpower to sneak someone out of the building, past the cops, across town, and into Holly's home to get to the children. John was a variable that Hans hadn't counted on, and he was already scrambling enough in the wake of his interference. I think it was enough in Hans' mind that he had the mother of John's children; he didn't need the additional headache of trying to figure out how to get to the actual children.
    – Roger
    Feb 14, 2014 at 20:39

He endangered her children in multiple ways:

  1. sending his TV cronies and who knows who else to the kids' house that night, when only the housekeeper was there to protect them

  2. giving Hans valuable information and thereby endangering Holly and John, the kids' parents

  3. putting the kids' faces on TV at an extremely vulnerable moment

  4. exposing the kids' identities to Hans and/or his allies for possible future retribution


While Roger's answer sounds reasonable enough, I think that there is a possibility that Holly is referring to some event between the two movies and unknown to us.

There are several hints throughout the movie that there was a lot of media fuss around John after the events at Nakatomi Plaza. It is not that far-fetched that Thornburg, an unscrupulous and fame-greedy reporter, went beyond simply paparazzing John and Holly.

And if we take a look at the hit from the ending of Die Hard, Holly punched Thornburg's nose (well, it's clear that Bonnie Bedelia actually missed William Atherton, but her hand is in the height of his nose), and not his mouth (to take out two of his teeth):

Right before the punch

The punch

And he's holding his nose, not spitting teeth:


As John and Holly enter the limo, Thornburg also asks the cameraman "Did you get that?", clearly and with no blood going out of his mouth (or nose, for that matter, meaning that the punch was not that hard).

I don't think that this was ever thought through by the writers or the directors of either movie. It's just a small comedy element, but since this question is here, I t think that this is a possible explanation.

  • That's not a bad thought, since I wouldn't think a single punch would have been enough to have sent Thornburg off to get a restraining order against Holly.
    – Roger
    Jan 8, 2015 at 15:13
  • @Roger - Since Thornburg is portrayed a pretentious, whiny prima donna who was humiliated on camera, I'd think that single punch would have been plenty, because of his ego. Just my opinion. Dec 1, 2016 at 16:09
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    @AndrewMattson You're right, but he'd still need a judge to agree with him, which I don't see likely, given the absence of blood, the whole situation this has happened in, and this being the eighties, which were less politically correct and sensitive time. Dec 1, 2016 at 18:24
  • @VedranŠego - having the violence publicly documented, being in celebrity-crazed LA, and my guessing she was completely unrepentant, if not proud of what she did, I think a judge could be swayed, possibly just by the prospect of favorable TV coverage. :D Dec 1, 2016 at 19:23

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