It's a common theme in the meme community that Die Hard is a Christmas movie:

There are two types of people in the world those who think Die Hard is a Christmas movie and those who are wrong it's not Christmas until i see Hans Gruber fall from Nakatomi Tower

I've seen Die Hard and other than taking place at Christmas, what else does it have to do with Christmas?

  • 2
    @Napolean-Wilson I'd like to submit this question for the Christmas Topic Challenge
    – Coomie
    Dec 22, 2017 at 2:14
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    I'm afraid you might have answered your own question (while also seeming like you don't think it's THE answer). It's really that it just takes place at Christmas - and the producers/director chose to embrace that, including Christmas music and various Christmas references like "Now I have a machine gun, ho ho ho."
    – LevenTrek
    Dec 22, 2017 at 2:33
  • 1
    The movie begins with a corporate Christmas party. It's an xmas movie simply because of the film's setting.
    – Charles
    Dec 22, 2017 at 4:21
  • Hello! It might be beneficial to edit a link to the movie into your question for users who aren't familiar with it :) Dec 22, 2017 at 21:19

2 Answers 2


We could debate the content of the film and what subjectively qualifies as a Christmas movie, but instead, I'll use this objective, quantitative definition:

A movie is a "Christmas movie" if either of the following criteria are true:

  • A substantial number of people watch it at Christmas
  • People say that it is a Christmas movie when directly asked

How does Die Hard fit with this definition?

More people watch Die Hard during Christmas Eve than other popular Christmas movies

Dish Network posted some statistics which they said was "100% Proof Die Hard is a Christmas movie". Some highlights:

  • During the 2016 holiday season, 2.4 million people watched Die Hard. The number rises to 4.3 million if you include Die Hard 2. Both take place on Christmas Eve.
  • Die Hard was the 10th most watched movie Christmas Eve 2016, beating out unambiguously Christmas movies* such as The Santa Clause, Home Alone, and Love, Actually
  • More hours of Die Hard were watched on Christmas Eve than Miracle on 34th Street and Home Alone combined
  • More people saw Die Hard than Miracle on 34th Street during November and December

They also provide a rebuttal to the claim that it is disqualified from being a Christmas movie because it had a theatrical release in July, since Miracle on 34th Street was released in May. Since the latter is considered a Christmas movie, that can't be a disqualifying criteria.

* Wikipedia says that The Santa Clause is "a 1994 American Christmas fantasy family comedy film", and the Wikipedia articles for the other films listed in these statistics similarly identify them as "Christmas" films.

Surveys show there is a generational divide over those who believe Die Hard is a Christmas movie

Public Policy Polling does a number of surveys, mostly related to American politics. Every once in a while, they'll do a silly poll, such as their December 2017 report on Christmas issues, which included this:

Finally we polled on the perennial debate of the season- only 17% of voters think ‘Die Hard’ is a Christmas movie, to 55% who say it isn’t. But that does reflect increasing awareness for ‘Die Hard’ as a Christmas movie- 2 years ago only 13% thought it was, and 62% said it wasn’t. Much like gay marriage or marijuana legalization this is a generational issue, with younger voters much more likely to fall into the ‘it’s a Christmas movie’ camp. If this rate of change continues Americans will consider Die Hard to be a Christmas movie by 2025.

Given that the meme creators (and consumers) are more likely to be younger, the people who made the memes in the question are also more likely to think that Die Hard is a Christmas movie.


A Christmas movie:

Is it about getting back with family or just about family on Christmas time?
Is there a theme where bad people are being punished and good being rewarded?
Does it have a theme of a man in a small space trying to get somewhere to give someone something?
Does it involve jolly "HO HO HO"?
Are there fireworks near the end of the movie?
Is there sound of Christmas bells in the movie?

If you answer "YES" to all those question then you have a Christmas movie. Die Hard is a Christmas movie like that one with Tim Allen. Where protagonist is a member of a family and Santa Claus at the same time.

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