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In the Die Hard film series, John McClane (Bruce Willis) repeatedly utters the phrase "Yippie Ki Yay" followed by an Oedipal profanity. Needless to say, television broadcast standards in the 1980s required such profanities to be altered before broadcast. Some of these alterations were more creative than others, leading to various running jokes in pop culture.

One lasting impression multiple people have is that McClane said "Melon Farmer" instead of the profanity. However, I have not been able to find documentation of this. I have found video of "Mister Falcon," but not "Melon Farmer." This leads me to think that "Yippie Ki Yay Melon Farmer" might just be an urban legend. However, it is very possible that at least one TV edit did indeed say "Melon Farmer."

Is there concrete evidence, beyond just "I remembered it that way" that at least one television edit of Die Hard or one of its sequels had the sentence: "Yippie Ki Yay Melon Farmer"?

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    It is a running joke on the Kermode and Mayo Film Review podcast- because that show is originally broadcast on UK radio during the daytime so profanities cannot be used. I believe it was an original joke and not them repeating known overdubbing though. I don't have enough evidence for an answer however. – iandotkelly Jul 13 '17 at 13:44
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    I don't remember hearing 'Melon Farmer' but there was a horrible version that used 'Mr. Falcon'. – SDH Jul 13 '17 at 17:01
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    The "Melon Farmer" substitution came to fame in Alex Cox's 1984 film "Repo Man". When he collaborated in a TV friendly version, he came up with the Melon Farmer synonym, (which was his favourite) and other creative "swearing".The family friendly version, thanks to its creative use of language became a cult movie in its own right. Since then "Melon Farmer" has taken on a life of its own. – Laconic Droid Jul 13 '17 at 20:13
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    Almost totally unrelated, but my fav example of this is from Snakes on a Plane: "I have HAD it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday-to-Friday plane!" – ell Jul 13 '17 at 21:35
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    @sgroves That seems almost more vulgar than the original line, somehow. – Darren Ringer Jul 14 '17 at 12:47
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Most TV edits of McClane's line are changed to "Yippie Ki Yay, my friend", not "melon farmer", though such an edit may exist.

But, in Die Hard With a Vengeance, Samuel L. Jackson's character (Zeus) has the same vulgar word replaced to be "You racist melon farmer!" This is probably where the idea of McClane saying it came from.

Best evidence I can find is someone mentioning this edit for a version aired on TNT in 2008: https://www.flickfilosopher.com/2008/08/you-racist-melon-farmer.html

Here's a similar tweet from 2016: https://twitter.com/scottmadin/status/744258274799685633

And for context, here's the unedited scene in question: NSFW

NSFW

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The video of Samuel L. Jackson saying "melon farmer" in Die Hard with a Vengeance is on LiveLeak. The only version I could find on YouTube (the only embeddable video on Stack Exchange) got removed by a Hollywood studio. I remember "melon farmer" from the first time I saw the movie on television, maybe 15-20 years ago, and it's something that sticks out in your mind.

As SDH said, there are many "Mr. Falcon"-dubbed videos out there from the first movie. That's almost as good as "melon farmer," but let's be honest: nothing is as good as "melon farmer." I assume this is why "melon farmer" made the meme cut and "Mr. Falcon" placed 2nd. After exhaustive searching due to Bruce Willis being a dear friend of my television, I could not find any version of the first movie where he says "melon farmer."

The video I linked at the top only shows two instances.

  • @Skooba You are correct, and I knew better. It was a little too late at night when I made that edit, I'd just realized I had little to offer other than my memory of it and a link to the vid. Thanks to all for editing, I only made a few changes to say that I remember it from some time ago and to make it clear that it wasn't Hollywood Studio but a Hollywood studio that removed the youtube vid. – JackArbiter Jul 14 '17 at 16:30

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