[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/PicturesForSadChildren http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/agentscully.gif]]]]

->''"Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand."''
-->-- '''Creator/KurtVonnegut'''
%% One quote is enough; put any new one in the quotes tab.

The Agent Scully is a sci-fi/fantasy character who insists that events can be interpreted according to mundane explanations. They never waver from this view, even though crazy things happen in episode after episode demonstrating how illogical or otherwise bizarre the universe is, prompting lectures from TheProtagonist to this effect -- if they're not busy lecturing everyone else, that is. Once convinced that something is a {{Windmill|Political}}, he or she will never step down from this belief no matter the [[NoMereWindmill evidence to the contrary]], thus becoming a WindmillCrusader himself.

He or she may have no tolerance for flights of fancy whatsoever. If the character is a parent and their child merrily announces that he or she spent the afternoon playing with fairies, they may immediately retort, "Fairies don't exist!" There will, of course, be little to no explanation given for why fairies don't exist; the fact of the matter (in their minds) is that they simply don't exist and you're being foolish for even giving the concept a moment's thought. The fact that children play pretend all the time and actually have a fairly firm grasp on what's real and what isn't is lost on them -- such foolish thoughts must be squelched from their heads immediately! Likewise, they have no time for fairy tales -- for these stories depict things that don't (or shouldn't) exist, which makes them nothing but frivolous poppycock, never mind the symbolic nature, moral lessons, and literary value they hold.

The same extends to any other magical or paranormal subject or fantasy of any kind -- they have no time to think about or consider such things, and if you've been thinking about it you're an idiot who is wasting your time. End of story.

If magic or the supernatural actually ''does'' exist in their world and the character is aware of it, they may try to [[FlatEarthAtheist convince themselves it doesn't exist]], or failing that, [[NayTheist simply act as if it doesn't matter]] because ''respectable'' people don't go in for such foolishness. ScullySyndrome can ensue in extreme cases, where they are more willing to believe convoluted mundane explanations full of {{Plot Hole}}s and swamp gas than the fact that they literally just watched an alien spacecraft land, had its pilot get out and introduce themselves, collect plant samples, and fly off again.

Tip: Never, EVER have an Agent Scully interact with an EldritchAbomination; as they would go insane just from trying to find a scientific explanation to how they work and not actually feeling the monster's essence.

There is sometimes a sting in the tail, though, where the Agent Scully's disbelief [[AntiMagic actually prevents supernatural powers from working]]--in real life many alleged psychics blame "negative energy" from investigators for causing their abilities to fail, for instance. Quite simply, the Agent Scully [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve does not clap, because they refuse to believe]]. This can be a powerful protective asset in a setting with dangerous supernatural elements, but should their disbelief ever falter, they can suddenly find themselves completely vulnerable.

The character is often an adult, but in some cases may be a child who is trying too hard to ''act'' mature, or how he/she thinks mature people act.

Derives its name, obviously, from Dana Scully, a character from ''Series/TheXFiles''.

An Agent Scully may also, obviously, be a [[TheSpock Spock]], and sometimes even a StrawVulcan. Can be something of a {{straw|Character}}man of those who currently doubt supernatural phenomena because of lack of evidence, placing them in a world where evidence of the supernatural is abundant and having them persist in their doubt.

A point that most ''[[Series/TheXFiles X-Files]]'' fans miss (or chose to ignore) is that the ''[[UnbuiltTrope original]]'' Agent Scully is a deeply religious woman who is staunchly devoted to her Christian faith in spite of her scientific and logical view on the world and life in general; in other words, it wasn't always logical vs. illogical so much as her deep-seated religious belief being in direct opposition with her Modus Operandi as a scientist (in a series where supernatural phenomena of varying natures are abundant nevertheless). When the explanation truly was a miracle, Mulder turned into the skeptic.

Compare FlatEarthAtheist and StupidScientist. Contrast AgentMulder.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Hercule/Mr Satan of ''Anime/DragonBallZ''. Despite the fact that he has personally witnessed and even been on the receiving end of countless energy attacks since his very first appearance, and the world martial arts championships having used them extensively just a decade prior to his appearance on the show, he still stubbornly refuses to believe in them, calling them tricks, special effects, dreams, or whatever justification for them that he can come up with. In the dub at least, he privately admits that all of it may be real, but ''really'' hopes that it's not, since he's understandably terrified of the idea of people with the power to singlehandedly destroy the Earth.
* Kyon from ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' is a Scully with an underlying AgentMulder: although he says he just wants everything to be normal, deep down he wants everything to be weird and fantastical, as he says in the second chapter's opening narration that he still sort of wished it would be cool if aliens, time travelers and espers existed. Only problem is, being this in a world that actually has aliens, time travelers and espers eventually turns him into an UnfazedEveryman. The series rather effectively zig-zags this trope and its sister, AgentMulder, with its two main characters. At the outset, Kyon admits to having been an AgentMulder before [[GrowingUpSucks growing up]]; his life gets turned on its head when he meets Haruhi, who seems to have never left her AgentMulder phase. As mentioned, the prompt appearance of the very supernatural elements he's skeptical of very quickly forces him to tune down his Scully-ness. The irony is that the ''real'', enduring Scully is in fact Haruhi herself, who remains oblivious to the weirdness [[BlackHoleSue she's causing]] partly through the efforts of Koizumi and company, but also through her buried sceptical streak that prevents her from readily believing the supernatural things she longs for and professes belief in actually exist. Her skepticism is so resilient that in fact [[spoiler: even when Kyon outright ''tells'' her what's going on, in ''Sigh'', she refuses to believe him, though she claims it's just that his version is "too obvious"]].
* On a certain degree [[JerkAss Hyena Bellamy]] in ''Manga/OnePiece''. He doubts the existence of places like Sky Island, saying that the ships falling from the Sky are simply those caught in the Knock-Up Stream (although the Knock-up Stream is the way by which it is possible to reach Skypiea [[spoiler:and the way Upper Yard was blasted into the sky]]). However, much of this attitude is motivated by looking down on the people who would spend their lives chasing dreams.
* Nodoka of ''Manga/{{Saki}}''. Jun's ability [[CombatClairvoyance to read the flow and react accordingly so targeted opponents will never win]]? It's just coincidence! Hisa's strategy revolving around her [[MillionToOneChance Hell Waits cropping up nine times out of ten]]? It's just her getting swept up by random deviations and interpreting them as flow or jinxes! Though, this strict worldview actually proves useful in the finals, as it allows her to ''[[NoSell override]]'' [[TheNondescript Momoko's]] [[{{Invisibility}} Stealth Mode]].
* Kirie of ''Manga/{{Uzumaki}}''. Every week something new and horrifying happens, her boyfriend always saves her...and she's always surprised when something new and strange happens.
* Seto Kaiba in the dub of ''Anime/YuGiOh''. He's a Scully to such a degree that ''traveling back in time and meeting his own ancestor'' doesn't convince him that the supernatural exists. A vision of his ancestor and an ancient Pharaoh dueling? Obviously a hallucination. A group of lifelike monsters smashing up the town? Obviously a bunch of faulty holograms. Magically being able to read ancient Egyptian text that his most advanced computers struggle to translate? Obviously, it's simply because he is meant to wield the god cards. An opponent who can see into the future and destiny using a Millennium Item? His response amounts to ScrewDestiny. Only during the final episode of the anime (in a scene exclusive to the anime) does he admit that there might be ''some'' truth about all this mystical junk, but when teased about it by Joey he quickly (and half-jokingly) falls back to saying it's all smoke and mirrors. It's ''mostly'' a Dub-induced example; in the Japanese anime and the [[Manga/YuGiOh original manga]], he still scoffs at the supernatural but overall just doesn't seem interested in it. At any rate, he fully grows out of it by ''Anime/YuGiOhTheDarkSideOfDimensions'' (Dub included) where he desperately tries to pull Atem back from the afterlife by completing the Millennium Puzzle once more.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In Franchise/TheDCU, occult debunker Dr. Thirteen. Always played straight in his stories despite the fact that the DCU is filled with the occult whenever he's not around. Some of the later depictions, however, have him as a complete idiot -- who, for instance, remains convinced that he's not on a ghost pirate ship fighting gorilla Nazis because that yeti he saw earlier was a vampire, not a yeti, and if yetis don't exist then this must all be a vivid dream. For more irony points, his own daughter is also a mage -- a trait she inherited from her mother. His own life has been full of magic for years. One story depicts that supernatural events [[AntiMagic just don't happen]] around him specifically [[PuffOfLogic because he doesn't believe in them]].
* Ted Knight, original 1940s ComicBook/{{Starman}}, firmly disbelieves in the supernatural or religious despite having served on the same team as both Comicbook/DoctorFate and Comicbook/TheSpectre. When this is pointed out to him by other characters, he relates their powers to unknown scientific energies.
* Mr. Terrific of the current Comicbook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica has also shown to be an avowed atheist, giving the same explanations as Ted Knight before him despite having attended a church ceremony conducted by an actual angel.
* ComicBook/IronMan fits this role in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse. There is too much weird stuff around the universe: aliens, superpowers, time travel, magic, gods, cosmic entities, women, etc; but he always strives to find a scientific explanation or solution to the problems. [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Reed Richards]] used to be this for a while but eventually relented, admitting that magic did exist and also that it was something he would never be able to fully analyze and understand.
* In the [[FrancoBelgianComics Franco-Belgian Comic]] {{ComicBook/Philemon}}, the protagonist's dad is this. Even after taking a trip to the mystical world of the Letters, he steadfastly refuses to believe that any of the outlandish adventures told by Philémon, his uncle Félicien and Barthélémy ever occurred. Borders on ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve. His dad's skepticism prevents him from seeing many unusual goings-on, causing a self-enforced WeirdnessCensor.
* ''ComicBook/PowerPack'': in the "Thor and the Warriors Four" story of the all-ages series, Alex Power plays this role with Julie as his AgentMulder. He is skeptical about Thor being an actual god, and keeps trying to find scientific explanations for what he and his siblings encounter in Asgard. However, by the end of the story he comes to accept magic.
* At the start of ''ComicBook/{{WITCH}}'', Cornelia Hale stated she did not believe in magic or paranormal phenomena, and that was after a year of unexplained events that the previous night had culminated in [[PlayingWithFire Taranee]] redirecting a firework and stopping an explosion. By the following day she's more accepting, and it's implied she was actually in denial due to [[IJustWantToBeNormal her love for normality]].
* ComicBook/TexWiller has stated he won't believe in anything he can't stick his finger in, and that's after meeting Indian shamans, voodoo priests and other magic users with genuine powers, werewolves, a TyrannosaurusRex, and even aliens (in the ''Far West''). {{Justified|Trope}} because just as he encountered those he has also encountered a number of hoaxes (such as the giant [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast cannibal god]] that was actually a wooden mannequin moved by three guys inside it), and once he sees the strange phenomenon doesn't have a mundane explanation he'll accept it as magic--and ask one of his friends with experience on magic what to do.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* The girl codenamed Nahga at SuperHeroSchool Whateley Academy in the webfiction ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse''. Her friend and teammate Akira has found a girl who looks like Ryoko of ''Anime/TenchiMuyo''. The girl has similar powers. The girl apparently has a cabbit exactly like Ryoko's (it's actually a prank by Tennyo's roommate). Nahga is not going to believe. As for the real truth, that may be even weirder...
* [[Franchise/StargateVerse Sam Carter]] is often cast in this role in crossover fanfiction.
* Hobbes takes this role while debating the presence of a ghost in ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries''. [[spoiler:He becomes an AgentMulder when it finally shows up.]]
* In [[http://www.fimfiction.net/user/Ardashir Ardashir]]'s ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' / ''Literature/SilverJohn'' {{crossover}} ''Fanfic/MyLittleBalladeer'' (available [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/27032/my-little-balladeer here]]) Twilight Sparkle takes this attitude both towards diabolism and [[RevenantZombie zombie ponies]]. {{Justified|Trope}}, in that both are forms of magic rare in Equestria.
* [[VideoGame/SilentHill4 Frank Sunderland]] in ''FanFic/ComingHome'' doesn't believe James when the latter tells him that he is getting attacked by demons or believes the blood writing in the grocery store was a horrible prank and thinks James is going mad at first.
* ''FanFic/HomeWithTheFairies'' teleports Maddie from her apartment in America to a field in Middle-earth, the setting of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. Maddie, who has no belief in magic, tries to think of a mundane explanation. A kidnapper drugged her and dumped her, but there are no tire tracks. Maddie is dreaming, but [[PinchMe can't wake]]. She is in a remote part of Canada or America, but no one speaks English. Maddie is not a FlatEarthAtheist; after finding more evidence, she accepts that she is in some fantasy world.
* In ''Fanfic/TheRoadToShalka'', Angela, due to having been burned in the past by some conmen, is adamant not to believe any weird stuff. Since she's UNIT's scientific advisor...

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* Sargent Mooney from ''Film/KillerKlownsFromOuterSpace'' insists on believing that the eponymous clowns (or [[XtremeKoolLetterz Klowns, if you want to be technical]]) are merely a publicity stunt designed to sell ice cream. No matter how many individual 911 calls are made.
* Jack Slater in ''Film/LastActionHero'' insists ThisIsReality, not an action movie. When Danny points out every phone number starts with FiveFiveFive, Slater points out they use area codes. Danny points out most of the women are blonde bombshells, Slater points out "This is California". It takes being taken out of his world and into reality to convince him.
* Gregg Araki's ''Film/{{Nowhere}}''.
-->'''Alyssa''': You have to believe in something!\\
'''Elvis''': No, I don't.
* FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes in ''Film/NowYouSeeMe'' is quite skeptical about magic compared to [[AgentMulder his partner Alma Dray]]. [[spoiler:Subverted, as he secretly is a magician himself and his attitude towards it is part of his facade.]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** Episode IV: Film/ANewHope''
*** Han Solo was this ("I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful 'Force' controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls ''my'' destiny. It's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.")
*** Earns a big CallBack in ''Film/TheForceAwakens'' when Han shows how much his views have changed:
-->'''Han Solo''': "It's true, all of it. The Dark Side, the Jedi, they're real."
*** As was Admiral Motti. ("Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion didn't help you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or give you clairvoyance enough to find the Rebels' [[Film/TheHiddenFortress hidden fortr]]--" )
** [[JustifiedTrope To be fair,]] since the Jedi were almost extinct and most people didn't see Vader or the Emperor's abilities directly, Han probably had good reason to be skeptical of the claims of an old mystic like Obi-Wan. He may have rethought his position after seeing what Luke does to Threepio in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''.\\
Of course, now that the Prequel Trilogy has been released, these two characters have retroactively fallen even deeper into this trope: the original films implied that the heyday of the Jedi happened long ago and that even then the Jedi were somewhat rare, but the prequels [[FridgeLogic haphazardly retconned this]] by showing that the Jedi were all over the place just ''twenty years earlier''. Han could still get a pass, since he is only in his late twenties during ''A New Hope'' and so may have simply never seen a Jedi in his childhood (it is a ''big'' galaxy, after all). Admiral Motti, being a seasoned military officer who was probably active in the waning days of the Republic, has no such excuse.
* ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'':
** Dr. Silberman in ''Film/TheTerminator'', who dismisses Kyle Reese as a schizophrenic making up claims of travelling through time to stop a war with robots. Even more so in ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', that is, until he sees the T-1000 walk ''through'' a barred door. And again in ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'', having apparently allowed OTHER equally-skeptical psychologists to "cure" him of his own "delusion."
** The police in ''The Terminator'' explain the T-800's feats as wearing a BulletproofVest to survive being shot with buckshot and punching a windshield without (visibly) being hurt as being on PCP. A DeletedScene has one of the detectives investigating the Sarah Connor murders surviving just long enough to tell Kyle he was right and give him a gun.
* In the HauntedHouse movie ''Film/TheUninvited1944'', Rick rather strongly resists the idea of the house being haunted, insisting that "this business can be scientifically explained," lamely hypothesizing that the sound of the weeping woman is caused by the radio catching a stray signal. Eventually he gives up.

* In the early ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' books Rincewind shows similar traits. He learns later. Susan is also a bit of an Agent Scully in her first appearance. Commander Vimes' distrust of magic occasionally leads him here, especially in ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'' when [[spoiler: he comes up with a perfectly mundane explanation for events which were actually the result of his being possessed by an evil Dwarfish spirit. Including being branded with its symbol]].
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', the Knights of the Cross are {{Church Militant}}s that wield [[CoolSword holy swords of power]] and fight demonic powers in the name of {{God}}. One of the Knights, Sanya, describes himself as atheist or agnostic, despite having been formerly possessed by a demon and regularly slaying demons, vampires, and other mystical creatures. He is a borderline case of this trope, and also of FlatEarthAtheist, because he acknowledges the existence of everything he has seen (e.g. vampires, succubi, demons, faerie), but refuses to accept it as proof of the existence of anything he cannot see (e.g. God, angels, the afterlife).
* Hermione Granger from ''Literature/HarryPotter'' occasionally fills this role. The most grating example comes up in the seventh book when Xenophilius explains the Deathly Hallows to the trio. While she does bring up a valid point of on how one can't simply claim something exists simply because no one has proven it doesn't exist, her sheer hardheadedness in denying that they could ever possibly exist is simply baffling, especially since she's hidden under something that fits the general description of one of them (and is in fact one of them). She can accept the cloak and after talking to Ollivander can accept the wand, it's really the stone she has trouble with and that's because she's terrified at the thought of living with dead people.
* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/{{It}}'', a kid named Eddie Corcoran doesn't believe in monsters. When a (very real) monster attacks him, he assumes it's just an actor in a costume, and he's still searching for the zipper on the 'costume' - even while he's being eaten alive.
* In the ''Literature/OldKingdom'' trilogy, Nicholas Sayre reacts to the strange things that occur in the Old Kingdom this way, partly because for much of the story, [[spoiler:he's being influenced by [[SealedEvilInACan The Destroyer]].]] However, later, when he's thinking a little more clearly, he realizes how stupid it is that he's been ignoring the fact that his best friend beat off zombies with glowing blades of magic right in front of him and [[spoiler:his "local guide" has gradually turned into a dark-magic-shrouded flaming corpse]].
* ''Literature/TheRadix'': Gabriel Bitonti is an interesting example. He is a Vatican's investigator whose job is to (dis)prove any alleged miracles. So this is rather his job than nature: "I have examined countless 'miracles' and found them wanting. I go into each investigation as a pessimist and pray I will emerge an optimist. I seldom authenticate miracles".
* Creator/CSLewis utilizes this trope more than once:
** In ''Literature/ThatHideousStrength'', [=MacPhee=], a die-hard atheist scientist, remains implacably skeptical of all the supernatural events that take place even though he's fighting on the side of the supernaturalists.
** In ''Literature/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe'' Professor Kirke discusses this trope when interviewing Peter and Susan about their disbelief in Lucy's magical world-in-the-wardrobe. In order to come to a "logical" conclusion, Peter and Susan assume that the always truthful Lucy is lying, and the known liar Edmund is telling the truth. That, or Lucy is insane, a notion Professor Kirke regards as laughable. Peter and Susan's determination to disbelieve Lucy's claims, no matter how many ridiculous assumptions must be made causes Professor Kirke to wonder aloud about what they are being taught in school.
* Ogilvy in ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' is an early example, claiming that green flashes seen on Mars are a meteor shower or volcanic eruption. They are actually cylinders that are the beginning of an AlienInvasion. The trope is subverted when Ogilvy later discovers that they are Martian spacecraft and comes around to believing in aliens, [[spoiler: although it doesn't end well for him]].
* In Creator/DavidEddings' ''Literature/TheElenium'' and ''Literature/TheTamuli'' series, most members of the Elene church refuse to accept magic exists, to the point of literally turning their backs and pretending it's not happening when someone does it in front of them. This is despite several orders of magic-using knights being an important part of the church. Particularly true to the Scully trope since this is mainly due to conflict with their own beliefs rather than actual skepticism.
** Similarly, in Eddings' ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' and ''Literature/TheMalloreon'', this trope is [[PlanetOfHats the Hat]] of the Tolnedrans, who constantly refuse to accept magic exists even when it happens right in front of them. Even more bizarre is when they refuse to accept the god Torak is real, despite apparently accepting that their own god Nedra and the other "good" gods are. This seems particularly odd given that several characters are initially skeptical of magic, since it's fairly rare in the setting, but are convinced when shown evidence. No reason is ever really given for why the Tolnedrans refuse to accept it; being the Scully is simply their hat, and that's the end of it.
%%* Inspector Glebski from ''Dead Mountaineer's Hotel'' was affected by this trope.
* Many of the academic heroes in the works of H.P. Lovecraft, such as Albert Wilmarth or Robert Olmstead, could be said to be Ur-Examples. They start their journeys as utmost skeptics before being faced with unexplainable phenomena, often being driven mad in their encounters with an Eldritch Abomination.
* In ''Literature/BaileySchoolKids'', Eddie, and sometimes Melody, often act as this, although Eddie is the one who most frequently denies the existence of mythical creatures. In the first book, he is implicitly proven the existence of vampires, but continues to deny any other creature they see.
* In the ''{{Discworld}}'', Officer Reg Shoe is a hard-headed materialist realist who pricks the faith of his religious colleague Constable Visit by sourly advocating mundane, realistic, explanations for the miracles Visit is excitedly describing from the Omnian Holy Scriptures. What makes it funnier is that Reg is steadfastly denying there is such a thing as an Afterlife (as the Omnian religion views it) - whilst at the same time being a Zombie who has returned to his body after death.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': Kate, before graduating to a full-fledged Mulder (this is lampshaded by her dull-witted partner).
-->'''Kate:''' Scully's the skeptic. ({{Beat}}.) Mulder's the one who wants to believe. Scully's the skeptic.\\
'''Detective:''' ...Scully's the chick, right?
* There's an interesting twist to the trope in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', which, in a first-season episode, [[PersonAsVerb turns it into a verb]] -- "I cannot believe you, of all people, are trying to Scully me!" For the record, the Scully was Giles, who assumed that Xander's recent shift in behaviour (being a Jerkass to Willow, hanging out with morons) was just him being a teenager. When he learns that Xander and pals [[spoiler:ate a pig,]] he starts taking it a lot more seriously. To clarify [[spoiler:the pig was still alive when they started eating it. And in the case of Xander's pals (but not Xander), the vice principal was alive when that feast started as well]].
* ''{{Series/Castle}}'' features Becket in the Scully role with Castle fulfilling the Mulder role whenever a case appears to have a supernatural element. Unlike many of the others if this type she is only truly wrong [[TimeTravel once]] and even that one is debatable. [[UnresolvedSexualTension Their other dynamic]] is also similar to Mulder and Scully.
* Series/ElChapulinColorado has fought against martians, robots, pirates, ghosts, [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs ghost pirates]], etc. But he still dismisses anything outside of the ordinary as fake. If he is justified in his skepticism or not depends on the episode.
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** In "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS20E6TheKingsDemons The King's Demons]]", Turlough, asked whether he can call on Hell, says that of course he can, and [[ExactWords so can Hugh]], and Hugh's more likely to get a response.
** Charles Dickens, in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E3TheUnquietDead "The Unquiet Dead"]], who was sure that the genuine medium was a con artist.
* ''Series/{{Fringe}}''
** Peter Bishop is the resident example, at least early on. Eventually he just became the guy who {{lampshade|Hanging}}d whatever weirdness was going on that week by way of a pithy comment. And then he mostly stopped doing even that.
** Olivia was often skeptical of Walter's theories and methods in the first few episodes, but she quickly learned that he's almost always right.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Westerosi society in general in earlier seasons, though they make a rather sudden transition to believing in dragons (though not White Walkers) in Season 4.
** Maester Luwin, as a man of science, plays the Scully to Osha and Old Nan's AgentMulder by dismissing Bran's wolf dreams and Osha's accounts of the White Walkers and magic returning to the world by explaining that he studied magic when he was younger and attempted to practice it unsuccessfully, and his attitude now is that it was all either made up or at best went away long ago, something the audience knows is no longer true.
** In "Hardhome", Loboda the Thenn is disdainful of the old stories about dragonglass, leading Karsi to wonder how he can be so obtuse after all the mystical things they've already seen.
** Ned Stark is shown to be skeptical of Will's claims about White Walkers.
* Played for laughs by ''Series/TheGoodies'' with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl8SRrlbbN0 their episode]] on Creator/ArthurCClarke.
* ''Series/HoudiniAndDoyle'': Houdini, a skeptical magician, serves as the Scully to Doyle's Mulder.
* Sqn Ldr Helen Knox of ''Series/InvasionEarth'' initially has the much more mundane idea that the pilot of the crashed UFO is [[TurnCoat an agent of a more earthbound foreign power]] trying to breach UK airspace, although she does come to believe in the aliens in the end.
* Akari Tsukimura of ''Series/KamenRiderGhost'' is this at first, as opposed to [[AgentMulder Onari]]. She loosens up a bit once she studies more into the science of the Genma. Ironically, Hoodini, is still this ''in spite being a ghost, Takeru being a ghost,'' '''and possessing someone while declaring this.'''
* Tony Vincenzo, IntrepidReporter Carl Kolchak's editor in ''Series/KolchakTheNightStalker''. That's because [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve the force of his disbelief]] is so strong it acts as AntiMagic.
* Jack Shephard on ''Series/{{Lost}}'' is a strong example of this character type. As the leader of the survivors, his one goal is getting everyone rescued, and so he seems to avoid or completely ignore the more supernatural phenomenon on the island. This puts him in repeated conflict with [[MeaningfulName John Locke]], who is a strong believer in faith and destiny. No matter what oddities happen on the island (smoke monster, [[spoiler:time travel]], etc), Jack either has a logical explanation or simply doesn't care. This culminates when Jack [[spoiler:and seven other characters are rescued from the island]], having ''just seen the [[spoiler:island disappear in front of his face]]'', getting him berated by the normally soft-spoken Hurley:
-->'''Hurley:''' Locke. He [[spoiler:moved the island]].\\
'''Jack:''' No, he didn't.\\
'''Hurley:''' Oh, really? Because [[spoiler:one minute it was there, and the next it was gone]], so unless we like, overlooked it, dude, that's exactly what he did. But if you've got another explanation man, I'd love to hear it.
** Eventually, Jack becomes a man of faith after [[spoiler:Eloise Hawking's convoluted, supernatural plan to return to the island works]].
* Patrick Jane in ''Series/TheMentalist'', he does not believe in psychic powers or anything supernatural, while his partner Lisbon does (or at least is more open to the idea). Due to the realistic nature of the series, the debate is open to interpretation.
* Detective Murdoch of ''Series/MurdochMysteries'' has an extremely rational and scientific mind. He's sometimes tormented by ideas of his enthusiastic assistant Constable Crabtree, who plays his AgentMulder.
* In the Swedish TV-series ''Series/MysterietPaGreveholm'' (''The Mystery of Count's Isle'') the father of the family is a straight example. In a castle with ghosts, 200-years-old robots, intergalactic princesses and a walking skeleton, he kept on saying that "''Everything has a logical explanation''".
* On ''Series/MysteryHunters'', a Discovery Kids show which used science to explain things like supposed alien abductions and ghosts, Doubting Dave, Araya, and Christina all have this as their default mode.
* Emma Swan of ''Series/OnceUponATime'' is ''highly'' dubious about the idea that she's in a town full of amnesiac fairy-tale characters, but she's definitely realized by now that something's not right about the place, and definitely not right about the mayor. And, by Season Two... she's given that up.
* Nick Cutter in ''Series/{{Primeval}}'' takes this role during his first encounter with Connor. After he sees a truck torn to shreds by the MonsterOfTheWeek, he [[AgentMulder changes his tune]] by the time he runs into Claudia in the bar, who assumes the role:
-->'''Nick''' (to Connor): This is just a hoax. Forget it.\\
'''Claudia''': You'd be doing me a great favour if you could just confirm that this is all nonsense, Professor.\\
'''Nick''': I can't dismiss the evidence out of hand.\\
'''Claudia''': ...Surely you're not giving this whole monster story any credibility, Professor?\\
'''Nick''': I'm just trying to keep an open mind.\\
'''Claudia''': People always say that as though it's such a good thing.
** (Whoever assumed the role of the AgentMulder turns out to be right here.)
* An interesting twist in ''Series/{{Psych}}'', where Scully is Shawn, who pretends to be psychic, while Mulder is Gus, the "Non-Psychic" one.
* Jonathan [=MacKensie=] of ''Series/ShadowChasers'' was an anthropology professor with no belief whatsoever in the supernatural. Unfortunately his department head dragooned him into investigating the paranormal--paired with his own personal AgentMulder, a flamboyant tabloid reporter--placing him firmly in this role.
* Professor Arturo from ''Series/{{Sliders}}'' is like this, until he finally settles on a theory that some of the alternate worlds they land on have slightly different laws of physics.
* T'Pol on ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' went into this mode whenever the question of time travel arose.
* An interesting subversion in an episode of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''; two alien scientists trying to communicate with the "Skyship" (Voyager, which owing to some [[TimeyWimeyBall timey-wimey]] stuff, had been there throughout that civilization's history) discuss whether there's anyone there. The AgentMulder firmly believes there must be, while the other claims to "doubt everything". When the Mulder asks the apparent Scully why he's even on the project though, he replies "I doubt everything, remember? Even my own doubts." Which is a much better interpretation of scientific skepticism than Scullyism.
* [[TropeNamers Agent Dana Scully]] of ''Series/TheXFiles'', as stated above. An extreme example of the character drawing on an overinterpretation of Occam's Razor, which is commonly interpreted as, "The simplest theory which explains all of the data is usually the best" (This is because the simplest explanation presupposes least and is usually easiest to test). She tends to take it to the point of believing "The simplest explanation ''must'' always be the best, even if it doesn't explain all the data," which is itself illogical. Sometimes, she deems any naturalistic explanation the "simplest" no matter how contrived it gets. This quality may be seen in other examples of the character type as well. Prone to ArbitrarySkepticism. Also noteworthy is that Scully did, over the course of the series, [[GivingUpOnLogic become more and more inclined to believe in whatever theory Mulder came up with]], eventually becoming the Agent Mulder to Dogget's Agent Scully. Even before then Mulder and Scully would occasionally flip roles in conversation, and for whole episodes when the subject was related to Scully's spirituality. It's also implied that Scully was right more often than not. The show just doesn't bother showing all the times she and Mulder drove out into the middle of nowhere to investigate a hoax or a case of swamp gas. Furthermore, while Mulder was almost always right that the supernatural was involved, to keep the audience guessing, he was usually wrong as many times as he was right on what exactly the nature was. He would often go out assuming one supernatural explanation, and come to several while there, before finally discovering the correct one. Scully's consistent objections to Mulder make a lot more sense when you realize that half the time, she's right that it's not what he says, so taking whatever steps he suggests would be somewhere from useless to actually setting them back.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Doctor Noodle, the psychiatrist of ''ComicStrip/{{Candorville}}'', has dismissed supernatural phenomena as hallucinations even when said phenomena are threatening to eat him. At one point, he says it's a matter of rejecting wish fulfillment--it would be just too perfect for supernatural vengeance to [[DarkAndTroubledPast bring down on him the retribution]] [[KarmaHoudini he's always felt guilty for avoiding]].
* In ''Comicstrip/{{Dilbert}}'', Dilbert takes this role when trying to disprove Ratbert's PsychicPowers in one storyline. He takes it to the extreme when he continues to deny everything even after Ratbert correctly guesses ''100'' coin flips in a row -- ''[[HeadsTailsEdge all edge]]'' -- and another one that ends with ''inexplicable hovering''. He even predicts Dilbert's reaction.
* Linus from ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' has a conflicting set of viewpoints similar to Agent Scully's. Normally, he's a perfectly calm and reasonable person -- except when it comes to his belief in the Great Pumpkin.

* ''Podcast/TheMagnusArchives'': Jonathan, the archivist (and narrator), knows that the supernatural exists but believes very few alleged cases are genuine. He says in the very first episode that most files are likely to end up in the archive's "Discredited" section and is quick to dismiss those who give the statements as deluded, hallucinating, lying or simply mistaken unless there is strong corroboration (though any mention of [[spoiler:the name Jurgen Leitner]] dispels his scepticism). Eventually he [[spoiler:reveals that he actually believes far more than he has been letting on, and has been feigning scepticism in his recordings because he believes someone or something is listening in]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Victor Mordenheim of the TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} setting is a solid devotee of this trope, either dismissing the supernatural as nonsense or as a product of as-yet-undocumented, but rational physical laws. This trope is also [[PlanetOfHats the Hat]] of many Lamordians.
* ''TabletopGame/BeyondTheSupernatural'' features Nega-Psychics, skeptics so firmly convinced that psychic abilities, magic, and the paranormal do not exist that their own (ironically) inherent psychic abilities subconsciously negate magic and psionics around them. This, of course, leads to some...interesting times when the party includes other psychics or arcanists. At least one group would always trick the nega-psychic character into running an errand before casting a spell, or force them to stand far away from the other characters so their abilities wouldn't cancel out.
* In ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'', the entire Imperium was supposed be this, according to atheistic Imperial Truth and Emperor's design. Too bad the real gods took issue with the stance.

* In Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''Theatre/HenryIVPart1'', Hotspur plays this role to his Welsh ally Glyndwr:
-->'''Glyndwr''': I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
-->'''Hotspur''': Why, so can I, or so can any man.
--->[[ExactWords But will they come when you do call for them]]?

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'', Leah dismisses her adoptive uncle Deckard Cain's warnings about the imminent demonic invasion as just more of his "crazy stories". Even though she personally witnesses signs of said imminent demonic invasion. She finally accepts the truth [[spoiler:after Cain is murdered by a demon-worshipping cult and a FallenAngel confirms Cain's warnings]].
* Parodied (like everything else) in ''VideoGame/DungeonsOfDredmor'' with the Paranormal Investigator skill tree. The first skill in the tree allows you to pull off the 'disbelieve to protect yourself from magic' variant, at the cost of being unable to cast your own spells (because magic doesn't exist). Your other 6 skills can easily be all magical in origin, yet you can still disbelieve for added magic protection.
* The Phone Guy from ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys''. He doesn't outright state it, but he doesn't believe that the pizzeria is being affected by paranormal activity. He believes that the animatronics are [[CruelAndUnusualDeath stuffing you into a suit]] because they think you're a naked endoskeleton without a costume (despite the fact that that the bare endoskeleton is untouched by the animatronics). He doesn't seem to have an explanation for the blood-covered animatronics or the changing posters on the walls. This trope could be justified if he's forced to keep quiet about everything.
* Keats from ''VideoGame/{{Folklore}}'' is an example of this trope. Even when being BOMBARDED in the face with the supernatural, he just either insists there's a logical explanation or shrugs and says he's probably going crazy. [[spoiler:Then there's the reveal that ''he'' is a supernatural being too.]]
* Pence in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''. He always tries to find a logical explanation for whatever crazy thing happens in Twilight Town, including a moving bag (a dog is trapped in it), balls being thrown down an alley ([[DecoyProtagonist Roxas]] throwing them), a moaning tunnel ([[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX Vivi]] practicing how to fight) and, in the [[Manga/KingdomHeartsII manga adaptation]], Sora's amnesia ([[{{Squick}} brain surgery]]).
* Lucy Reubans from ''VideoGame/TheLostCrown: A Ghost-Hunting Adventure'' was clearly designed to play this role alongside Nigel Danvers' AgentMulder, although she's less pig-headed about accepting things she's witnessed firsthand.
* Pascal Curious from Strangetown in ''VideoGame/TheSims2'' has a biography that reads like Scully. He believes there is a logical explanation for everything... and ''he's'' the one [[MisterSeahorse pregnant]] [[ArbitrarySkepticism with an alien]] when you first start playing his family. That has a perfectly logical explanation: Aliens impregnated him.
* For a unit that's specifically meant to combat supernatural threats, the ''VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon'' team in the first game seems to be staffed by a lot of Scullies. In fact, everyone except the player character keeps trying to find natural causes for everything that happens. And the player character is a HeroicMime who can't point them to the StringyHairedGhostGirl he saw earlier (or right now [[RightBehindYou standing behind them]]).

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyTrialsAndTribulations'' , Miles Edgeworth (who has a ''strong'' prejudice against spirit mediums) completely fails to notice when Maya or Pearl channel a spirit in court. He unbends so far as to use and believe Phoenix's magatama, but only for one case because it's an emergency. The rest of the time, he presumes that spiritual or magical happenings have rational or scientific explanations, e.g. in the same case where he used the magatama, he instantly dismisses the very idea that a woman flew over a bridge.
** Arguably nearly the whole world in this regard, considering the channeling technique not only works in summoning spirits of the dead, but the channeler PHYSICALLY changes to look like the person they're summoning. The only reason this technique isn't used in court is when they first tried, the summon worked correctly... the spirit just gave a bad testimony, so they took it as a failure for the whole thing.
*** Weirdly, the series repeatedly mentions that the Kurain channelers once enjoyed massive popularity and major connections to government officials and the like, implying that they ''were'' widely believed in, to some degree. One would presume the abovementioned failure in court somehow caused untold years of ''correct'' spirit channeling to be disavowed. [[spoiler:On the other hand, the fact that Misty's connections were able to get her a new identity would suggest that the channelers still have powerful supporters, but current social views just make it unwise to publicly voice said support.]]
* Battler from ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' is practically the embodiment of this trope. He refuses to believe any of the murders were committed by magic, and goes the whole series to deny witches, despite the fact that he's interacting with them all the time. The whole point of at least half of the VisualNovel is to force the player to disprove that the assassinations on Rokkenjima were made by a witch, despite the perfect closed rooms and everything that would appear impossible for a human. The wittiest players that unveil the mystery before time are forced to disregard anything magical, as well as question themselves about Beatrice's Red Truth to the point of accepting the truths after a meticulous analysis of the wording and what did the witch really meant with her truths. Really, the point of Battler and Beatrice's little logic battle is for those who are playing along to get more clues and clarifications via Beatrice's Red Truths. It's also justified in that if Battler surrenders and admits that the magic of witches played a role in the murders of Rokkenjima, he automatically loses. So denying magic itself is at least a good place to start.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''WebComic/SluggyFreelance''
** Parodied in ''Series/TheXFiles'' parody "The Slug-Files" with Agent Kruller, who insists on mundane explanations for everything from the photograph of an alien to a robot arm (admittedly, she was right about that, except it was built to do laundry, not make coffee), a talking ferret, and being abducted herself. She's still marginally more reasonable than her counterpart {{Agent Muld|er}}y, who keeps imagining stuff that isn't happening so much he doesn't notice the equally crazy stuff that ''is'' happening.
** In "K'Z'K", when Dr. Lorna sees Gwynn turn into a demonic monster, she thinks Gwynn must be on drugs, because "[[InsaneTrollLogic Everyone knows drugs cause hallucinations, and I must be hallucinating.]]" When it's all over, she joins the news anchor Stone Johnson in blaming the sightings of zombies and demons on mass hysteria caused by the existence of Music/MarilynManson.
** In "Boys' Night Out", we have another Scully--Mulder pair with Kent and his VampireHunter uncle Arminius Vambrey. Kent goes through the whole story thinking the vampires, which do things like fly and turn to dust when staked, are {{LARP}}ers, while his uncle is both ProperlyParanoid and just paranoid ("Vampires must be stealing my ice!") at the same time.
* In ''Webcomic/PennyBlackfeather'', The Adventurer embodies this trope. His rationalisations for magic, monsters and ghosts grow increasingly elaborate and ridiculous as the plot thickens. (His ''reasons'' on the other hand, are hinted to be hidden in a DarkAndTroubledPast).
-->'''The Adventurer:''' ''(surrounded by monsters)''...and now I've been abducted by idiots in fake monster suits.
* ''WebComic/StandStillStaySilent'': Emil qualifies, as he's shown to still consider Lalli, an actual mage, someone who "believes in magic stuff" in Chapter 15. Chapter 12 had Reynir's rune spontaneously catch fire in Emil's pocket. In Chapter 13, Emil noticed explosions happening in places where he ''knew'' he hadn't put any explosives (he's the member of the team trained to handle explosives), and had Onni's summon come out of his flamethrower. The guy should really know better after witnessing all of those things.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''WebVideo/{{Tabletop}}'''s ''Elder Sign'' episode, Creator/WilWheaton proudly proclaims he does not believe in the Franchise/CthulhuMythos, and [[TemptingFate says Hastur's name several times in order to prove his point]]. His run of terrible dice rolls in the game fails to convince him, although it doesn't stop him from invoking the RandomNumberGod.
* In ''Roleplay/RubyQuest'' the [[TheGhost unseen]] Dr. S takes this role, with Red as AgentMulder. When [[HearingVoices he hears strange voices coming from the lower levels]] he assumes it's the work of a prankster, and he gets annoyed by Red's suspicion of [[TheCorruption the new medicine]] and refusal to take it (despite Red having been the one who originally recommended it).
* ''Podcast/TheBlackTapes:''
** Doctor Richard Strand always provides a logical explanation for the contents of the Black Tapes and anything else that appears supernatural within the show, even when he's not able to provide proof aside from a hand-wave explanation or, as Alex notes, leaves too much room for coincidence. Despite that, he always delivers his explanations with a confident that, to Alex, borders on condescension.
** While Alex often better fits the Mulder role than the Scully, being quicker to believe in the paranormal side, she makes a point of being the skeptic when conducting interviews without Strand present. She'll often ask the logical questions for the sake of being thorough.
* Nic Silver, who hosts ''The Black Tapes''' sister show, ''Podcast/{{TANIS}}'', maintains a high level of skepticism regarding conspiracy theories and the supernatural, even as his own investigations become actively dangerous due to the conspiracies and having direct encounters with the supernatural. In ''The Black Tapes'', he serves as Alex's producer and as something of a middle ground between her and Strand.
* Shane in ''WebVideo/BuzzfeedUnsolved'', who, despite being the co-host of a ghost-hunting show, refuses to believe in any possibility of the paranormal, and is usually the first to offer an alternative reason to any evidence they might collect. It's often been joked that a ghost would probably have to punch him in the face for him to consider the possibility of them being real.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Sokka in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', with his sister Katara as AgentMulder. Although later he stops denying the fantastical things he witnesses and instead accepts that the rules of reality are completely different around Aang.
-->'''Sokka''': That's avatar stuff; it doesn't count.
** According to WordOfGod , he should have been a [[MakingASplash Waterbender]] but was too much of a skeptic to be able to.
** Eventually, he completely grew out of it (and without descending into IfJesusThenAliens). The sequel series ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' has a flash-back of him weighing his opinion in court on the "impossible" crime of [[spoiler:blood-bending without a full moon]]. Adult!Sokka points out that there is precedent for unique bending abilities, citing Combustion Man as an example, so the feat can't be ruled out off hand and he passes sentence based on overwhelming witness testimony since first hand evidence is unavailable.
* When he declares AGodAmI and is smitten with the Ten Plagues, Peter from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' starts giving logical explanations for the first few plagues, namely the power going out (Darkness) because of a power surge, Chris having acne (Boils) because he's going through puberty and Brian having fleas (Locusts) from not bathing. He gives up when Meg reveals the water in Stewie's bath turned to blood, followed by frogs appearing Peter's shirt.
* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim,'': ''[[AgentMulder Dib]]'' actually has this role among the other paranormal investigators---while the likes of [[CloudCuckooLander Bill]] are willing to believe anything, Dib manages to believe in aliens but ''also'' realizes that guy on the cereal box isn't a real vampire.
* Captain Black from ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' was highly doubtful of Jackie's statements about magic, that is, until the first season finale, after he sees [[BigBad Shendu]] assume physical form. For the rest of the series, he turns into an AgentMulder.
* Diana in ''WesternAnimation/MartinMystery'', even though she works for an organization dedicated to fighting aliens and so forth. Her brother, of course, is the AgentMulder of the show.
* Twilight Sparkle from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' has shades of this despite being a talking purple unicorn with magic powers. She's not as quick as her friends to believe in things like curses or predicting the future, though she's right ("Bridle Gossip") as often as she is wrong ("Feeling Pinkie Keen"). It makes sense since, on the show, [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic magic is really more like a science than anything else]], going outside of well documented feats means you're more likely just using superstition and coincidence to explain something (most of what they assumed about zebras really were just rumors).
* Winston in ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'', he was portrayed as both skeptical and religious, ala the actual Agent Scully, in [[Film/{{Ghostbusters1984}} the movie]] choosing to work for the ghostbusters only for the money, “If you have a paycheck I believe what you say”, but also mentioning that, true to biblical revelation, "the dead ''have'' been rising from the grave." In episode “Moaning Stones” for example he says to the Voodoo Priestess that is helping them fight an evil African demon captured the first time by his ancestor that he only believes in what he can touch and see.
* Velma from ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'', and Daphne in ''WesternAnimation/APupNamedScoobyDoo'', who is frequently telling Shaggy and Scooby, "There's no such thing as a ghost!" She usually turns out to be right.
** Played straight in the ''Pup'' episode "Ghost Who's Coming to Dinner" in which the gang spend almost the entire story interacting with a real ghost, but at the end Daphne still doesn't believe in ghosts.
** Also notable that they saw ''nothing'' unusual in meeting WesternAnimation/{{Jeannie}}, Series/TheAddamsFamily, or WesternAnimation/SpeedBuggy the talking car.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Lisa Simpson, full stop. Her skepticism for matters is such that, every time Springfield encounters something that they suggest might be of supernatural origin, she is ''so'' desperate to find a logical explanation that she makes suggestions that actually make even less sense, even if they could theoretically happen. (Example, in the appropriately named "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E8LisaTheSkeptic Lisa the Skeptic]]", the idea of a fossilized angel skeleton may be absurd, but her suggestion that it was the skeleton of a Neanderthal who had been bitten on the arms by two sharks only proved she had no idea what it was, and only wanted to convince everyone it wasn't an angel, especially since the skeleton's arms were clearly folded across its chest, and the "wings" were on its back, not the arms, debunking her "theory". Of course, as it turned out, [[spoiler:it was actually part of an advertising campaign for the new mini-mall, meaning, perhaps, that she [[YouWereTryingTooHard was just trying too hard]]]].) In the episode where they go to Africa and witness a giraffe living in a borough and a rhino hatching from an egg, Lisa briefly becomes this with a bit of Fourth Wall lampshading. "What did you just see, Lisa? What did you just see?"
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': In [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS6E11Voices "Voices"]], Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi is adamant that it's impossible to retain individuality after death, and as such there is no way Master Yoda could have been communicating with the ghost of long-dead Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn.