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The 25 Best One-Liners in Action Movies

1. “Yippee ki yay, motherfucker!”

Courtesy of: John McClane (Bruce Willis) in Die Hard (1988)

Unlike the rest of the one-liners on this countdown, John McClane’s (Bruce Willis) immortal catchphrase, “Yippee ki yay, motherfucker,” has the distinction of being uttered in every movie of its respective franchise, the Die Hard series of action flicks. Of course, it all began in 1988, when director John McTiernan’s bloody, witty, and intelligent Die Hard showed the ticket-buying community just how badass Mr. Bruce Willis can be, and what better way to solidify one’s unfuckwitable status than with four undying words?

And we all have Alan Rickman to thank. Playing the first movie’s head antagonist, terrorist leader Hans Gruber, Rickman serves the alley-oop to Willis by saying, “Do you really think you have a chance against us, Mr. Cowboy?” Whether any real-life cowboy’s actually used “yippee ki yay” a lot in conversation is up for debate, similar to how surfers probably don’t say “Cowabunga” with the frequency of “the” and “like.” But who cares—Bruce Willis made that piece of western slang a thing of resilient beauty.

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