Early in Die Hard, we are introduced to the businessman Ellis in a scene in which he snorts coke in Holly Gennaro's office.

Later in the movie - in what turns out to be his final scene - Ellis is in Holly Gennaro's office again, this time with Hans Gruber. At one point, one of Hans's men offers a can of Coke to Ellis, and then pours it into a drinking glass.

Is it just a coincidence that Ellis appears with coke in his first scene, and then appears with Coke in his final scene? If not, what is the meaning?

(This question was inspired by this Reddit post.)

  • Ohhhh...I always thought that Ellis asked for the coke. I will have to rewatch! Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 1:10
  • There is no on-camera dialogue about the Coke on-camera... but it could very well have happened off-camera... in fact, the Reddit post posits that he asked for coke and got Coke
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 1:29
  • 2
    Why would he assume that the terrorists / criminals holding everyone hostage would have bring with them or have access to cocaine? Seems a stretch to say the least. He has (as we've already seen) some in his possession already.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 1:37
  • 4
    @iandotkelly all good points. I don't buy that theory either. But I think the imagined off-camera dialogue went something like this: Gruber, ever polite, says "can we get you anything?" Ellis, ever a smart-ass - and also high on cocaine - attempts a joke with "how about some coke?" Gruber's man doesn't get the joke... comes back with Coke.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 1:54

1 Answer 1


The script (p.83) clearly indicates that the Diet Coke was scripted

 Ellis has a cigarette, and a terrorist brings him a Diet coke.

...but there is nothing in the script (unshot or otherwise) about Ellis asking for a Coke, drink or coke/drugs so, I think, we must assume that this is just co-incidental.

  • 1
    Out-of-universe: likely either a product placement or seen as exactly what a person with Ellis' personality would drink. Or both. Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 19:43
  • 2
    I'm not sure we can assume it's coincidental just because the script does not explain it. After all, there is at least one other moment in the film that clearly has meaning despite lack of explanation in the script: right after Hans kills Takagi, Karl hands Theo some money, suggesting they had a bet on whether Hans would do the dirty deed. The script does not explain the backstory - it just says "Karl, in the midst of handing Theo a fifty dollar bill, nods.". reddit.com/r/MovieDetails/comments/7wjm0m/…
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 17:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .