There were more than enough iconic moments in the classic action film, “Die Hard,” that are still referenced today. Bruce Willis even recently reprised his John McClane role, smashing through glass and shimmying through a metal crawlspace in a recent Die Hard car battery commercial (what took them so long?). One iconic moment from the film, which will probably never be spoken in a commercial, is when McClane, speaking to Hans via walkie-talkie, signs off with, “Yippee-ki-yay, mother****er.” During his interview, the film’s writer, Steven de Souza, explains how that line originated from an old TV show, one that Willis watched, as well.
Before filming, de Souza met up with Willis while he was filming his TV series, “Moonlighting.” There they discovered that they both grew up near the Philadelphia area, even playing under the same Atlantic City boardwalk as kids. It was during this conversation that they realized they watched the same Philadelphia TV stations. “And we start talking about the kid shows we used to watch in the same Philadelphia stations, including ‘The Roy Rogers Show,’ who used to say Yippee-ki-yay, kids!”
This connection between the actor and writer led to the line being included in the movie, yet as the Independent reports, its pronunciation caused a debate on set. “We had a really adult conversation about what was the proper way to say it,” Willis recalled. “Was it ‘Yippee-ki-yay, mother****er’ or ‘Yippee-ti-yay, mother****er?’ I’m glad that I held on to ‘Yippee-ki-yay.'”