Characters: The X-Files

This is a summary page for the characters from The X-Files.
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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 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.
  • Anyone Can Die: Mulder dies kind of a lot. He flatlines in the middle of season 2. And at the end of season 2. And two episodes in season 8. Never Killed Off for Real, however.
  • 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 alwas 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Occult Detective: Investigates the paranormal.
  • 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.
  • 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" Twenty-Seven 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, Cleopatra 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: 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.
  • Occult Detective: Investigates the paranormal.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: She sometimes comments on psychological issues even though it's Mulder who has the degree in this area.
  • 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.
  • Red-Headed Heroine: She's a redhead and female lead of the series. The shade of her hair sometimes varied, but her red bob is truly iconic.
  • 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 Girl: Few people besides Mulder ever get to see the "sugar" side.
  • 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.
  • Big Good
  • 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.

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.
  • Chew Toy: For a triple-crossing assassin, he sure does get beat up a lot. Mostly by Mulder.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • Turn Coat
  • Wild Card
  • 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 tow 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 willing to tolerate him, 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.

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.

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.
  • 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 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 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 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.

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.

(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

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.

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 Family

Pop up once in a while to fret over and get caught up in her increasingly peculiar job.

Mulder Family

Troubled and fraught, with mysterious connections to the conspiracy.

    The Conspiracy 

The Syndicate

A 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."

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 Adjectival Man
  • 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 (maybe).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Chessmaster
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Evil, obviously.
  • He Who Must Not Be Heard: Appeared in the very first episode, but had no dialogue for much of the first season.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain
  • Hidden Depths: He'd probably give it all up to be a writer, if he could get published.
  • Joker Immunity: Revoked in the series finale.
  • Knight Templar
  • Luke, I Am Your Father
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Misanthrope Supreme:
    CSM: Men can never be free, because they are weak, corrupt, worthless and restless.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).

Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin)

Mulder's first informant.

X (Steven Williams)

Mulder's second informant, colder and less friendly than Deep Throat.

  • Badass
  • 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"
  • Mysterious Informant
  • Scary Black Man
  • 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.

Jeremiah Smith (Roy Thinnes)

Alien Bounty Hunter (Brian Thompson, various)

  • Alien Blood: Bleeds green whose fumes are extremely toxic to humans.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Jeremiah Smith.
  • Implacable Man
  • 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 Black Oil/The Purity

    Notable cases 

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".

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".

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.

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".

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".

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: He tries to kill his teacher's husband (but he survives). Not that it accomplishes anything.
  • 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".

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.
  • Faux Affably Evil
  • 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
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • 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 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".

  • Faux Affably Evil: Never gets angry and remains polite and cheerful throughout the episode, even when holding a child at gunpoint.
  • I Have Your Sister: Claims to have abducted Samantha. Turns out to be a complete lie he created just to screw around with her brother Mulder.
  • Karmic Death
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Paedohunt: A disgusting child molester and 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.
  • The Sociopath

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.
  • Blessed with Suck
  • Camera Fiend
  • Complete Immortality: The only way he can die is to watch into Death's eyes.
  • Creepy Monotone
  • Death Seeker
  • 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".