‘What idiot put you in charge?’ – Alan Rickman’s Best Hans Gruber Quotes

After the world sadly lost legendary British actor Alan Rickman, beloved for his witty performances in films such as Harry Potter and Love Actually, we look back at one of his less storybook (but still stellar) roles. That of the villainous German terrorist Hans Gruber, from 1988 action thriller Die Hard.

Apart from causing Bruce Willis to limp around the top floor of a skyscraper for two hours straight, Gruber is also remembered for perhaps the best fake German accent in cinematic history. He makes good use of it too, reeling off zinger after zinger in arguably Rickman’s most cherished performance. We’ve rounded up the greatest quotes from an iconic role.


“When they touch down, we’ll blow up the roof, they’ll spend a month sifting through rubble, and by the time they work out what went wrong, we’ll be sitting on a beach, earning twenty percent.”

It’s a nice plan sure, but as we all know things don’t work out quite so peachy. Still, the tense pause and wry smile from Rickman make for a perfectly sinister delivery that causes us to love ol’ Hans even more.

“Touching, Cowboy. Touching. Or should I call you Mr McClane? Mr. Officer John McClane of the New York Police Department?”

One of many contretemps between muscle-bound hero John McClane and our suited-and-booted scoundrel, this searing putdown is one of the best. Their burgeoning relationship is built on this kind of outrageous flirting.

“What was it you said to me earlier? “Yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker.”


That’s right, Rickman’s only gone and stolen his co-star’s best line of the film.

“I wanted this to be professional, efficient, adult, cooperative. Not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way… so he won’t be joining us for the rest of his life.”

Normally, when a character’s just killed a man they aren’t quite so flippant. But then again, we aren’t dealing with any old run-of-the-mill bad guy, this is Hans fucking Gruber.

“I’m going to count to three. There will not be a four.”

Careful boys, H-Grub ain’t messing about, just ask poor Mr Takagi…

“I could talk about industrialisation and men’s fashion all day but I’m afraid work must intrude.”

And you thought it was all work and no play for our esteemed man about town? How wrong you were! You can also bet Rickman’s lip-smackingly evil mastermind can hold his own against the other crime overlords with those kind of conversation topics in his locker. But of course, work must come first.

“That’s a nice suit… It’d be a shame to ruin it.”

Again, watch it buster.

“We can go any way you want it. You can walk out of here or be carried out. But have no illusions. We are in charge.”

Everyone’s favourite euro-baddie wants you to know he’s a reasonable bloke. Do as he says and everything’ll be hunky dory. Don’t, and… well, we reckon you can work it out.

“What idiot put you in charge?” and “You idiot. It’s not the police, it’s him!”

For pity’s sake Hans, why do you work with these morons? You need to swap recruiting agencies or something. We hear Dopey Henchmen ‘R’ Us are looking for some new clients?