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The X-Files – Did You Miss Something ?

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posted on May, 19 2018 @ 05:13 PM

This post is for both casual and slightly more obsessed X-Files fans. Whether you’ve followed it fanatically since the 1990s or have only recently caught up with its modern revival. There are 11 seasons of the X-Files to date.

This post is aimed at pointing out a few of the ‘less than obvious’ things that go on in the show. Please take it in the light hearted way it was intended. Hopefully it will also make you think again when you next watch an X-Files episode or two.

Please note that (S1 E1) is used to denote the Season and Episode numbers for ease of reference. This post also assumes you are familiar with the X-Files to some degree

I’ll start with a little conundrum. These are the FBI ID cards of Mulder and Scully. What is wrong with them?

We’ll come back to this one later.

The Poster

The “I Want to Believe” poster appears in the X-Files at the same time that we first meet Mulder in the pilot episode. Displayed on his office wall is the iconic hovering ‘sports model’ flying saucer (as once described by Robert Lazar a character ever present in UFO lore since the X-Files first premièred).

The poster has featured on-screen in every season of the X-Files and also the two spin-off movies to date. In fact the 2008 movie took its title “The X-Files - I Want to Believe” from the poster. It has also made appearances in the recent X-Files revival that brought Mulder and Scully back to the small screen after a long, long time away.

By Season 10, Scully even has her own copy. ("What are you doing to my poster?" she says, after catching Mulder using it as a dartboard!). A nice little twist to the X-Files narrative.

Perhaps what stuck in the mind more was Mulder exploring the remnants of his former basement office in the show. Mulder trashes the I WANT TO BELIEVE poster underfoot.

Another hidden in plain sight feature of Mulder’s office, often cited, is the picture on his wall that looks very similar to Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks (a show David Duchovny played the part of a cross dressing DEA Agent Dennis Bryson prior to the X-Files)

Hmm I’m not sure on that one!. Are there any better close-ups out there?

The Pencils

This is an ongoing feature of the show, that may have gone under many people’s noses, or perhaps above their heads. Mulder has a bit of a thing for pencils. A quirky tendency dating back to the fifth season of The X-Files. (Who needs darts when you've got a freshly-sharpened set of pencils and a whole lot of time on your hands?)

Mulder’s pencil-throwing penchant seems to play no important part in the overall story arc of the show. But has been a continuing in-joke that the producers randomly inserted into some episodes for their sharper eyed fans.

In some later episodes, pencils can be see stuck in the ceiling at Mulder's home — and in the 2016 revival, Scully walks into her own office to find Mulder chucking sharpened pencils at ‘her’ beloved UFO poster. Old habits obviously die hard.

Repeating Numbers

Some numbers seem to crop up repeatedly in the show. The X-Files production company is called Ten Thirteen. This is the date of the creator of the X-Files Chris Carter’s birthday. The 13th of October. You will often see it featured in numerical form or as a date throughout the series.

October 13th is Fox Mulder’s birthday.

The X-Files Movie was released on home video on October 13th , 1999.

DF101364 - The file number of an X-File investigating the disappearance of Colonel Robert Budahas. Deep Throat (S1 E1)

Silo 1013 was a nuclear missile silo that contained a UFO and an imprisoned Alex Krycek in ‘Apocrypha’ (S3 E16).

‘End Game’ (S2 E17) - 27m38s into video. Email shown From Mulder, "To - Dana Scully, 001013"

‘Requiem’ (S 7 E22) - In the first scene the officer calls in a "1013" when he arrives at the crash site.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1013 - an agreement that any nation that obtains an alien life form must immediately eradicate it – ‘Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man’ (S4 E7).

The numbers 11:21 in time or date format also feature regularly throughout the show. Sometimes on clocks other times as room numbers or file numbers. This is because Chris Carter’s wife was only 11 when he met her and twenty one when he married her and the 21st November is coincidentally her birthday. 

Elvis Lives

A running theme throughout the X-Files is Mulder’s conviction that Elvis Presley remains alive and did not die way back in August 1977. There are a number of episodes that feature references to the ‘King’.

In the episode Shadows – Mulder proclaims "Do you realize how hard it is to fake your own death? Only one person has pulled it off, Elvis."

In ‘Miracle Man’ (S1 E17) he says - "Here's the part where they bring out Elvis"

‘Blood’ (S2 E3) - when the ultra serious sheriff leaves the room, Mulder says to Scully that "He's probably one of those people who thinks Elvis is dead"

‘Irresistible’ (S2 E13) - "You know people videotape police beatings on darkened streets, they manage to spot Elvis in three cities across America every day, but no one saw a pretty woman being forced off the road in her rental car".

‘Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose’ (S3 E4) - One of psychic Yappi's predictions is that Elvis is really dead, but Buddy Holly is still alive

‘Home’ (S4 E3) - Mulder huffs as he discovers a newspaper with headline "Elvis Presley dead at 42"

‘Never Again’ (S4 E13) - Mulder makes a 'spiritual' journey to Elvis' home, Graceland.

‘Surekill’ (S8 E9) -Agent Doggett, who upon seeing the bullet-ridden room mentions that Elvis used to do that to his hotel rooms

‘Empedocles’ (S8 E17)- After hearing Agent Reyes on her seeing real evil, Mulder comments that he saw Elvis in a potato chip once...

>>>continued below>>>

edit on 19/5/2018 by mirageman because: tidy up

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 05:14 PM
Mulder’s Porn Habit

Before David Duchovny went on to star in the show “Californication” playing a sex-addicted writer. Before he was caught in a real-life sex scandal leading to the end of his marriage to actress Tea Leoni and before Duchovny went through any rehabilitation treatment for his own addiction..There was the X-Files where his character Fox Mulder had an obvious ‘porn’ addiction revisited frequently by the cast of writers.

‘The Jersey Devil’ (S1 E04) - Scully catches Mulder gazing at a porn star magazine pinup. Mulder informs Scully that the woman was an abductee.

‘Beyond the Sea’ (S1 E12) - Scully enters the their office to see Mulder intensely focused reading something. She says - “The Last time you were that engrossed, it turned out you were reading the Adult Video News”

‘Blood’ (S2 E3) - When visiting the Lone Gunman, Mulder lets them know that he missed their last newsletter because it arrived on the same day as his subscription to “Celebrity Skin”.

‘One Breath’ (S2 E8) – Shouts of “Don’t stop” and lots of heavy breathing is emanating from Mulder’s TV set. Say no more.

‘Excelsis Dei’ (S2 E11) - Mulder arrives at the office. Scully is watching something on VCR. Mulder protests that whatever it is, it’s not his. Scully shrugs and says she found it in the drawer with “... all those other videos that aren’t yours?”

‘Paper Clip’ (s3 E2) - Upon realizing that Mulder isn’t’ dead, he tells his good friend Frohike that he’s going to have to wait a little longer for his video collection.

‘D.P.O’ (S3 E3) - Mulder discovers a porn magazine while searching a teenagers bedroom. Scully subtly declares her surprise that Mulder “...doesn’t already have that issue.”

‘Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose’ (S3 E4) - Mr. Bruckman (a psychic) hints that Mulder will die in an auto-erotic asphyxiation accident!

‘Nisei’ (S3 E9) - Mulder tells Scully she has to watch a video tape he received in the mail. She smugly tells him that it’s not his “...usual brand of entertainment”.

‘Pusher’ (S3 E17) - Mulder is sent to deal with a hostage situation. When fitted with a camera. He asks “Think it gets the Playboy Channel?”

‘Wetwired’ (S3 E23)- When looking at a huge stack of video tapes, Mulder asks “anything good”?

‘Small Potatoes’ (S4 E20) - A man named Eddie has the ability to shape shift. While impersonating Mulder in his apartment, he listens to Mulder’s answering machine and hears an ad for a phone sex company.

‘Chinga’ (S5 E10) - Scully is on vacation, but her workaholic nature prevents her from actually enjoying herself. She gives Mulder a call and hears heavy moaning from a TV in the background. She asks him - “What are you watching?” he replies - “The World’s Deadliest Swarms”. (This was also a reference to one of Fox’s shows at the time)

‘Dreamland Part I’ (S6 E4) - Mulder has switched bodies with another guy (don’t ask!). His ‘wife’ then catches him watching porn.

Even in the X-Files of 2018, ‘This’ (S11 E2) we get a quip that you’ll have to decide for yourself what it points to.

Scully: Why do you operate so well with your hands cuffed behind your back?
Mulder: As if you didn't know.

Breaking Bad Files

Vince Gilligan, the man behind Breaking Bad, also happened to be a writer/director for a number of X-Files episodes. Gilligan kindly peppered Breaking Bad with nods back to the X-Files for X-Philes.

An Erlenmeyer flask is a common piece of lab equipment. That of course would explain why it gets mentioned in Breaking Bad. But given that ‘The Erlenmeyer Flask’ is also the name of the exciting X-Files Season One finale I suspect this was more than coincidence.

In the X-Files the ‘Cigarette Smoking Man’ is also known as the ‘Cancer Man’. Coincidentally one of the first episodes of ‘Breaking Bad’ is also called ‘Cancer Man’.

There are also a number of actors who have featured in both series. Gilligan famously cast Bryan Cranston as the anti-hero in his crystal meth masterpiece. This followed Cranston’s appearance in X-Files episode Drive (S6 E2) an episode featuring Cranston as a man who’s head will explode if he isn’t driven at speed in a westward direction!

Dean Norris plays a US Marshal in F. Emasculata (S2 E22)

Aaron Paul is a TV show host in Lord of the Flies (S9 E6)

There are a number of other actors who cut their teeth in the X-Files like Ryan Reynolds, Jack Black and Shia LaBoeuf...

The X-Files and the ‘This Man’ Mystery

When the X-Files was revived in 2016 it encompassed a number of 21st century memes and conspiracies. One of them was the inclusion of the “This Man” mystery/hoax which appears to have gone on unexplained on screen. However it was dropped subliminally into a number of episodes.
For those that have forgotten or never came across this story it all started as viral internet meme ...

... In January 2006 in New York, the patient of a well-known psychiatrist draws the face of a man that has been repeatedly appearing in her dreams. In more than one occasion that man has given her advice on her private life. The woman swears she has never met the man in her life.

That portrait lies forgotten on the psychiatrist’s desk for a few days until one day another patient recognizes that face and says that the man has often visited him in his dreams. He also claims he has never seen that man in his waking life.

The psychiatrist decides to send the portrait to some of his colleagues that have patients with recurrent dreams. Within a few months, four patients recognize the man as a frequent presence in their own dreams. All the patients refer to him as THIS MAN.
From January 2006 until today, at least 2000 people have claimed they have seen this man in their dreams
Source :

Although it has since been dispensed with as an internet hoax the X-Files episode “This” (S11 E2) showed a picture of the ‘Lone Gunmen’ on the table close to the couch where Mulder and Scully are sleeping. A Ramones concert runs silently on the TV. But in the picture of The Lone Gunmen is an added strange face in the top right corner (see the picture above).

This rather puzzling episode deals with the digital afterlife of one of the Lone Gunman, Richard ‘Ringo’ Langly. He seems to realize he’s trapped in a ‘simulation’ but it also questions the meaning of life.

One episode later in “Plus One” (S11 E3) the face of the strange “This Man” also appears on the drum kit of a band playing in the opening sequences to the show.

“This Man” also appears on Mulder’s pinboard in a couple of episodes. There are more sneaking references. But you have to look out for them!

What the reason for the inclusion of 'this man' was? Nobody knows for sure.

>>>continued below>>>

edit on 19/5/2018 by mirageman because: tidy up

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 05:14 PM
Immortal Scully

In the 2016 revival of The X-Files, Mulder is seen and heard chastising Scully for risking her life chasing after a serial killer. Scully quips, in response, "You forget… I'm immortal."

But this is no random bite back from Scully. It’s a throwback to the season 3 episode entitled ‘Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose.’ During which Scully is seen asking clairvoyant Clyde Bruckman how she will die. Bruckman's unforgettable reply was :

"You don't."

Initially it was meant as a light hearted throwaway line.

I didn't expect it, because I didn't intend it to be taken as serious. I just think it's ridiculous [to be serious]. (Laughs.) But then you go, it's the nature of the show -- people are looking more into it than you intended because it is a supernatural show … I didn't mean for it to be taken so literal. What can you do? People are going to take it however they take it.

Source :

But it was then hinted at a number of times in further X-Files shows that Scully is literally unable to die.

Vince Gilligan’s season 6 episode ‘Tithonus’ (S6 E9) Scully meets a crime scene photographer. This man looked away from Death in a moment of illness and has continued to cheat death. When Scully is shot, he instructs her to do the same. He dies in her place.

Only four episodes later in “Monday (aka Mobius)” Mulder and Scully are caught in a repetitive time loop. The day starts over and over again. No one has recall of this happening. While trying to get a bank robbery under control the bank blows up with her inside it again and again. The theory is that since Scully can’t die, this event can’t happen, and so the day resets until Mulder and Scully are able to work it all out and Scully finally gets out the situation alive. It has been noted that another character dies in Scully’s place and a theory that the price of eternal life is the sacrifice of others.

Scully’s ouroboros tattoo in the season 4 episode, ‘Never Again’ (S4 E13) is an ancient symbol for immortality. The snake biting its own tail signifies there is no beginning and no end.

In “Never Again” she feels a sudden determination to get this tattoo. On entering the tattoo shop she is immediately drawn to it. Supposedly it relates to her future. She comes to the brink of death with her cancer, but will survive and then live on, maybe forever?

The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat

This is the title of the 4th episode of the 11th series. Although this was not the final episode of the X-Files it may as well have been. This is perhaps the show that tells us most of all that nostalgia is not what it used to be. It is an episode without investigation or even a real plot. It explores the Mandela Effect or the ‘Mengele Effect’ as it’s called by a character we have up to now never seen - Reggie ‘Something’. Or have we but we just didn’t remember him?

The X-Files intro is even shown to have changed in this craziest of shows.

Reggie shows up and lets Mulder in on the biggest of conspiracies he has uncovered.

It features a lot of clandestine liaisons in FBI underground parking facilities where Reggie reveals a plot to control the future by controlling our past. Manipulating people’s memories is the name of the game. They have been doing it for a long time. In fact a mysterious character Dr. They had been doing it to be precise.

We learn from Reggie that he was actually a member of the X-Files team with Sculls and Foxy, as he calls them. He discovered that someone was changing the past and goes searching for the proof.

Mulder even eventually meets up with Dr. They.

The whole story is a comment on how our memories just can’t be trusted in a post-truth, post conspiracy world. A world where anyone and everyone can be manipulated to believe whatever ‘they’ want you to believe.
The final scenes are a social commentary via parody.

Despite being the wackiest X-Files episode, played generally for laughs, it also has a very dark message. One that encompasses two of the main slogans of this quarter of a century old show.

Where once the ‘truth was out there’ it seems that now truth lies with what ‘you want believe’.

Oh those ID cards. You remembered!...they don’t say Federal Bureau of Investigation they say Department of Investigation

edit on 19/5/2018 by mirageman because: tidy up

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 05:44 PM
I was obsessed with the X-Files once upon a time.

You win..

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 06:04 PM
Excellent thread , sir. S&F.

I will take me awhile to get through it all.

Thank you for sharing.

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 06:11 PM
a reply to: Jefferton

I honestly don't remember

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 06:16 PM
a reply to: mirageman

The ID cards says FBJ of the DoI.

Should say Bureau of Investigation Dept of Justice instead.

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 06:38 PM

At dawn on Friday, 13 October 1307 (a date sometimes linked with the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition) King Philip IV ordered de Molay and scores of other French Templars to be simultaneously arrested.

‘Miraculous Victory:’ Battle of Didgori, 1121
edit on 19-5-2018 by SeaWorthy because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 07:10 PM
a reply to: mirageman

Woow dude....its just a TV show!!

Besides, Ive forgotten what Scully was like on the X Philes.

I've just finish watching all 3 seasons of "Hannibal", so the "Scully" character has been eaten away, as such, now.

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 07:28 PM
a reply to: mirageman

This post is for both casual and slightly more obsessed X-Files fans.

So...which end of the spectrum do you claim to fall on? ***sighs***

Terrific stuff by the way. Love the X-Files.

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 08:18 PM

originally posted by: mirageman
a reply to: Jefferton

I honestly don't remember

hmmm, you don't Remember

posted on May, 19 2018 @ 09:56 PM
a reply to: mirageman

Thanks for taking the time to make this thread, very informative!

To answer the title, yes I seemingly miss a lot with the X-files. It's one of the reasons I love revisiting them because I always pick up on little bits I never noticed before.

I missed a lot of things you put into this thread too. Things I have noticed is the pencils, Elvis, Mulder's porn addiction and Scully's immortality links. I remember fondly when the "I want to believe" poster was taken down... I want to say it was changed in an episode but I'm not sure.

I guess I'll have to watch them all again

S+F, it's a brilliant show, it often challenges you to be perceptive and to think.

P.S. Isn't that why Mulder binges on sunflower seeds? To uh... Keep his hands busy?
edit on 19-5-2018 by RAY1990 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 20 2018 @ 12:12 AM
Huge fan of the old xfiles. Bigly disappointed with the new attempt. Good thread though. Thanks for the effort and info.

posted on May, 20 2018 @ 06:53 AM
a reply to: mirageman

Great thread, I own the box set of all seasons, and love the subliminal messages and humor
, best show ever!

posted on May, 20 2018 @ 07:57 AM
I've been watching the "Kolchak, the Night Stalker" TV series lately. I used to love it as a kid back in the mid 70s. Anyway, I decided to do some research on it and discovered that apparently that series was the inspiration for the "X Files". After thinking about that I could see some similarities in the characters, as well as, of course, the subject matter.

posted on May, 20 2018 @ 01:58 PM
a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

Yes Chris Carter did indeed use "Kolchak, the Night Stalker" as an inspiration. It's certainly a show that looks fairly dated nowadays. But, much like the Twilight Zone or even the original Star Trek shows, the stories and ideas explored still make them worth a look.

posted on May, 21 2018 @ 06:14 AM
a reply to: mirageman

An excellent thread.

Two mysteries remain!

1) Which episodes did Doty advise on?

2) Why does the Roswell craft have a jet turbine in it?

posted on May, 21 2018 @ 06:24 AM
a reply to: mirageman

Greatest show ever !

me and my girlfriend are serious x files fans!

love the thread, I will send it to my girl so she can enjoy this too!

great thread


posted on May, 21 2018 @ 06:57 AM
a reply to: ctj83

Two mysteries remain!

1) Which episodes did Doty advise on?

According to Ricahrd Doty, in a Paracast interview he gave earlier in the year, he claimed that it was MJ12 stuff. The same MJ12 stuff he went to court over because he says he had no involvement in. Also although there was a 'syndicate' in the X-Files there was no MJ12 reference. So it was all very vague.

As for the Roswell ship....well...

Maybe Doty designed it?

edit on 21/5/2018 by mirageman because: Forget last line!

posted on May, 21 2018 @ 03:28 PM

originally posted by: MichiganSwampBuck
I've been watching the "Kolchak, the Night Stalker" TV series lately. I used to love it as a kid back in the mid 70s. Anyway, I decided to do some research on it and discovered that apparently that series was the inspiration for the "X Files". After thinking about that I could see some similarities in the characters, as well as, of course, the subject matter.

I rewatched Kolchak the night stalker a while back...loved that show so creepy (at the time, bit cheesy by today's standards) but you better believe it inspired the X-files most recently the episode

Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-monster

Darren McGavin the actor who played Kolchak (and the Dad on Christmas Story) shows up in two episodes of the X-files as Arthur Dales one of the first Agents to investigate paranormal...

LOVE THE X-FILES...lots of files...lots, and lots of files

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