* ActorShipping: Oh boy... Yes, there were fans who shipped Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny rather intensely. You can check YouTube {{Fan Vid}}s.
* AndYouThoughtItWouldFail: A barely-known creator and male protagonist, along with a complete unknown actress, plus a premise that could alienate people given the SciFiGhetto. Fox even put the show right after ''Series/TheAdventuresOfBriscoCountyJr'' feeling that would be the hit, and ''The X-Files'' would get the residual audience... when ''Brisco County Jr'' struggled with falling ratings and didn't get renewed, and ''The X-Files'' only improved its audience within S1 and eventually lasted for 9 seasons.
* {{Anvilicious}}: "The Sixth Extinction (Part 2) - Amor Fati" really goes nuts with the [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory Mulder-is-Jesus]] subtext. At one point, Mulder is strapped to a cross-shaped operating table clad in nothing but a loincloth with some sort of brain-scanning device on his head that looks eerily like a crown of thorns, whilst the Smoking Man is babbling on about the sacrifice Mulder's making for the world and how wonderful it is that he's dying for everyone.
* ArchivePanic: With nine seasons of twenty-odd episodes each, it takes a long time to get through the series if you're starting from the very beginning.
* AwardSnub: Averted with Gillian Anderson, who won just about every award on the block for her work as Scully. However, while the series did do extremely well at the Emmys and Golden Globes, it never could win Best Drama Series from the former, despite taking it from the Globes on 3 occasions. Could be attributed to a case of SciFiGhetto.
* AwesomeMusic: Has its own [[AwesomeMusic/TheXFiles sub-page]].
* BetterOnDVD:
** Averted for several years. This was one of the first television shows to be sold on DVD, and so distributors didn't know what the price points should be. For many years the DVD seasons were priced over $100 each.
** Played straight later. A season is about $15, if you know where to go. (Others keep it priced at $40 a season.) It actually is Better on [=DVD=] if you want to avoid ContinuityLockout in terms of the MythArc -- especially because of all the double and triple episodes, some of which were even spread over two seasons.
** All 9 seasons are on Netflix. Go crazy. (The movies have been removed from Netflix, unfortunately.) [[note]]Additionally, at least with the US version, all of the hard-coded subtitles (including the typing text that tells the date) have been removed, likely due to them using an international master as opposed to the original one. There may be details that could be missed by a viewer watching the series on Netflix for the first time.[[/note]]
%%% * BizarroEpisode: The standouts being [[TheRashomon "Jose Chung's from Outer Space" and "Bad Blood".]]
%%* BrokenBase: It's... complicated.
%% Zero-context examples are not allowed.
* CompleteMonster: Has its own [[Monster/TheXFiles sub-page]].
* CreatorsPet: Doggett's detractors accuse him of being one of these -- the writers seemed determined to have him save the day as often as possible when he first appeared, even if it required [[{{Chickification}} making Scully uncharacteristically weak or stupid]]. Confirmed according to TheOtherWiki. Apparently, Carter was obsessed with making much of the 8th season about Doggett. This upset David Duchovny who then asked to get to write and direct an episode revolving around Mulder's abduction. Chris Carter then rejected this idea because it "wasn't about Doggett".
* CrossesTheLineTwice: In "Teliko", the [[MonsterOfTheWeek MOTW]] feeds on pituitary hormones that stimulate production of the pigment melanin -- the one that gives us our skin color. As a result, his preferred victims are people of African descent. Even funnier, pituitary melanocyte-stimulating hormone is not responsible for the baseline skin tones of humans. He'd have been better off attacking Caucasians with obvious suntans, or people with Addison's disease. So in other words, the monster just might be racist. As if [[RefugeInAudacity that weren't enough]], Mulder's remark upon seeing one victim's body was:
-->'''Mulder:''' I'm sure there's a Music/MichaelJackson joke in there somewhere.
%% Please see Funny/TheXFiles, Heartwarming/TheXFiles, Awesome/TheXFiles and CrowningMusic/LiveActionTV for appropriate crowning moment examples.
* DeaderThanDisco: Yes and no.
** On one hand, the memory of the excellent early years was sullied not long after the movie came out. The final three seasons were widely ill-received, leading up to an embarrassing and frustrating case of NoEnding that, to many fans, showed that the writers had no clue what they were doing and were making things up as they went along. TheWarOnTerror and the swing of the country's mood towards [[PatrioticFervor hyper-patriotism]] after 9/11 also helped kill it, and was probably a big factor in why ''Series/TheLoneGunmen'' spin-off was quickly shelved. Cynical portrayals of government usually aren't popular in wartime.
** On the other hand, the show is still fondly remembered as a ground-breaking piece of television story-telling. Moreover, many fans keep watching the show in the re-runs or on the DVD, they write fresh "retro" reviews, and they hope that the third movie will be made. And they want to believe that ''Series/TheXFiles'' will resurface as great as they remember. The earlier seasons also continue to gain new fans, many of whom were too young to have seen it during its run (just check the X-Files tag on Website/{{Tumblr}}). The MonsterOfTheWeek episodes especially are still widely celebrated, as are Mulder and Scully themselves (particularly their [[UnresolvedSexualTension chemistry]]).
** It's been pointed out that the series could be coming back into relevance.[[note]]thanks in part to Kumail Nanjiani's "The X-File Files" Podcast[[/note]] In the wake of the War on Terror, the actions of the Bush and Obama administrations (such as the {{NSA}} wiretapping scandal and the controversy over the {{CIA}}'s EnhancedInterrogationTechniques) have led to a further distrust of the government among the American people. In this age, a show with a distrustful eye toward high-ranking governmental figures is much more likely to be welcomed.
** Seemingly confirmed to be averting this trope with the announcement that FOX was renewing the show for a six-episode miniseries in 2015.
* DracoInLeatherPants: Krycek. No matter how many times he tried to kill Mulder and Scully and how horrible deeds he committed, some fans still root for him and think he's the force for the good, very much like the agents.
* DryDocking: Why do you think people were so happy that Mulder and Scully held out for so long?
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** A meta-example among the cast and crew: Darin Morgan, who played the flukeman in "The Host", went on to write some of the smartest and funniest episodes of the series, gaining a personal fanbase over the course of the series and playing a more recognizably human MonsterOfTheWeek in "Small Potatoes".
** The flukeman is one of the most popular and well-remembered monsters that Mulder and Scully have encountered. Many fans are disappointed that the SequelHook ending its episode had was never followed up.
** Skinner is a great example. For some people, him just showing up in the second movie was the best thing about it.
** The Lone Gunmen. A trio of conspiracy theorists and nerdy friends of Mulder's were welcome additions to the show from their very first appearance.
** Eugene Victor Tooms distinguished himself as one of the series' most popular MonsterOfTheWeek, even being one of the few to appear in more than one episode.
** Mrs Scully, definitely. Sheila Larken's performance was always a joy to watch. Only one thing - pity that Mrs Scully usually showed up only for a family crisis and thus was seen to suffer a lot.
** Agent Pendrell, a science guy with a crush on Scully. Amazing that he managed to become a fans' favourite with so little number of occurrences.
%% * EvilIsCool: The Cigarette-Smoking Man and Krycek.
%%% Zerocontext examples are not allowed.
* FanDislikedExplanation: The ultimate reveal of Samantha's fate. Mulder was tormented by her clones and doubles and statements that she's still alive. It was finally revealed that she had been abducted by the conspiracy who had collaborated with the aliens, we learnt that horrible tests had been performed on her and then she had lived with the Cancer Man's family. So far so good — fans always suspected something like this. However, when she was 14, she was "saved" by fairies or angels that made her body disappear, meaning that her corpse will never be found, but Mulder did see her ghost.
* FanonDiscontinuity: One of the reasons for the whole BrokenBase mess. People differ on where they put the cutoff, but if you want a calm friendly discussion about the show it's safest to avoid bringing up seasons 8 and 9.
** The specific episode that gets this the most is probably "Jump The Shark", which [[spoiler: [[DroppedABridgeOnHim drops a bridge]] on the Lone Gunmen]]. Fans everywhere declared that Fletcher was lying through his teeth and it's considered one of the worst episodes of the series. Apparently the creators [[CreatorBacklash weren't very]] [[OldShame fond of it either]] as the comic continuation retcons [[spoiler: the Lone Gunmen's]] deaths away with a HandWave.
** Strangely inverted with "Musings Of A Cigarette Smoking Man"; WordOfGod says that it's not canon or is pseudocanon (that is, parts of it definitely happened but other parts didn't) but many fans take it as canon since it gives a lot of backstory and characterization to the Cigarette-Smoking Man.
* FoeYay:
** Mulder and Krycek, full stop. Krycek is something of a FoeYay whore, really. He has chemistry with practically everyone, but it's most obvious with Mulder. He forces a peck on Mulder's cheek in one episode.
** Barnett and Mulder in "Young at Heart". Let's review: Barnett is a mass murderer who literally gets off on the suffering of his victims, is stalking and playing freaky mind games with Mulder... and in the flashback to the trial we see him mouth "I'll. Get. You." to Mulder right before BLOWING HIM A KISS.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment:
** "Deep Throat" has a mention of Desert Storm part 2. [[TheWarOnTerror Ten years later, guess what happened.]]
** "Fresh Bones":
*** The episode features an Army Colonel administering a Haitian refugee camp say: "We're soldiers, not prison guards. And we're being asked to police a hostile population of foreigners without the resources to feed or house them." Hard for a contemporary viewer not to think of Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo.
*** Haiti itself produced lots of refugees following the 2010 earthquake - [[https://news.vice.com/article/humanitarian-disaster-forces-closure-of-haitian-refugee-camp-in-brazil forcing the creation of a camp in Brazil]], which doesn't help these matters either.
** "Dreamland Part Two" reveals that Saddam Hussein is a character created by the government for whenever they need someone to do some saber rattling.
* HarsherInHindsight:
** Duchovny's later admission that he had a severe sex addiction puts Mulder's porn fetish in an uncomfortable new light.
** From "Tunguska":
--->'''Krycek:''' The truth? The truth?! There is no truth! [[Creator/ChrisCarter These men]] are making it up as they go along!
* HilariousInHindsight: Chris Carter has stated that Scully's initial character profile was Clarice Starling from ''Literature/TheSilenceOfTheLambs'' in all but name. Gillian Anderson later took a role on the prequel series ''Series/{{Hannibal}}'' (and was the first choice to play Clarice herself in the film of the same name, except her contract with the show forbade her from playing other FBI agents).
* HoYay:
** Mulder and Krycek. FoeYay after Krycek is revealed to be a double agent.
** Mulder and Skinner. They are reasonably close for two law-enforcement loner agents, and especially considering that Skinman is Mulder's superior and all-around hardass boss.
** Mulder in general is... very comfortable with his masculinity. In the season 2 episode "Humbug":
--->'''Mr. Nutt:''' Just because I'm not of so-called average height does not mean I must receive my thrills vicariously. Not all women are attracted to overly tall, lanky men such as yourself. You'd be surprised how many women find my size intriguingly alluring.\\
'''Mulder:''' You'd be surprised how many men do as well.
** If you're in a LesYay mood, the two teen girls in "Syzygy" are... close.
* JerkassWoobie:
** The Greys, who used to be a kind and peaceful race until they were corrupted and twisted into monsters by the Black Oil.
** The Cigarette Smoking Man in "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man", if the events are to be believed. He assassinated JFK and Dr. King, is powerful enough to get personal calls from Saddam Hussein (and leave him on hold), influenced the "Miracle on Ice" at the 1980 Winter Olympics, and then leaves a Christmastime meeting to write about this about his AuthorAvatar: "Jack Colquitt sat alone in his apartment at Christmas. He believed in sacrifice. Yet, some nights, he longed for a second chance...".
* JumpingTheShark: Season 6's two-part episodes "Two Fathers" and "One Son" is the most commonly cited instance of where the show jumped the shark, as it relaunched the series' mythology in a new direction. The Chris Carter effect lead to various smaller ones later in the series, namely the episode literally called "Jump the Shark".
* MemeticMutation:
** The theme song. ''Wah-wah-wah-wah-WAH-wah (Deedledeedledeedle) Wah-wah-wah-wah-WAH-wah (Deedledeedee) WAH-wah-wah-wah-WAH.'' [[note]] Humming, playing, or whistling the melody indicates that something paranormal or at least something very weird is going on. More recently, it's become associated with conspiracy theories about TheIlluminati, often by people parodying said theories (usually by pasting the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_of_Providence Eye of Providence]] onto anything that's vaguely triangle-shaped and then playing the music).[[/note]]
** I want to believe. [[note]] Both the phrase itself and Mulder's UFO poster displaying it, which has spawned its own set of [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/i-want-to-believe online photoshops]].[[/note]]
** The truth is out there. [[note]] It was the main message appearing at the end of the opening credits. Represents the constant search for what exactly is going on.[[/note]]
** Trust no one. [[note]] The season 1 finale changed the tag line in the opening credits for the first time from 'The truth is out there' to 'Trust no one', and Mulder's first MysteriousInformant Deep Throat told him the phrase as his dying words. It kept resurfacing from time to time.[[/note]]
** [[Music/BarenakedLadies Watchin' X-Files with no lights on! We're dans la maison!]]
** ... bleeping dead alien. [[note]] In "Jose Chung's ''From Outer Space''", one of the detectives curses like a sailor, which they can't show in the RashomonStyle episode. So he apparently says "bleep" a lot. Both Mulder and Scully quote the detective in phrases ending with "bleeping dead alien".[[/note]]
** It was fans of the show who invented the term "{{Shipping}}", as a way of labeling the fans who wanted Mulder and Scully to get together (shippers) and the ones who didn't (noromos).
** "Mulder, are you suggesting that..." and other variations of such, almost once per episode.
** "Mulder, it's me." To the point that it was winkingly used as Scully's introductory line in the first movie.
* MoralEventHorizon: [[spoiler: Krycek]] officially crosses it in "Patient X", where he captures a boy who's seen an UFO, infects him with the Black Oil, and makes sure he remains infected, by sewing his mouth and eyes shut so that the Oil can't leak out.
* NauseaFuel:
** "Home". Ew. Double Ew. Murderous, incestuous family with all kinds of genetic defects. "Home" was in fact so disturbing that after it first aired, it was ''banned from network TV''.
** There's "Sanguinarium". Dear lord, it's ten times worse! Medical horror at its most disturbing.
* NeverLiveItDown: David Duchovny's red speedo in "Duane Barry".
* ParanoiaFuel: The whole. Goddamn. Show. Government hiding info? Alien invaders? The fact the monsters of the week are hiding in everyday America?
** The revival seems to be adding mass government surveillance to the paranoia stew.
* RecycledScript:
** Season 1's "Ice" is about a parasitic alien that caused its victims to turn psychopathic and eventually die in an isolated Antarctic reserve. Season 2 has the similar "Firewalker". It's pretty easy to guess the difference. In fact, doesn't the synopsis to "Ice" [[Film/TheThing1982 sound familiar?]] (WordOfGod states it was on purpose, though; they wanted to make an homage to Carpenter's movie.)
** "Squeeze" and "Tooms" featured a liver-eating mutant. "2Shy" featured a fat-eating mutant. "Teliko" featured a melanin-eating mutant. (The latter's villain could even replicate Eugene Tooms' tricking of squeezing into tiny places.) At least "Hungry", featuring a brain-eating mutant, presented the story from the monster's point-of-view.
* ReplacementScrappy: Both Doggett and Reyes are seen this way by many fans. Doggett got less of it, mostly due to Robert Patrick's performance. The chemistry this pair of agents had couldn't compare to the epic levels which Mulder and Scully had.
** Marita Covarubbias wasn't especially popular compared to her predecessors Deep Throat and X. Her myriad double-crosses and hooking up with Krycek didn't endear her to many fans, either.
* RetroactiveRecognition: Quite a few.
** Probably the most notable is Bryan Cranston in "Drive". Vince Gilligan, who wrote the episode, claims his performance in that episode is what inspired him to cast Cranston in his StarMakingRole in ''Series/BreakingBad''. Funnily enough, Bryan would later be in a movie called ''Drive''.
** Literally three years before the first season, David Duchovny had a recurring role as a cross-dressing FBI agent on ''Series/TwinPeaks''.
* TheScrappy: Diana Fowley, AKA The Fowl One, was loathed by a vast majority of fans. She was not meant to be likeable, but she was hated even more than the writers anticipated. She was assigned to the X-Files cases when Mulder and Scully were ReassignedToAntarctica and she soon revealed herself as a rat collaborating with TheConspiracy. Moreover, she was forced as a RomanticFalseLead and OldFlame to Mulder, so naturally especially shippers hated her. Her final deeds and death redeemed her a little, but there was hardly a fan who shed a tear for her.
%% If you think a character qualifies as The Scrappy, please discuss it in the clean-up thread first. This audience reaction trope is often misused.
* SeasonalRot: You'll rarely find someone who thinks the show's entire run was worth watching. Most place the rot creeping in around season 7 and in full force for the last two seasons; some argue a downhill trajectory was noticeable earlier, at the beginning of season 6; a few claim it started as early as season 3. (Oddly enough, however, most "worst episode" lists tend to draw heavily from the first two seasons.) [[http://img607.imageshack.us/img607/2373/xfilesmeme017.jpg Here's a fan's take on it.]]
* ShipToShipCombat: Good ''God''. In the show's heyday, whole websites and mailing lists were devoted to shipping wars. It might be, if not the UrExample, at least the TropeCodifier.
* SpecialEffectFailure: Lots of 'em, especially in the first three seasons or so, when the show had little budget to speak of.
** The swarm of bugs in "Darkness Falls". It's painfully obvious that the bugs are just random dots that move around. When the swarm "moves", it looks like the bugs are confined by a flat surface in the direction of motion.
** The age-makeup in "Død Kalm". Especially if you compare it to the [[NightmareFuel awesome]] make-up of victims of an unknown disease a few episodes later.
* {{Squick}}:
** "Squeeze": Tooms's bile.
--->'''Scully:''' Oh my God, Mulder, it smells like... I think it's ''bile''.\\
'''Mulder:''' Is there any way I can get it off my fingers quickly without betraying my cool exterior?
** "F. Emasculata" is the squickiest squick that ever squicked. {{Two Words}}: Bursting pustules.
** "Sanguinarium". It may as well be considered the Film/ASerbianFilm of the series. A woman vomiting up a bunch of bloody needles is one of the ''less'' disgusting things that happens.
** "Leonard Betts": The processing unit at the hospital was gad enough, but a monster who actually eats tumours?
** "Brand X" has beetles that hatch inside your lungs and then ''eat your face off''.
* StoicWoobie: Scully. The more upset she is, the more she'll insist that she's fine.
* TakeThatScrappy: Doggett gets one in his very first scene, when Scully angrily throws water in his face. Chris Carter has said that he knew replacing Mulder with [[ReplacementScrappy Doggett]] wouldn't be a very popular move, so instead of CharacterShilling, he gave fans what they wanted right off the bat.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: Most of the computer-y episodes, but the trope is most prevalent in "2Shy", which features floppies, chatrooms and proper online grammar.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: Ask ten different ''X-Files'' fans and you're likely to get ten different answers about when, exactly, the show started to suck.
** Most will agree that Seasons 8 and 9, after Duchovny left, were awful.
** Bits of 8 were better received than 9, due to the most obvious consequences of TheChrisCarterEffect. The 'Scully's baby' plotline was loathed by many, but the MonsterOfTheWeek episodes tended to fare better in the ratings and reception.
** There are voices claiming that only early seasons were worthy of watching. The extreme cases claim only season 1 and 2 were good.
** There are also those that cite season 6 as the start of the decline due to the move from Vancouver to Los Angeles, claiming that the often dreary northwest weather enhanced the quality of the show, in contrast to bright and sunny Hollywood.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot:
** At the end of ''Film/TheXFilesFightTheFuture'', Scully mentions that the virus she was exposed to has a cure: the mysterious vaccine. Trying to retrieve the Well-Manicured Man's research or developing the vaccine at the labs of the Bureau would make for a great story arc. Some people kept enjoying season 6, but more of serious and darker episodes would have been welcome, and the MythArc had visibly less screen time, which disappointed some fans.
** Anytime a MonsterOfTheWeek episode ends with a SequelHook (such as "The Host" where the last few minutes reveal that the flukeman survived its fight with Mulder) that is never followed up on.
** The second movie, ''I want to Believe'', completely ignores the alien invasion plot (supposedly taking place in 2012) for... a monster of the week type plot.
%%* TooCoolToLive:
%% ** Deep Throat.
%% ** Awesomely subverted with the Lone Gunmen thanks to the comic continuation.
%% Murky and zero-context examples are not allowed. Respect example indentation.
* TheWoobie:
** Poor, poor Max Fenig. His abductions give him seizures and generally, his life is only suffering.
** Lanny in "Humbug", largely due to the performance of the late Vincent Schiavelli.
** Mulder and Scully themselves; especially Mulder given his deeply tragic backstory and motives.
* WinTheCrowd: For fans who are skeptical about the revival, the return of well-liked crew members, including Darin Morgan, and the promise of an equal split between mythology and Monster of the Week episodes has done a lot to win them over.
* ValuesResonance: The 2000s saw a spike in conspiracy theorists (the internet opens a space for everyone, the WarOnTerror provides material) not unlike Mulder.
* YokoOhNo: Tea Leoni, whose film career Duchovny tried to support by moving the franchise to UsefulNotes/LosAngeles. Not helped by the fact that he only stayed on two seasons more after the move anyway.