Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

‘Tis the season for Christmas movies, but what makes a Christmas movie a “Christmas movie?” Does it have to take place on Christmas? Must Christmas be the primary theme? Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?

It’s a question that seems to be as old as the holiday itself. Everyone has an opinion, and we could be closer to an answer than ever before.

In determining what makes a Christmas movie a “Christmas movie,” Yahoo! UK came up with a two-question litmus test. To try to determine if a movie is indeed a Christmas movie, they say you have to first ask “does watching the film at any other time of year feel weird? If no, then it’s not a Christmas movie.”

Then, they suggest you ask, “if you take Christmas out of the movie, does it still make sense? If yes, then it’s not a Christmas movie.”

Die Hard & Other Debatable Christmas Movies

I think those are fair criteria. It’s not a Christmas movie if you can watch it during the summer and have no issue. If it has the same feel in August as it does on Christmas, it shouldn’t be a Christmas movie.

Likewise, I feel like Christmas has to be the primary theme of the movie. If you can remove Christmas from the plot and it still makes sense it shouldn’t be considered a Christmas movie.

So, given these characteristics I feel like Die Hard would not be considered a Christmas movie. Despite the movie taking place on Christmas, you can watch the movie all year long. It doesn’t have to be exclusively tied to Christmas. To me, it doesn’t pass the litmus test.

In a new poll, 26% of people said that Die Hard is a Christmas movie. 50% of people surveyed said it is not. Then, 23% say they “aren’t sure.”

Die Hard isn’t the only movie that we question if it’s a Christmas movie or not. Some of the best movies of all-time could fall into this vague area. Here are five other movies that are debatable Christmas movies, just like Die Hard.

  • Mean Girls

    You can’t think about Mean Girls without thinking of the Jingle Bell Rock performance. They’re all in their Santa outfits. However, Christmas isn’t a big enough theme in the movie.

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

    Harry Potter works great year round. It’s a Christmas movie, it’s a Halloween movie, due to all the feasts it’s even a Thanksgiving movie. However, because of all these factors I don’t think it’s really a Christmas movie. Still great, though.

  • Catch Me If You Can

    A lot of the movie happens on Christmas Eve. It’s a big part of the movie. However, no way can we consider it a Christmas movie.

  • Gremlins

    It was originally marketed as a Christmas movie for kids. However, because it’s so different from the others it’s hard to call it a Christmas movie. Does it pass the test in your opinion?

  • Batman Returns

    Pretty much the entire movie takes place during the Christmas season. It’s tied very closely to Christmas. It could actually be a Christmas movie, if you think about it.

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