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Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny)
Formerly a renowned profiler, he became something of a joke at the Bureau when he started to pursue an obscure side project known only as the "X Files", but he soon drew attention from more sinister quarters...
- Agent Mulder: Trope Namer. He always believed in the paranormal explanation of the case of the week, but he could change his perspective if Scully's scientific theory was proving to be the solution.
- Agent Scully: If the case involved mysteries of religious nature and miracles, Mulder would be very skeptical and dismiss God as explanation.
- Always Save the Girl: In the very first episode, Mulder said that nothing else mattered to him except finding out the truth about the conspiracy and what happened to his sister. Early seasons of the show got a lot of mileage out of making him choose between pursuing his quest and saving Scully. Around the beginning of season 5, though, it ceased to even be an issue — he decided Scully was priority #1 and never looked back. (She saves his butt just as often.)
- Ambiguously Bi: His reaction when Scully says Gary Shandling has a crush on him.
- Ambiguously Jewish: On more than one occasion, anti-Semitics accuse him of looking Jewish; Mulder always refuses to answer. What we know about his family background makes it somewhat unlikely that he actually is.
- Badass Bookworm: For some values of "badass" at least, although he does in fact get beat up quite a lot. His strength lies in great knowledge of paranormal phenomena and that he always tries to find concrete evidence. He's shown to be a good shot (but he always drops his gun) and he's physically fit. Also, he survives and that's saying quite a lot because in his world, almost everyone is trying to kill him or discredit him.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The FBI tolerates his obsession with the paranormal because he's a very, very, very good forensic psychologist. Mulder was a very strongly right-brained intuitive, who also engaged in free association thinking, and was able to detach his mind from conventional preconceptions. He was so good, in fact, that he'd earned the moniker 'Spooky' before even opening the X-Files: his partner at the time thought his ability to profile and understand people was downright uncanny.
- Butt-Monkey: Not only is he disrespected by other characters, he is one of the most frequently beaten-up characters on television.
- Byronic Hero: Brooding and comely FBI agent whose quest for the truth is just and right, although his means of trying to achieve that can be over-the-top and jackassery. Only very few people in the show's world seem to appreciate him.
- The Cassandra: Gets a fair amount of this though this can be expected. Sometimes, he may get the details wrong, but the overall theory will be right. Other times, he uses a shotgun effect and throws out a bunch of different theories, but one of them is right. Subverted at the times The Conspiracy takes steps to have him ignored.
- Commuting on a Bus: During season 8. He was abducted in season 7 finale, some presumed he was dead, and he appeared in mid-season episodes and towards the end.
- Conspiracy Theorist: A heroic conspiracy nut who is unusual both in almost always being right in his postulations about secret doings and in (usually) being a rational, shrewdly observant investigator who labors to find solid evidence to support his ideas.
- Deadpan Snarker: He snarks at everything and everybody. His face is deadpan serious and sometimes people get confused with his jokes. At times people think he's kidding when he presents his paranormal explanation and is super serious.Mulder (upon seeing the Cigarette Smoking Man in a hospital): Please tell me you're here with severe chest pains.
- Determinator: He follows his quest for the truth with extreme grit.Scully: They could drop you in the middle of a desert and tell you the truth is out there, and you'd ask them for a shovel.
- Distressed Dude: Ends up in this role a lot, though this was more due to his inability to think before charging in than a need to show off Scully's competency.
- Eagleland: Type 1. His fantasy in "Founder's Mutation" has him launching model spaceships and quoting JFK with William.
- Embarrassing First Name: He's not too fond of his first name Fox but he's not too embarrassed either. He prefers people to call him Mulder. He once said that he had made even his parents call him Mulder but they actually call him Fox.
- Empty Fridge, Empty Life: As seen in "Chinga". His fridge contains nothing but a huge jug of orange juice. He takes a swig straight from the bottle, checks the date (which is at least 4 months expired) and spits the juice back into the bottle. He then puts the bottle back in the fridge. He manages to do this routine while he's on the phone with Scully who took a weekend off and whom he misses dearly.
- Fair Cop: Federal Agent & tall, dark, handsome, troubled, frequently shirtless or working out...
- Fingertip Drug Analysis: His favorite investigative technique. Mulder once licked a substance he strongly suspected to be extract of foxglove.
- Guilt Complex: Feels responsible for his sister Samantha's abduction as a child while under his care, and spent his adult life devoted to finding her. When Scully joins him, it continues. Scully is abducted in season 2, which he blames himself for. She later develops cancer and finds out that she is barren, which he also blames himself for. In season 3, Scully's sister, Melissa, is killed in Scully's apartment by mistake—the shooter was looking for Scully. Mulder blames himself, because if he hadn't dragged Scully with him onto his quest, all these things never would have happened. He also tends to blame himself for other deaths. It was shown in the late Season 1 episode "Young at Heart", where Mulder blames himself for a case gone bad from his earlier days in the FBI. The criminal, Ryan Barnett, ended up executing a hostage and fellow agent while Mulder had his gun on him, and the reluctance to shoot haunts him for years (despite it being a part of FBI protocol). His informant Deep Throat is shot and killed in season 1, which he blames himself for. He tells Scully she should leave the FBI and be a doctor, before she is killed during his quest. Scully handwaves this and continues on with him. It doesn't help that other characters reinforce his guilt. In season 2, his sister returns and Scully is kidnapped by the Alien Bounty Hunter. He trades his sister (though we find out she's really a clone) for Scully's life, and his "sister" is subsequently "killed". He calls his father to his apartment to tell him, and his father becomes angry with him. When Mulder offers to tell his mother, his father demands to know if Mulder knows how losing Samantha again will devastate her. On top of that, it's implied that his parents blame him for his sister's abduction in the first place. Bill Scully, Jr., too, blames Mulder for things beyond his control. The two meet while Scully is dying from cancer, and Bill rips into Mulder for all the things that have happened to his family that he sees as Mulder's fault. He asks Mulder if his quest was worth it and if he'd found what he was looking for, and when Mulder responds that he hadn't, Bill lables him a "sorry son-of-a-bitch".
- Gut Feeling: His success as an investigator often comes from bizarre leaps of intuition that usually turn out to be correct. Frequently verges on Bat Deduction.
- Heroes Want Redheads: He falls in love with his redheaded partner Scully.
- Hollywood New England: He hails from Martha's Vineyard. Though given Duchovny is a New Yorker, there's not much of an accent.
- In-Series Nickname: In the Bureau, his nickname is "Spooky". He was so good at profiling criminals while in Quantico Academy that his ability felt spooky to other agents in training.
- Insistent Terminology: Widespread in general with the agents, but Mulder especially tends to say "Federal Bureau of Investigation" at times when "FBI" would be sufficient.
- The Insomniac: A well-known insomniac. We almost never see him sleeping, and when we do, he's usually in the throes of a nightmare.
- It's All About Me: Scully and Skinner sometimes call him on his tendency to assume that everything that happens in their lives relates to him or the X-Files.
- I Will Find You: His Goal in Life is to find his missing younger sister.
- Knight in Sour Armor: He developed a bad reputation, frequently argues with his partner, and had his department on the bureau often screwed by the higher ups or the Syndicate. No wonder he's increasingly more cynical.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Has a chiselled jaw-line and definitely represents the good on the show.
- Last-Name Basis: "I even made my parents call me Mulder," although that seems to be just something he tells Scully.
- Men Don't Cry: Averted. He cried fairly frequently, almost as often as Scully cried in Seasons 1-7, and his crying is not exactly proud Manly Tears. Most often it had to do with his missing sister or something bad happening to Scully. He finally breaks down about his mother's death in Season 7 episode "Closure".
- Mr. Fanservice: Unusually for an American show not particularly aimed at a female audience, he spends more time not fully clothed than Scully does.
- No Social Skills: At least at first. At the beginning of the series, he's generally disliked and avoided by his coworkers, has weird obsessions, and outside of his interactions with Scully, he's downright awkward sometimes in his conversations with others. His jokes often hit the wrong mark.
- Occult Detective: Investigates the paranormal.
- Official Couple: With Scully.
- Opposites Attract: With Scully. He's an agnostic UFO/supernatural enthusiast and she's a skeptical, scientifically oriented Catholic .
- Oral Fixation: He always chews on something, like pens or straws in drinks. Might explain his love for sunflower seeds.
- Percussive Therapy: He deals with his anger by hitting stuff.
- Photographic Memory: Mentioned only once, but it does generally seem like he has a very good and very visually-oriented memory.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: Occasionally, including his Michael Jackson reference in "Teliko" and this one in the pilotMulder: (revealing a deformed, short corpse in a coffin) It's probably a safe bet Ray Soames never made the varsity basketball team.
- Porn Stash: And unashamed about it. His porn-watching habit is played as a Running Gag.
- The Profiler: His original forte before he found the title case files and went onto the supernatural tangent that made up his career from then on. In one episode, he found himself up against his own former boss, who had gone off the deep end and started imitating the criminal he was after.
- Properly Paranoid: His ideas about government's conspiracy and shadowy organizations might seem far-fetched, but he's proved right most of the time.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Can pull off a hurt look very well.
- Put on a Bus: Put on a spaceship for a while, and afterwards he was on the run.
- Saw "Star Wars" 27 Times: Confesses to having sat through Plan 9 from Outer Space 42 times. He claims that the sheer badness of the film numbs his brain, allowing him to make intuitive leaps and solve problems that have him stumped.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: According to one Unreliable Narrator in "Jose Chung's From Outer Space", and he himself owns to that in "The War of Coprophages".
- Seeker Archetype: The truth is out there and he's determined to find it and uncover it.
- Single-Issue Psychology: The childhood trauma of his sister's abduction has defined much of his adult life.
- Survivor Guilt: David Duchovny invoked this word-for-word to describe Mulder's reaction to his sister Samantha's abduction.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Tall, a well-built body (he works out!), brown hair and sad green Puppy-Dog Eyes, tanned complexion, nose... Yes, he's got it all. Being a Deadpan Snarker doesn't hurt.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Tall, Dark and Handsome and a Deadpan Snarker extraordinaire. He's paired with one clever Agent who he respects greatly, and his boss is a Reasonable Authority Figure, but other than that, he's surrounded by idiots who do not understand that his crazy theories about the paranormal are in most cases actually true.
- They Killed Kenny Again: Mulder dies kind of a lot. He flatlines in the middle of season 2 and at the end of season 2 and in two episodes in season 8. He is never Killed Off for Real.
- This Loser Is You: Fox (the network, that is) liked this trope a lot during The '90s. Mulder is rarely listened to, is generally mocked by friends and coworkers alike for his conspiracy theories and his passionate, often blind belief in the supernatural, uses phone sex lines, has a huge Porn Stash, and is honestly kind of a belligerent dick throughout most of the first season.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Sunflower seeds.
- Troubled, but Cute: Had a tough life, acts weirdly, but attracts many women during his journeys.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He got this several times in the first four seasons ("Paper Hearts" is perhaps the best example when Skinner rightfully tells him off for disobeying orders and being neglectful), mostly from Scully and sometimes Skinner. After that he managed to get a better grip on his issues.
Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson)
A forensic pathologist with a background in physics, she was assigned to work with Mulder ostensibly in order to use her scientific knowledge debunk his work; however, she was less predictable than the conspiracy had hoped.
- Action Girl: A trained FBI agent with Improbable Aiming Skills. She could kick some serious ass.
- Adrenaline Makeover: At the beginning of the show she's painfully serious and strait-laced, and seems to have terrible fashion sense. By the end she's still reserved, but has loosened up quite a bit and is dressing a lot better as well.
- Agent Scully: Trope Namer, and somewhere between a straight example and an Unbuilt Trope. All told, somebody had to try to tone down Mulder's crazy theories, even when Mulder was right. Somebody has to Scully him; Mulder was often Right for the Wrong Reasons, and it would fall to Scully to stop Mulder from jumping to conclusions. But Scully wasn't exactly a Flat-Earth Atheist, partly because she was a devout Christian who probably didn't want Mulder to be right in certain circumstances. When that wasn't an issue, she wanted evidence more than anything. She was an advocate for Occam's Razor, rather than a staunch unbeliever. Third, it's implied that she was very often right, albeit always off-camera. And lastly, once she has the evidence she ends up accepting it in later seasons, reversing her role in comparison to another character.Nothing happens in contradiction to nature. Only in contradiction to what we know of it.
- Agent Mulder: Later in the series, she was accepting the paranormal explanations. Agent Doggett tried to scully her.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Has an amazing talent for picking guys who turn out to be messed up in the head and often outright psycho. Mulder is probably the most stable person she's ever been with, and that's saying a lot.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Scully remains a hardcore skeptic long after she's seen shape-shifting aliens, watched Mulder be mind-controlled into things he'd never do on his own, etc. It's somewhat justified, though: later seasons tended to imply that Scully felt she had to take a more skeptical stance than she really believed anymore in order to keep Mulder's wacky ideas grounded.
- Badass Bookworm: A fully qualified medical doctor and pathologist and forensic examiner. What's fine is that Mulder and Scully are sometimes actually shown doing research and reading.
- Badass Labcoat: Whenever she performs autopsy or does some lab work.
- Bad Liar: It's not that the lies she comes up with are ridiculous, she's just so naturally honest that her discomfort is very obvious whenever she tries to lie.
- Beauty Mark: She has a distinguishable mole. However, it was mostly covered by make-up.
- Candlelit Bath: Scully likes them, and sometimes they lead to bad things. Like serial killer attacks.
- The Chosen One: It's implied in many of the religiously-themed episodes that God has some sort of special task in mind for her, although exactly what she's called to do is never made clear. Unfortunately, this arc comes to a somewhat unsatisfactory end when she gives in to her anger and kills Donnie Pfaster, whom God had put in front of her as a test in "Orison".
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Mulder isn't quite a Cloudcuckoolander in the usual sense (though he comes across that way to lots of people in-universe), but Scully has the traditional role of stopping him from doing stupid reckless things, putting together the actual evidence to support his weird leaps of intuition, explaining and defending his crazy ideas to other people, etc.
- Combat Stilettos: She wears heels nearly all the time, no matter how much running and shooting she expects to need to do. When you're a five foot two FBI agent every inch probably helps.
- The Coroner: Specialized in forensic pathology at med school, and thus is frequently doing autopsies in the investigated victims.
- Crisis of Faith: Scully started the show as a non-practising Catholic. Part of her Character Arc involved her coming to terms with her faith and deciding she could pray and attend church regularly even if she didn't always agree with everything The Church said.
- Deadly Bath: Both subverted ("Chinga" — the music builds, we're sure something creepy's going to happen, the phone rings and... it's Mulder, he's bored) and played straight ("Squeeze", "Irresistible").
- Deadpan Snarker: So deadpan it's easy to miss. One particularly stand-out was when she asked with a poker face whether Luke Skywalker had brought a light saber.
- Deus Angst Machina: Oh boy, Scully has been through so much pain, tragedy and drama more than anyone else. Scully's angsting is completely justified.
- Distressed Damsel: Unusually, though, she and Mulder trade off the Distress Ball about equally. Rule of Drama.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: The more upset she is, the more emphatically she insists that she's fine.
- Dude Magnet: She has no problems attracting men and quite a few men have fallen under her charms.
- Electra Complex: Self-diagnosed in "Never Again".Scully: I’ve always gone around in this... this circle. It usually starts when an authoritative or controlling figure comes into my life. And part of me likes it, needs it, wants the approval. But then, at a certain point, along the way, I just, you know... Okay, um... My father was a Navy Captain. I worshipped - I worship - the sea that he sailed on. And when I was 13 or so I went through this... thing, where I would sneak out of my parents house and smoke my mother’s cigarettes. And I did it because I knew that if he found out, he would kill me. And then... along the way, there are other... fathers.
- Expy: Originally created as Clarice Starling in all but name. Fittingly enough, Gillian Anderson would eventually appear in that franchise as well.
- Fair Cop: She's a very beautiful FBI agent. Her beauty and hotness get acknowledged in-universe by several admirers.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: One of her trademarks. She would usually eye down Mulder for his crazy theories. It was known among fans simply as "the look".
- Fiery Redhead: Nearly inverted. It's true you don't want to get her really mad, but most of the time she hardly shows emotion at all; she rarely so much as smiles, especially in the early seasons.
- Groin Attack: Many men who have tried to tangle with Agent Scully have quickly learned to their regret that the first, second, and third move she makes is a groin attack, and she's good at it. She even stomped one guy in the balls while wearing stilletos. She's too smart to try and grapple with male opponents, as she is fully aware that her short height and slight frame would put her at major disadvantage.
- Hot for Teacher: Once had an affair with one of her instructors back in medical school, though she eventually broke it off. He, however, never got over her.
- Hot Scientist: Several characters find her attractive. Especially lab geek Agent Pendrell was enchanted with Dana the scientist.
- Immortality: There are a few odd references to the idea that Scully will never die scattered across multiple episodes, like "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" and "Tithonus".
- Improbable Age: Her given birth year is 1964, thus making Scully 4 years older than Gillian Anderson herself, and since the pilot is set in November 1992, that made her 28 at the show start. To make her a medical doctor with a specialty in forensic pathlogy, she would have had studied for 13 years, and add the two years at the FBI before being sent to Mulder's office, Scully's clearly too young.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: She's an excellent shot. She shoots Mulder in his shoulder from quite a distance and was sure she would not miss.
- Informed Self-Diagnosis: Being a doctor, she tends to self-diagnose when she's sick or injured, most obviously in the first movie.
- Labcoat of Science and Medicine: She wears scrubs whenever she performs an autopsy. She's the scientist and sceptic of the Dynamic Duo.
- Last-Name Basis: It's just Scully for most agents. She and Mulder call themselves by their surnames, even when they bond and it's clear they are more then just colleagues.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Scully's abduction left her infertile. It's a source of angst for her. It's played much more subtly — and with good reason; he'd never be enough of a Jerkass to actually bring it up, considering Scully's infertility — but Mulder is implied to be somewhat wistful about not being in a position to have kids too.
- Like Parent, Like Spouse: Scully once admitted to being turned on by men who reminded her of her father.
- Medical Rape and Impregnate: It's eventually implied that something along these lines (but involving alien tech and probably extraterrestrial DNA) happened to Scully during her abduction early in season 2.
- Military Brat: Her father was in the Navy, as is her elder brother.
- Ms. Fanservice: Downplayed. FOX was reluctant to cast Gillian Anderson as a lead, saying they wanted someone who'd look better in a swimsuit. Chris Carter informed them that Scully would not be wearing any swimsuits. However, Agent Scully was the only prominent female on the show and looked cute enough. Later as the series progressed, she had her fair share of more typically fanservicey moments.
- Naïve Newcomer: Early in the series, to both paranormal investigation as well as government conspiracy.
- Occult Detective: Investigates the paranormal.
- Official Couple: With Mulder.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: She sometimes comments on psychological issues even though it's Mulder who has the degree in this area.
- Opposites Attract: With Mulder. She's a skeptical, scientifically oriented Catholic and he's an agnostic UFO/supernatural enthusiast.
- Raised Catholic: Her Catholicism becomes less nominal in later seasons as she comes to terms with her faith.
- Reassignment Backfire: Scully was pulled out of being a professor at Quantico to debunk Mulder's work on the X-Files. She is unable to do it and starts siding with him.
- Science Hero: Moreso than Mulder. She's a forensic pathologist and often performs autopsies. She also tries to explain the case by scientific explanations.
- Scully Syndrome: The Trope Namer. Though amusingly it gets inverted with more religious fare, where Scully believes but Mulder is the skeptical.
- Skeptic No Longer: After Mulder was Put on a Bus, she fully accepted that she lives in a weird world full of paranormal stuff and that she's often a target for the conspiracy.
- The Stoic: With several Not So Stoic moments, especially as the series goes on and she becomes more comfortable expressing her emotions around Mulder.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Very steely and professional towards most people. The only person who gets her to loosen up is Mulder.
- Surgeons Can Do Autopsies If They Want: Ironically it's autopsies that are her main specialty, but that doesn't stop her from being fully versed in any other field of medicine that's necessary for the plot.
- There Are No Therapists: Interestingly averted in the earlier seasons, at least for Scully. She sees a therapist a few times after her abduction in season two.
- Tragic Keepsake: Scully always wears a small gold cross necklace. When she's abducted near the beginning of season 2, it's torn off, and Mulder wears it himself for the three months she's missing. It shows up a few more times when they're separated as a symbol of their bond: Mulder finds it again when he's tracking down Scully in the first movie, and she apparently gave it to him to wear before he went off alone and got himself abducted at the end of season 7.
- Tuckerization: Once it was even lampshaded where the name comes from: "Um. I don't remember his name, but she was Scully, like that baseball announcer."
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Does not take kindly to anyone hurting her partner. She may be petite, but she's smart as a whip and has great aim. The episode "Biogenesis" and the "Sixth Extinction" arc was Scully kicking ass because the Cigarette Smoking Man and Diana Fowley had caused Mulder's fatally unusual brain activity. The same happens in Season 8, even though she's pregnant at the time. This works in reverse, as well. Mulder and Scully are each other's Berserk Button. The second movie has her bashing bad guys over the head with firewood to get to Mulder. In "Beyond the Sea", after Mulder is shot:Scully: This was a trap for Mulder because he helped put you away. Well, I came here to tell you that if he dies because of what you've done, four days from now, no-one will be able to stop me from being the one that will throw the switch and gas you out of this life for good, you son of a bitch!
- "Well Done, Daughter!" Gal: She would really, really like to hear her father approve of quitting medicine and joining the FBI, and praise her for good work.
Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi)
Mulder and Scully's direct superior for most of the series. His motives were initially doubtful, but he later became a staunch, if irritable, ally.
- Bait-and-Switch Tyrant: His first appearances made him look like the classic "boss who is a nuisance to the protagonists". But eventually he becomes one of the few in the bureau who really trusts Mulder and Scully.
- Bald of Awesome: Played With because he started as a shady figure and leaned into the Bald of Evil who might be connected to The Conspiracy. However, he proved he's a Reasonable Authority Figure and a badass. Mulder and Scully could depend on him, and he on them.
- Benevolent Boss: Although his benevolence is most certainly confined to his actions, not his demeanor.
- Da Chief: He is more reserved than the classical archetype, but he fulfills the same function to Mulder and Scully: giving them 48 hours to solve a case, demanding them to turn in their weapons, wearing suspenders, and generally being a Reasonable Authority Figure whenever he is not being pressured by The Conspiracy.
- A Day in the Limelight: Avatar, Zero Sum and S.R. 819 in earlier seasons. From Season 7 on Skinner became increasingly prominent, earning a starring credit in Season 9.
- Deadpan Snarker: Required to deal with his equally snarky agents.
- Foot-Dragging Divorcee: And he makes the decision not to sign them in the end.
- Immune to Mind Control: In "Pusher", he was the only one who Modell couldn't convince into following a command.
- Last-Name Basis: He is always called by his last name even after becoming more of a friend than a superior to Mulder and Scully.
- Minored In Ass Kicking: Though he's usually seen behind a desk, he can stomp the crap out of people when he has to.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: In his first couple of appearances he seems intent on making Mulder's life as difficult as possible, but he quickly gets better as he sees that Mulder's paranoia is justified and his work is important.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He really does listen to Mulder & Scully if they can back it up.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: It's implied that his experiences in Vietnam seriously damaged him.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Enjoys pulling these on the Smoking Man, culminating in his awesome "Pucker up and kiss my ass" speech in "Paper Clip."
- What the Hell, Hero?: He frequently calls out Mulder and Scully when they're reckless or out of line, "Paper Hearts" being a great example.
Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick)
Assigned to the X-Files as Scully's new partner following Mulder's disappearance at the beginning of season 8.
- Agent Scully: A mild example. He acts as the skeptic to balance out Scully in season 8, and Reyes in season 9.
- Amicable Exes: He's still on good terms with his ex-wife. It's implied they just drifted apart after the murder of their son, as many couples do following loss of a child.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: He starts out this way, but slowly becomes more accepting of paranormal explanations while retaining some of his skepticism (more than Mulder, Scully, and Reyes, anyway).
- By-the-Book Cop: The poor fellow's attempts to adapt from his world of by-the-numbers Law & Order-style investigating to the weird and wacky world of the X-Files can be somewhat charming.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Not mentioned at all in the second movie, even when Scully's looking for someone at the FBI who can help her. Not mentioned in Season 10 either, despite Reyes' appearance.
- Dark and Troubled Past: His dead son.
- First-Name Basis: Unlike most characters on the show, he and Reyes almost always refer to each other by their first names.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: His thick Brooklyn accent comes and goes, though considering that the character is supposed to be from Georgia by way of Brooklyn, an inconsistent accent would be in-character.
- That One Case: The kidnapping and murder of his son. He finally solves it and gains some closure in "Release".
- Tuckerization \ Theme Naming: To complement Scully, his surname comes from a boothmate in Dodgers broadcasts, Jerry Doggett.
- UST: Hinted to be with Reyes in the later episodes of season 9.
Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish)
Appears in a few episodes of season 8, then joins the X-Files as Doggett's new partner at the beginning of season 9.
- Agent Mulder: She embraces the paranormal aspects of the X-Files and acts as this to Doggett's Agent Scully in season nine.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Not mentioned at all in the second movie, even when Scully's looking for someone at the FBI who can help her.
- Cloudcuckoolander: She's, um...quirky is putting it charitably.
- Face–Heel Turn: She's an ally of the Cigarette-Smoking Man in Season 10. Although it is implied to not be entirely by choice.
- First-Name Basis: Unlike most characters on the show, she and Doggett almost always refer to each other by their first names. She's also on a mainly first name basis with Scully.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
- Genki Girl: By the standards of this show, anyway. She's by far the most cheerful of the major characters.
- If Jesus, Then Aliens: One of the points that distinguishes her belief in the paranormal from Mulder's is that she believes in the spiritual, New Agey stuff as well as the aliens and pseudoscience.
- Lighter and Softer: See Genki Girl.
- Smoking Is Cool: Subverted; she recognizes that smoking doesn't really fit into FBI "culture," but she's having trouble quitting.
- UST: Hinted to be with Doggett in the later episodes of season 9.
Agent Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea)
Assigned to work with Mulder when the X-Files were closed in Season 2. He was eventually revealed as a double agent and reappeared throughout the series in various shades of villainy.
- An Arm and a Leg: Gets his left arm sawed off.
- Boom, Headshot: Courtesy Skinner.
- Chew Toy: For a triple-crossing assassin, he sure does suffer a lot of humiliating beat downs. Mostly by the hands of Mulder. If it was not for him managing to actually successfully kill the occasional target, he would strongly qualify as a Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Trying to figure out whose side he's on at any given time is a good way to give yourself a headache.
- Consummate Liar: It's best to not trust a word the man says. Krycek might not even be his real name.
- Double Agent: He's introduced as the Mole, but eventually just works for whatever side gives him the most advantage.
- Gratuitous Russian: He mostly uses it to swear at people.
- Handicapped Badass: After he loses an arm.
- Hazy Feel Turn: It's always pretty clear that he's not a good guy, but he constantly switches between different bad guy factions, and his interests occasionally even coincide with those of Mulder and Scully, resulting in brief Enemy Mine situations.
- Hellbent For Leather: Usually wears a leather jacket, though thanks to the beatings he often takes, it's rarely the same one from episode to episode.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Skinner is a frequent victim of Krycek, be it assault, blackmail, or an attempt of murder through nanomachines. No wonder the director is the one to put a bullet between Krycek's eyes.
- The Mole: When he's introduced, although it doesn't last long before his cover's blown.
- Not Quite Dead: On several occasions.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Obfuscating Incompetence. Pay close attention to his episodes and you'll realize he actually gets away with a lot more than he appears to. A perfect example would be "Tunguska", where he was the one who hired the Russian assassin who (temporarily) royally screwed up the Syndicate's plans.
- Out of Focus: Krycek was a proto-Spender. He was the “other metaphorical son” of the Cigarette-Smoking Man, up until the show started really pushing the idea that Mulder was the CSM’s real son. At which point they introduced Spender. (Which leads to perhaps the most consistent piece of Krycek’s characterisation: He is really resentful of Mulder and Spender, particularly in One Son and Requiem.) Although the show hooks Krychek up with Marita solely so the show can have an “evil sexy Mulder and Scully!”, this is somewhat undercut when Laurie Holden gets cast in The Majestic and is thus out of reach for the eighth season.
- Russian Guy Suffers Most: His parents were Cold War immigrants. (If he was being honest for once when he said that. He is fluent in Russian, though.) He also regularly suffers from strings of bad luck (like getting left for dead in a decommissioned nuclear-silo, losing an arm) and his encounters with Mulder tends to result in him getting the stuffing kicked out of him, often repeatedly.
- The Starscream: He's had a few sneaky attempts at clawing his way to power, including his stint in charge at a Russian gulag, his recurring threats (and eventual attempt) to kill the Cigarette Smoking Man (and when that failed, attempting to ensure his place as CSM's successor) and manipulating Jeffrey Spender. You can practically see him waiting in the shadows, ready to seize power with both hands. Well, one hand anyway.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: A double agent and a dirty rat boy who charms and eventually betrays everyone must be fit and handsome to pull it all off. He has very dark eyes and black hair. Tall, dark, mysterious and very handsome.
- Trailers Always Spoil: The montage at the beginning of the season 8 DVDs shows Skinner shooting Krycek in the head.
- The Usual Adversaries: The show was generally quite good at axing characters who had served their purpose (Deep Throat, X, Spender, Fowley, etc), etc. Nick Lea was just too popular to actually loose, even if he didn’t really have an arc after Apocrypha.
- Would Hurt a Child: Tortures and infects a kid who has happened upon proof of aliens with the black oil to see him if he can blackmail the Syndicate into getting a cure.
Section Chief Scott Blevins (Charles Cioffi)Mulder and Scully's original boss in the Pilot and a few other Season One episodes. He reappears much later in Seasons Four and Five.
- The Bus Came Back: He appears in two episodes of season one, and comes back in "Gethsemane" and first two episodes of season 5.
- Never Suicide: His murder is staged as a suicide. Shot by one of his underlings after Mulder blows his cover, who conscientiously stuffs the gun in Blevins' hand.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In Season One, he's bemused by Mulder's obsessions but tolerates them, up to a point. Either it was a really good front or he's taken a level in jerkass because he's much less pleasant when he returns several years later.
- The Reveal: Turns out to be working for the Syndicate in "Redux."
Agent Diana Fowley (Mimi Rogers)Mulder's ex-lover and former partner. With Agent Jeffery Spender, replaces Mulder and Scully on the X-Files when they get reassigned in season 6.
- Agent Mulder: She's a believer much like Mulder himself. Being the only person who truly believed in his theories (before Scully came around, anyway) was the major contributory factor for their partnership and romantic relationship back in the day. In the present, she's more than willing to use this status as leverage to wedge her way back into Mulder's life.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Tall and brunette, and while not quite as emotionally defensive as Scully, she definitely has an aloof air about her.
- Birds of a Feather: She suggests to Mulder that maybe instead of Scully he'd prefer a partner who was more open-minded toward the paranormal... like herself. He wouldn't.
- Death of the Hypotenuse: Her ultimate fate.
- Foil: For Scully.
- Heel–Face Turn: At the end of the sixth season, she betrays the Cigarette-Smoking Man, giving Scully a book that can save Mulder.
- The Mole: Scully suspects she's working for the conspiracy pretty early on; Mulder still considers her a friend and believes in her. They're both right.
- New Old Flame: For Mulder. The "new" part largely being on her end, as Mulder's romantic feelings for her have clearly waned in the time they've been apart.
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: The psycho part is not obvious until "The Sixth Extinction", where she visits Mulder, who's confined in a psychiatric hospital and being Mind Raped by psychic influence from an alien artifact, and makes a speech that can be summed up as "I've always loved you, Fox, and now that you're in five-point restraints we can finally be together."
- Redemption Equals Death: She's initially compliant in the Syndicate exploiting Mulder's brain condition during the "Sixth Extinction" story arc, but ultimately can't go through with it, and gives Scully the tools she needs to save Mulder from the Cigarette-Smoking Man, who in turn has Diana assassinated for her betrayal.
- Romantic False Lead: Seemed to exist mainly for the purpose of teasing the fans and making Scully jealous. (Mulder gave little sign of still having anything but platonic feelings toward her, however, although she was clearly carrying a torch for him.)
Agent Jeffrey Spender (Chris Owens)Assigned to the X-Files as Agent Fowley's partner when they replace Mulder and Scully on the X-Files at the beginning of season 6. Mulder's half-brother, fathered by the Cigarette Smoking Man.
- Always Second Best: Even CSM informed him he's just not as cool as Mulder.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Subjected to horrific and disfiguring medical experiments.]]
- Foil: For Mulder.
- I Just Want to Be Badass:Spender: I'll be my own great man!
- Jerkass: He's put in charge of X-Files department, a department that Mulder rescued and gave his soul into the work. Spender just sits in his office and keeps destroying documents about prospective cases.
- Long-Lost Relative: Mulder's unknown half-brother.
- Not Quite Dead: Presumed dead in season 6, shows up again in season 9.
- Physical Scars, Psychological Scars
- Redemption Equals (Apparent) Death: Seemingly killed by CSM after he handed the X-Files back to Mulder and Scully.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Had this going for the Cigarette-Smoking Man, his biological father, of all people. Well, at least until he tried killing his mom.
Assistant Director (later Deputy Director) Alvin Kersh (James Pickens, Jr.)Mulder and Scully's replacement supervisor after their reassignment from the X-Files division in Season 6, and later A.D Skinner's direct supervisor. To say that he is unsympathetic to Mulder and Scully's work in the X-Files is understating the matter.
- Ambiguously Evil: It's often hard to tell whether he's obstructing Mulder and Scully because he's an active agent of the Conspiracy or whether he's obstructing Mulder and Scully because he's just an officious jerk and the Conspiracy find that useful. Or both.
- Contemplative Boss: Has occasionally had to stay at his office all night because of a bureaucratic headache caused by the X-Files investigators. When this happens, he is seen watching the sunrise from his office window.
- Heel–Face Turn: In "The Truth."
- Jerkass: It's rare for him to do anything that casts him in a particularly favourable or likeable light.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He often has a point about Mulder and Scully's frequent and blatant disregarding of the rules and FBI procedure, including abandoning the cases they've been assigned to basically do their own thing. However, he's such a ball-busting jerk about it that it's hard to really side with him.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Unlike Skinner, he's not willing to give Mulder or Scully an inch.
Agent Pendrell (Brendan Beiser)Special Agent Pendrell helps Mulder and Scully doing lab work. He clearly has a crush on Agent Scully. Appeared in several episodes in seasons 3 and 4.
- Interrupted Declaration of Love: Interrupted Invitation for a Drink. He tried to invite Scully.
- No First Name Given: Only his surname is known. Scully realizes she didn't know his first name after he died, although it was weird for her not to remember it as they were on friendly terms and he helped her and Mulder many times.
Agent Leyla Harrison (Jolie Jenkins)Leyla Harrison worked in the FBI's accounting office, where she processed Mulder's and Scully's expense reports and thereby knew more about their activities than almost anyone. She briefly landed her dream assignment of actually working on the X-Files.The character was created as an homage to and named after a prominent Internet fan and Fan Fiction writer who passed away from cancer.
- Affectionate Parody: Of Internet fans, particularly their encyclopedic knowledge of the show.
- Agent Mulder: To Doggett's Agent Scully.
- Ascended Fangirl: In-Universe, she was a fan of Mulder and Scully.
- Audience Surrogate: In a way she's what a hardcore X-Phile would fare like in the show's universe.
- New Meat: She's been at the FBI for some time, but it's her first field work. She gets on Doggett's nerve quite a bit.
- Tuckerization: She was named after a real person, in this case a devoted fan fic writer
(Retired) Agent Arthur Dales (Darren McGavin, Fredric Lehne(as Young Arthur Dales))Arthur Dales was an FBI agent assigned the task of catching communists until he found out that the folks he is catching are not quite communists due to which he faced a lot of opposition from the Bureau. The cases he was investigating were field under 'X' due to lack of space leading to the foundation of the X-Files.The character is regarded as the spiritual father of the X-Files and so, Carter specifically sought out Darren McGavin (who portrayed the title character in Kolchak: The Night Stalker, a show which Carter states as having inspired the X-Files).
- Not So Different: From Mulder. Both happen upon big government conspiracies and face stiff opposition from the shady people in the bureau.
The Lone Gunmen
John Byers, Melvin Frohike, and Richard Langly. An unlikely trio of conspiracy theorists who publish an underground newsletter called The Magic Bullet. Old friends of Mulder's, they occasionally show up to help out Mulder and Scully, usually by doing research (as well as providing comic relief).Late in the show's run, the Gunmen received their own short-lived spinoff series.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Frohike. First to comment that Scully is "hot," and also first to show up to her hospital room with flowers and wearing his best suit after she was abducted. This extends into the spinoff; he definitely admires women, but he always treats them respectfully.
- Conspiracy Theorists: In their first episode, one of them tells Mulder that they like to hang out with him because his theories are way crazier than theirs.
- A Day in the Limelight: Unusual Suspects, Three of a Kind and Jump the Shark. They even got their own spinoff.
- Did Not Get the Girl / Star-Crossed Lovers: Byers and Suzanne Modeski have absolutely zero luck. He got clobbered hard by The Dulcinea Effect, and she returned those feelings, but circumstances meant it wouldn't happen.
- Dirty Old Man: Frohike again, though he's a very likeable and sympathetic example of the trope.
- Ditzy Genius: All of them, to some extent.
- Faking The Death: The trio's deaths in the season 9 episode "Jump the Shark" was later reversed into being this.
- Information Wants to Be Free: Their basic motivation for going into underground journalism.
- Killed Off for Real: All three of them, in the season 9 episode "Jump the Shark". However, this was reversed into just being them Faking The Death in the comic book which is official timeline of season 10.
- Nerds: All three, but especially Langly.
- Sharp Dressed Man: Byers never wears anything less than a suit and tie, although he has no real need to look respectable.
- The Smart Guy: All of them.
- Tragic Dream: "Three of a Kind" opens with Byers's. He dreams of a world where America lives up to its ideals, and he can have a comfortable home and family with Suzanne. But it always ends the same...
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Byers, especially in their Whole Episode Flashback. Frohike and Langly tend to be a little more cynical about things, but all three of them are idealistic enough to be in business righting what wrongs they can.
Max Fenig (Scott Bellis)A person who claims to be an alien abductee. Mulder forms a kind of friendship with him. First appears in Fallen Angel.
- Alien Abduction : Multiple times to the point of giving him seizures.
- Back for the Dead: He appears again in episode "Tempus Fugit". Just so he could die a heroic death.
- The Cassandra: He looks like a complete nut but his accounts of alien abductions and tests performed on him are accurate.
- Convulsive Seizures: Convulsive seizures are symptoms he's been having since his abductions by aliens/conspiracy started.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Desperately but the aliens won't let him.
- Not So Different: From Mulder though even more pitiable. Scully even refers to them as kindred spirits.
Scully FamilyDana Scully's father, William; mother, Margaret; older brother, Bill; older sister, Melissa; and younger brother, Charlie. Pop up once in a while to fret over and get caught up in her increasingly peculiar job.
- Big Brother Instinct: Bill Jr. Not quite a Knight Templar Big Brother, but he is kind of a dick to Mulder in the name of protecting his sister.
- Black Sheep: Melissa was always the rebel of the family.
- The Captain: William Scully, Sr.
- Cool Big Sis: Melissa.
- The Dutiful Son: Bill Jr.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The family seems to have seen the girls this way. Dana was the responsible one.
- The Ghost: Younger brother Charlie is mentioned, but only ever seen briefly, in flashbacks. Though never appearing onscreen, he does have a prominent role in Season 10's "Home Again".
- Granola Girl: Melissa
- Military Brat: All the Scully kids.
- Team Mom: Maggie Scully seems to like Mulder too — they bonded during Dana's abduction — though this is massively over-egged in fanfic.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Dana and Melissa, respectively.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Charlie is seen only in season 1 at Captain Scully's funeral and as a boy in flashbacks. He is only mentioned, giving his love, sending presents or promising to call, but he never appeared personally for holidays or for family crises, e.g. when his sisters were dying. We finally learn about Charlie in Season 10's "Home Again" where it's revealed that he's estranged from the family and appears to be completely out of touch with everyone except Bill Jr.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: He was away at sea a lot, being in the Navy.
Mulder FamilyMulder's father, William; mother, Teena; and younger sister, Samantha. Troubled and fraught, with mysterious connections to the conspiracy.
- Abusive Parents: Mulder's dad is implied to have become somewhat emotionally abusive after Samantha's abduction tore the family apart.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Samantha Mulder's ultimate fate? Angelic energy beings made of starlight turned her into one of them so she couldn't be murdered by the alien conspiracy. Really.
- Chekhov M.I.A.: Samantha Mulder. Subverted. That's just what Mulder thinks and what the audience is lead to believe as well. She's really a Posthumous Character. Sort of, see Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence above.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Hoo boy.
- Dysfunctional Family: Decidedly not Played for Laughs in this case.
- Good Is Not Nice: Bill Mulder may have been the most moral member of the syndicate, but he's divorced from Teena and is clearly emotionally distant from Fox.
- Hollywood New England: They're from Martha's Vineyard.
- Sadistic Choice: The Mulders had to choose one of their children to be abducted.
- Mysterious Parent: Mulder knew nothing about his father's work until after he died.
- Opening a Can of Clones: By the time the Truth about Samantha is finally revealed, so many fake Samanthas had appeared that both Mulder and the audience had nearly given up on ever figuring the whole thing out.
- Token Good Teammate: Mulder's dad was a member of the Syndicate, but while he was far from a saint, he was the only member who voiced any objections to the really, really evil stuff the group was doing right from the start.
- Who's Your Daddy?: See below.
- Your Cheating Heart: Teena was having an affair with the Cigarette Smoking Man.
Tad O'Malley (Joel McHale)A conservative talk-show host and conspiracy theorist who seeks to find the truth and expose the shady inner workings of the government.
- Nice Guy: Agree or disagree with him, he is actually pretty polite and friendly to everyone he meets and genuinely is on the side of good.
- Ship Tease: Very briefly with Scully.
The SyndicateA mysterious and sinister group who essentially rule the world from behind the scenes. They're determined to conceal the existence of extraterrestrial life from humanity by any means necessary, but their motivation and ultimate goals remain unclear for much of the series.Despite the name, not actually an example of The Syndicate. The term is actually rarely used on the show, so you'll often see fans referring to them as "the Consortium" or just "the Conspiracy."
- The Adjectival Man: Members are listed in the show's credits as "Black-Haired Man", "Crew Cut Man", and the like.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Sure, they're pretty nasty individuals, but it's hard not to feel sorry when they're incinerated alive with their families at the end of "One Son."
- Big Bad: Till Season 5.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Suggestions to assassinate Mulder are constantly overruled by various members who are manipulating him for their own purposes.
- Les Collaborateurs: A complex example. Some of the leaders earnestly support collaborating with the Colonists, others hope to trick them to stave off the invasion until humanity's able to resist. Individual agendas vary.
- Cosmopolitan Council: Averted. Practically inverted. If you're not an older, upper-class English-speaking white male, you need not apply.
- A Day in the Limelight: They play a much bigger role in Two Fathers and One Son than any of their other appearances.
- Deal with the Devil: They conspired with the aliens. It meant they assassinated people looking into them, experimented on innocents, and generally had their own set of evil plots. Still, they were Well Intentioned Extremists rather than irredeemably evil.
- Death by Pragmatism: They delayed an alien invasion by half a century, tried to buy time to resist, and failing that to save at least a small portion of humanity. It was the only rational course of action, but yet they were STILL portrayed as villains.
- Even Evil Has Standards: They're furious at the Smoking Man in Paper Clip when his henchmen accidentally kill Melissa Scully instead of Dana, though in retrospect this seems extremely odd.
- Government Conspiracy: The main storyline away from the usual format dealt with them, a government conspiracy to cover-up the existence of extra-terrestrials.
- Kill It with Fire: Many if not all members of the Syndicate are burned alive by the faceless alien rebels.
- The Man: As well as...
- The Men in Black: They're the ones who employ them.
- Misanthrope Supreme: They're essentially selling out most of humanity in exchange for safety for themselves and a few select others.
- N.G.O. Superpower: They're considerably more powerful than any mere government.
- No Name Given: Only a few members' names are ever mentioned, and those names may not be real.
- Ominous Mundanity: Most of their titles, as well as the names they give their projects ("Area 51," "Purity Control," etc.)
- Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Effectively controls the world with various conspiracies.
- Politically Incorrect Villains: See the entry for Cosmopolitan Council above. And while they take Mulder somewhat seriously as a threat to their plans, they seem incapable of taking notice of Scully as anything other than Mulder's Berserk Button.
- Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Just assume they're spying on everything all the time.
- The Voiceless: Quiet Willy.
- Well Intentioned Extremists: Sort of. Their goals aren't exactly good, but most of them are genuinely convinced that actually resisting the aliens isn't possible, and saving themselves and their families is all they can hope for.
Cigarette-Smoking Man (William B. Davis)
The closest thing the show has to a main villain, a constantly chain-smoking older man who likes to skulk around being ominous. He's clearly associated with the grand government conspiracy Mulder and Scully are trying to uncover, but little is known about what he's really up to for quite a while.
- The Atoner: He claims to be one in "En Ami." Ultimately it's implied that while he might have some desire for redemption, it's only in the self-indulgent way where he doesn't want it enough to actually change.
- Archnemesis Dad: To Mulder.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: He's responsible for the assassination of at least one democratically elected world leader; the abduction, medical rape and torture of hundreds or thousands of individuals, and making sure the Buffalo Bills never win a Superbowl. Supposedly.
- Ascended Extra: Was originally intended to be just a hawkish figure holding a cigarette. Fortunately, the actor was able to rise to the occasion when his role expanded. Davis originally read for the larger (within the Pilot) role of an FBI bigwig (played by Ken Camroux), and received his throwaway role as consolation. One character became one of the show's main villains; the other appeared only in a handful of episodes.
- Because I'm Good at It: He seriously considered retiring when Gorbechev pulled the rug out from under the Soviet Union. He even put in his resignation, intending to write novels like he'd always wanted to do. Unluckily for him, no one was interested in his far-fetched spy intrigues, so a disheartened CSM ended up skulking back to work.
- Big Bad: Well, he likes to present himself that way. He's actually sort of middle management in the Syndicate.
- He is the Big Bad of Season 10.
- Body Horror: Although, he survived the air strike in Season 9 finale, he is severely deformed. He is shown to require extensive reconstructive surgery. He even wears a prosthetic nose.
- Calling Card: A still-burning Morley cigarette on the ground or in an office ashtray will indicate he's been there very recently—these seem to be left intentionally by him to toy with or intimidate his opponents or send a message. In the episode "The End", the imprisoned failed assassin hired by the Syndicate receives a threatening message on a cut-out side of a Morley carton. Right before he gets shot by the guard, he receives another Morley carton side with no message on it. It is not certain that the prisoner recognized the calling card, but the viewer does.
- Can't You Read the Sign?: An old pro who doesn't much cotton to these newfangled smoke-free offices.
- A Day in the Limelight: Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man and En Ami, the latter written by Davis himself.
- The Dragon: His exact role in the Syndicate isn't clear, but it's implied he's outranked by Strughold, the Well-Manicured Man and the other elders. In this context, CSM's most frequently seen being chewed out for a security breach or botched cover-up operation.
- Co-Dragons: Deep Throat referred to him as "The Killer" in one context, suggesting his own role was that of a "Liar." CSM took exception to this, claiming that Deep Throat had a much higher body count if one considered the fruits borne by those untruths.
- Establishing Character Moment: His first episode is dialogue-free. And why not? He is just a petty bureaucrat—or at least that's what he appears to be, until he blows kisses to a certain Spielberg film. We have top men working on it...
- Evil Old Folks: He always represented a "Baby Boomer vs. Generation-X" kind of theme, even if William B. Davis was a middle-aged dude. This new CSM from the relaunch looks like some demented Gore Vidal.
- Faux Affably Evil: He tries to pass himself off as Affably Evil, telling both Mulder and Scully that he likes them on more than one occasion, even acting friendly towards Skinner. Mulder and Scully never buy it, while his outward friendliness only annoys Skinner.
- For the Evulz: Frequently shields Mulder from assassination by his colleagues. In the last episode, he admits he spared Mulder just so he could see him crushed. It's up for debate, however, whether this was actually his intent from the start or a case of Motive Decay due to Seasonal Rot.
- It is notable that in Season 10, he admits to actually feel some kind of fondness for Mulder; enough to give him a We Can Rule Together offer and a vial of the cure to the Spartan virus to allow him to survive the disease.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Evil, obviously.
- Grand Inquisitor Scene: Has one at the end of season 3, where he quotes Dostoevsky:CSM: Anyone who can appease a man's conscience can take his freedom away from him.
- He Who Must Not Be Heard: Appeared in the very first episode, but had no dialogue for much of the first season.
- Hidden Depths: He'd probably give it all up to be a writer, if he could get published.
- Hijacked by Ganon: Appears to be this in the miniseries.
- Joker Immunity: Revoked in the series finale. However, even a missile to the face didn't last. He survives the finale in both the season 10 comics and the actual season 10 in the 2016 revival.
- Lonely Bachelor Pad: He has a minimally furnished, dimly lit apartment that emphasizes how empty his life is outside the Syndicate. When Mulder ambushes him there, he points out that he has "no wife, no family, some power..." while describing why he does what he does.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Bill Mulder was not Mulder's father, but his father was Cigarette Smoking Man. Mulder does not find out until much later.
- Misanthrope Supreme: From the aforementioned Grand Inquisitor scene:
- Most Writers Are Writers: He was an aspiring novelist before he started working for the Syndicate and got a story published during the show's run.
- Not Quite Dead: On numerous occasions.
- Not So Different: His private life turned out to be not dissimilar from Mulder's. Sure, he's got unlimited reach (screw you, Bills!), but he can't use it to live openly or extravagantly, so he goes home to his cruddy apartment (with no wife or kids to greet him) and watches B-movies.
- One Last Smoke: In the final episode, he takes one last drag, flicks away the butt, then calmly waits until he gets incinerated in an airstrike.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Averted. In "Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man," his younger self respects Martin Luther King, Jr., and tells his fellow conspirators that if the issue were purely one of human rights, he'd side with King. Communism is the bigger concern.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Has a pleasant, avuncular New England accent (except for the times he has a pleasant, avuncular Canadian accent.)
- Unreliable Narrator: He lies as easily as most people breathe. We never find out how much of what we know about him is true, and ironically, it's implied that his fiction novel about "Jack Colquitt" — the version we see almost none of — is the most truthful account of his deeds.
- Vader Breath: You can almost hear the Imperial March blare whenever he lights up.
- We Can Rule Together: In the Season 10 finale, he offers Mulder a personal vial of the cure to the Sparta virus, telling him that he wants him to become part of his chosen elite. Mulder, of course, rejects the offer.
- Who Shot JFK?: He did, apparently. Martin Luther King, Jr. as well.
Well-Manicured Man (John Neville)A British gentleman who's one of the less overtly malevolent members of the conspiracy. His Code Name is never actually used in the show, but appears in the end credits (as with several other Syndicate members).
- Affably Evil: But a good case can be made that he was never really particularly evil in the first place, especially by the time he died.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: His accent and the glimpse of what seems to be his family home in the first movie vaguely suggest an aristocratic background.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He is introduced in the film watching his grandchildren playing outside his mansion.
- Heel–Face Turn: In the first movie.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Tells Scully in The Blessing Way that helps her more out of fear that the Smoking Man's recklessness will expose the conspiracy than any moral objection. Definitely open to interpretation though, as he seems genuinely disgusted by some of CSM's actions throughout the series.
- With Friends Like These...: Really dislikes the Cigarette-Smoking Man, and the feeling is mutual.
Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin)Mulder's first informant.
- Anyone Can Die: He's the first of many.
- Bat Signal: Blue glowing lamp light.
- Killed Off for Real: Though he has a few appearances in dreams, "visions" and as the form of a shape-shifted Jeremiah Smith.
- The Mole: A Mole in the Syndicate.
- Mysterious Informant: Atoning for his deeds and helping Mulder's cause
- The Watcher: He's within the Powers That Be but secretly working against them
X (Steven Williams)Mulder's second informant, colder and less friendly than Deep Throat.
- Bat Signal: Mulder summons him by making an X out of masking tape on his window and shining a light through it (hence the Code Name).
- Big Damn Heroes: Rescues Mulder from an exploding train.
- Couldn't Find a Pen: The opening episode of Season 4 of The X-Files had him writing a message in blood on Mulder's doorstep, having been shot trying to bring information.
- Darker and Edgier: Than Deep Throat. Where Deep Throat was always friendly and usually helpful, X is openly hostile towards Mulder and Scully, misleads them when it suits his purposes, and outright says he's helping them as a debt to his predecessor, not for any moral reasons.
- Killed Off for Real: Even though Mulder sees him as a ghost in "The Truth"
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In certain later episodes, he's much meaner to Mulder and Scully than he was at first. He's still on their side, he just occasionally acts like a dick.
Marita Covarrubias (Laurie Holden)Mulder's third informant. Her day job is Special Representative to the Secretary General of the United Nations, but she also has ties to the Syndicate.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Used by the Syndicate for human experimentation as a punishment, after they figure out she was working against them.
- The Mole: Played it on both sides. She was helping Mulder, and telling on him to the conspirators.
Jeremiah Smith (Roy Thinnes)
- Good Counterpart: To the Alien Bounty Hunter. He has the same powers but uses them for benevolent purposes.
Alien Bounty Hunter (Brian Thompson, various)
- Alien Blood: Bleeds green whose fumes are extremely toxic to humans.
- Evil Counterpart: To Jeremiah Smith.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: We're told repeatedly he can be killed by piercing the base of his skull (which is how he kills other aliens), but in practice this never seems to work. At least until Season Eight, when Scully finally does him in.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Goes after only those victims which he is supposed to. Doesn't cause collateral damage unless he absolutely has to in which case he doesn't hold back.
- Shapeshifting: Into any human.
The Colonists/The Greys
- Aliens Are Bastards: Seeing they want to colonize the Earth, Kill All Humans and spare some as a hybrid Slave Race...
- Alien Blood: The Black Oil, which is actually their life blood, and at least once suggested to be the real Big Bad controlling the aliens.
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: They reproduce through the Black Oil. After it invades a human body, it will produce an alien inside the person's body, which will eventually be ripped open when the alien wants out.
The Faceless Rebels
- Aliens Are Bastards: They are fighting the colonists trying to colonize Earth, but the way they do it makes them just as bad as the colonists.
- Alien Blood: When killed, there is a green ooze inside them.
- Kill It with Fire: They carry these sticks which, with just the slightest touch can set anything and anyone on fire.
- Self-Harm: They intentionally disfigured their faces to avoid infection by the black oil.
The Black Oil/The Purity
- Bad Black Barf: Caused black liquid to come out of the mouth, nose and eyes of its victims.
- Black Eyes of Evil: You can tell when a person's being controlled due to their eyes being either spotted or black.
Eugene Victor Tooms (Doug Hutchison)A mutant with the ability squeezing his body through impossibly narrow gaps, and the first Monster of the Week ever. Appeared in "Squeeze" and "Tooms".
- Air-Vent Passageway: Justified since he is a mutant whose power is to be capable of squeezing through tiny openings.
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: A sickly yellow light.
- Creepy Monotone: He bare-ly has an-y in-flec-tion at all and talks real-ly slow-ly. It's ser-i-ous-ly freak-y.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: He gets trapped and torn to shreds by an escalator.
- Gory Discretion Shot: His death.
- Hungry Menace: Is stated to need human livers to survive.
- Older Than They Look: He was a genetic mutant and Serial Killer who needed human livers to hibernate. He looked to be in his late twenties in 1993, but his first murder had occurred in 1903.
- Picky People Eater: He feeds on human livers.
- Regularly Scheduled Evil: He comes out of hibernation every twenty years.
- Rubber Man: A rare version played for horror rather than comedy ... and it works.
Luther Lee Boggs (Brad Dourif)A murderer on death row who claimed to be a psychic and claimed that he could help Mulder and Scully in catching a serial killer. Appeared in "Beyond the Sea".
- The Atoner: At least some part of him feels remorse.
- Death Row: He is a mass murderer whose previous experience on a Death Row triggered his psychic abilities. This time he's about to be executed once again and tries to gain a deal by saving two young people who were kidnapped.
- Knuckle Tattoos: KISS and KILL.
- Phony Psychic: Surprisingly, that's how Mulder saw him. In the end, it isn't made clear.
Flukeman (Darin Morgan)A humanoid mutant with characteristics of invertebrate flatworm physiology. Created by radioactive waste, he/she/it (despite its name, it's actually a hermaphrodite) lurks within the waters of New Jersey's sewer systems. Known to bite humans with its scolex-like mouth and inject them with its own parasitic larval offspring. It's implied he can also reproduce asexually, as when a real flatworm is cut in half and develops into two separate organisms. Though it's possible that only one half of him survived getting chopped, and was able to regenerate itself.Flukeman only appeared in one episode, but became very famous with the fans and even causal viewers, and has been immortalized in the form of figurines, models, Pez dispensers, action figures, etc. Also was referenced several times in future episodes as a Running Gag.
- Ambiguously Human: They never really explain whether he was a man who got turned into a flukeworm or a flukeworm who got turned into a man.
- Until the Season Ten comics, which revealed he Was Once a Man, specifically a Ukrainian hazmat worker named Grigori.
- Lamprey Mouth: His most distingushing characteristic. Which is a bit of a goof, since 1) it's based on a tapeworm scolex, and 2) scolexes aren't mouthparts, but anchoring structures that attach the tapeworm (which doesn't even have a mouth) to the intestinal lining.
- Monster of the Week: A particularly effective one.
- Nuclear Nasty: Its origin story.
- Running Gag: As mentioned several times, neither Mulder and Scully wouldn't change a thing about their time together... except this case.
- Shaped Like Itself: Flukeman is a humanoid flukeworm.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: At one point in the episode, the authorities want to try it as a suspect, and it's mentioned that there are plans to have it psychologically evaluated. Mulder reacts by insisting that it's not a human, but an instinctively vicious monster.
Duane Barry (Steve Railsback)A former FBI agent who escapes from an insane asylum after claiming he was abducted by aliens. Appeared in "Duane Barry" and "Ascension".
- Berserk Button: When nobody believes that he is abducted by aliens.
- Fallen Hero: Was an exemplary FBI agent before it went From Bad to Worse.
- Killed Off for Real: Heavily implied to be done so by Krycek.
- Third-Person Person: Often referred to himself as "Duane Barry."
Phyllis Paddock (Susan Blommaert)An extremely powerful and profoundly displeased demon taking the guise of a substitute teacher. Appeared in "Die Hand Die Verletzt".
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Specializes in this partly as a way of punishing particularly unfaithful believers, but mostly just to be an asshole.
- Demon Lords and Archdevils: Heavily implied to be either an avatar of Azazel or his upper management. Either way, she's clearly very powerful.
- Eye Scream: Rips out the eyes of the kid who unwittingly summoned her.
- Evil Is Petty: That chain of affairs was all because she was pissed about not receiving proper worship.
- Faux Affably Evil: Leaves Mulder and Scully a parting message thanking them for their valuable assistance.
- Hellish Pupils: Gains reptilian eyes when commanding her snake familiar.
- Humanoid Abomination: Looks human, but it quickly becomes clear that she most definitely is not.
- Jerkass Gods: Something akin to it, anyways. Everything that she did was simply because the cultists had moved away from some of the crueler and more brutal rites associated with her.
- Manipulative Bastard: Spends most of the episode tricking Mulder and Scully into doing a good deal of her work for her, though she does reward them in the end by saving their asses.
- Neck Lift: The first thing she's seen doing.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Has a slight snake motif and uses a python as a familiar.
- Would Hurt a Child: Brutally killed the kid who summoned her and later forced the daughter of one of the cultists to kill herself.
Donald Addie "Donnie" Pfaster (Nick Chinlund)A necrophiliac fetishist who devolved into serial killing. Appeared in "Irresistible" and "Orison".
- Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: He prepares a cold bath for his victims and pays attention particularly to their hair.
- Creepy Monotone: One of the show's creepiest villains.
- He's Back: In season 7.
- Humanoid Abomination: Possibly. "Orison" definitely leaned towards "probably" in regards to this.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty
- I Love the Dead: He's a necrophiliac with a serious hair and nail fetish. "Irresistible" manages to be one of the creepier episodes, even with a completely mundane villain. Donnie's still highly creepy several years later in "Orison", when he escapes prison and comes after "the one who got away", namely Scully.
- Killed Off for Real: In "Orison".
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: He changes his appearance several times, including into a demonic form. In Irresistible it appears his transformations are Scully's panicked delusions, but in Orison they're more strongly implied to be real.
- The One That Got Away: Actually calls Scully this in Orison. He says she's all he ever thinks about.
- Secret Test of Character: God may or may not have been using him as one for Scully, which she apparently failed.
- That One Case: For Scully.
Darin Peter Oswald (Giovanni Ribisi)A mentally challenged teenager who also happens to be able to control electricity. Appeared in "D.P.O.".
- Ax-Crazy: If you associate with him at all, you are in danger, and if you piss him off, he will kill you.
- Idiot Savant: Quite skilled with cars.
- Leitmotif: Filter's "Hey Man Nice Shot".
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Tried (and failed) to kill his teacher's husband.
- Psycho Electro: One of the most Ax-Crazy characters in the series.
- Shock and Awe: He called down lightning and controlled electricity in general.
- The Sociopath: Thoroughly amoral and thinks that randomly frying cows with bolts of lightning is a boatload of fun.
- Stalker With a Crush: Towards a former teacher.
Clyde Bruckman (Peter Boyle)An insurance salesman who possessed the ability to tell when a person would die. Appeared in "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose".
- Driven to Suicide: He suffocates himself on a plastic bag.
- Wham LineScully: All right. So how do I die?
Bruckman: You don't.
Robert Patrick "Pusher" Modell (Robert Wisden)A serial killer who would drive his victims to suicide by manipulating their minds. Appeared in "Pusher" and "Kitsunegari".
- Alas, Poor Villain: Tries to protect Mulder from his vengeful sister and ends up taking a bullet. His death is poignant with his sister putting him at ease through the pain.
- Compelling Voice: He was a hit man who could make people do anything, including kill themselves. In the sequel episode, his sister had the same ability.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In "Kitsunegari" it is revealed that he's protecting his twin sister, who has his same powers.
- Gratuitous Japanese: He calls himself as Ronin, a warrior without a master.
- He defined his feud with Mulder kitsunegari, which means "fox hunt". Subverted in that it is Modell's sister hunting Mulder not Modell.
- Gunman with Three Names: Presumably not named after Robert Patrick, who wouldn't join the cast for another 5 years
- Ronin: He considers himself as one, making various references to Japanese culture.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Lampshaded by both Mulder and Scully.
- The Sociopath: Disturbing even by this show's standards: Modell manipulates and kills people for fun, even those who don't pose any kind of threat. This is exemplified in Pusher when he talks Agent Burst into a heart attack, when the latter refuses to hang up so his agents can trace Modell's call. Moments later, with Burst dying, he casually tells Mulder his location.
The Peacock Family - George, Sherman, Edmund and Mother. (Chris Nelson Norris, Adrian G. Griffiths, John Trottier and Karin Konoval)A murderous, in-bred family living in Home, Pennsylvania. Appeared in "Home".
- Ax-Crazy: The whole family goes baseball-bat-crazy on the Sheriff.
- Booby Trap: Smart enough to have set them around the house.
- Darker and Edgier: While many of the MOTW were pretty dark and vicious, these were extremely nasty to the point that the episode received a TV-MA rating as opposed to the TV-14 rating of the show.
- Evil Counterpart: To the Sheriff. Both do not like the way their small town is changing but while the Sheriff adjusts with it, these folks lash out.
- Evil Cripple: Too deformed to indulge in them herself.
- Evil Matriarch: The Mother Peacock who indulges in incest with the eldest son and condones their murderous activities.
- Karma Houdini: Mother Peacock and the eldest son escape and are last seen having sex in the car.
John Lee Roche (Tom Noonan)A repulsive child molester and chronic liar who likes playing Mind Games with Mulder. Appeared in "Paper Hearts".
- Consummate Liar: A chronic liar.
- Faux Affably Evil: Never gets angry and remains polite and cheerful throughout the episode, even when holding a child at gunpoint.
- I Lied: Claims to have abducted Samantha. Turns out to be a complete lie he created just to screw around with her brother Mulder.
- Karmic Death: Mulder finally grows tired of Roche's mind games and shots Roche dead with a bullet to the head at point-blank range.
- Paedohunt: A disgusting child molester who doesn't have a shred of remorse.
- Psychic Link: Seems to have some kind of psychic link with Mulder due to which he can see his dreams and accordingly manipulate Mulder with it. Though as Scully suggests, it's also possible he just researched Mulder's background enough to mess around with him.
- Taking You with Me: Tries to kill a child while held at gunpoint by Mulder, Scully and Skinner. Mulder gets him first.
Greg Pincus (John Apicella)CEO of a vinyl siding corporation. Also an insectoid monster that converts others to zombie slaves. Appeared in "Folie a Deux".
- Achilles' Heel: Needs the light to be able to maintain his human guise, which is how Mulder becomes aware of his true nature.
- Affably Evil: Honestly comes off as a perfectly pleasant and unassuming individual in his human guise.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: What he actually is.
- Glamour: How he conceals both his true nature and that of his zombie slaves.
- Glamour Failure: Happened with Gary Lambert (which eventually led to the hostage crisis that got the FBI involved), Mulder, and Scully.
- Humanoid Abomination: Looks human to the unaware, but is actually some sort of insectoid horror that can project a glamour.
- Karma Houdini: Had a close call with Scully, but managed to escape with his slaves to a different location to start all over.
- Night of the Living Mooks: His m/o.
- Our Zombies Are Different: His bite converts victims to undead slaves that appear perfectly normal to those affected by his glamour, but are very visibly dead to the aware.
- The Virus: Injects victims with some sort of toxin that kills and reanimates them and brings them under his thrall.
Alfred Fellig (Geoffrey Lewis)An immortal photographer who pursued people who were going to die so he could be finally taken by Death. Appeared in "Tithonus".
- The Ageless: Unlike the legendary Tithonus, he stopped aging when he looked in his sixties.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: He believes that people who wish to live forever are fools.
- Complete Immortality: The only way he can die is to watch into Death's eyes.
- Driven to Suicide: He tried in various ways (gas, pills, jumping from bridges), but it never worked.
- Healing Factor: He gets stabbed but his wounds regenerate quickly.
- Immortality: He managed to escape Death during an epidemy of yellow fever. At the end of the episode, he probably passed this condition to Scully, thus making Clyde Bruckman's prediction correct.
- Older Than They Look: A photographer who unfortunately gained immortality by tricking Death.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: He documents violent crime as soon as it happens in the hope that he will see death and allow death to finally come for him because he is bored with living after two hundred years and wants to know what happens to people after they die.
Patrick Garland Crump (Bryan Cranston)An ordinary man who over the course of a terrible day is forced to rob a car and drive it with maximum speed towards the west side failing to do which the pressure in his ear drum will release, killing him. Appeared in "Drive".The episode was written by Vince Gilligan and this is the role which got Cranston cast as Walter White.
- Jerkass: He is rude and racist but considering his desperate situation, you do not really blame him. And he mellows down a bit later.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: By the time Mulder gets him to Scully who was going to try and relieve the ear pressure, he has died already.
- Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: He is Anti-Semitic but portrayed with sympathy and he does come to a degree of understanding with Mulder.
Robert "Rob" Roberts (Chad Donella)A young mutant who tried to resist his craving for human brain. Appeared in "Hungry".
- Black Eyes of Evil: He wore contact lenses to hide them.
- Brain Food: tries to resist his cravings for human brains.
- Hungry Menace: He needed brains... not that he didn't try to live as a non-mutant.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: He really tries.
- Meat-O-Vision: Starts seeing other people's heads this way. Also inverted when he hallucinates that the hamburger patties he's cooking look like little brains.
- Obsessed with Food: He is consumed with eating people. He tries to control it by going to Overeaters Anonymous, but ends up killing & eating his landlady (who he bonded with when he discovered she was also in OA).
- Picky People Eater: He eats brains.
- Repetitive Name: Robert Roberts.
- Stages of Monster Grief: He viewed his compulsion to eat meat (i.e., human brains) as an addiction, and went to Overeaters Anonymous. He bonded with another attendee, his downstairs neighbor... but eventually he ate her brain. Goes through 1-3.
- Suicide by Cop: Against their wishes, Roberts suicidally rushes Mulder and Scully, who fire in defense, killing Roberts.
- Sympathetic Murderer: Apart from the last homicide, all his victims were Jerkasses
- Tropaholics Anonymous: He goes to Overeaters Anonymous, but it doesn't work.
- Villainous Breakdown: By the ending, he has killed one of the two people who have expressed sympathy towards him, had a Freak Out! with the other one and found himself cornered by the police.
- Villain Protagonist: He's the character most on-screen in the episode. Even Mulder and Scully make only some appearances.
Darryl Weaver (Tobin Bell)A chain-smoker kills others by smoking deadly cigarettes initially unwittingly, later maliciously. Appeared in "Brand X".
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Darryl's smoking is portrayed as a terrible thing since it literally kills people. He may not have directly intended said thing but he does not care even after coming to know of it.
- Jerkass: Looks at a No Smoking sign and immediately starts smoking. He is just an unpleasant individual. Then there is his malicious smoking to kill people for kicks.
- Smug Snake: Tries to browbeat Skinner claiming Skinner won't shoot him since he needs him and tries to walk away but Skinner shoots him in the shoulder instead.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Initially. He is a routine chain-smoker and is chosen as test subject for Morley's new brand of "safer" cigarettes. However, they produce a smoke that causes carnivorous tobacco beatles to settle inside anyone who inhales the smoke ultimately killing the person from inside. Since, he is a chain-smoker, the beetles don't affect himself. But later, he starts smoking to get rid of people.
Guy Mann (Rhys Darby)A lizard-like monster who, after being bitten by a human, transforms into a human during the day. Appeared in "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster".
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Ends up as the manager of the phone store he begins working at, despite not having a clue what he's doing.
- Canine Companion. Dagoo.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: His unfamiliarity with human culture has him coming off as this.
- Nice Hat: Sports a very nice straw hat.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Turns out to be a friendly, good-natured monster. The killings in the episode were actually the work of a human Serial Killer.
- Whole Costume Reference: To John Kolchak.