Recap / The X-Files S06 E06 "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas"


  • Bottle Episode: It's just Mulder and Scully in a car, in a Haunted House, and in Mulder's apartment. And there are only two other characters beside them.
  • Christmas Episode: It's Christmas and Mulder and Scully spend the magical night together, chasing apparitions who make themselves known every Christmas. Cute. But Scully is somewhat uncomfortable as she is supposed to be visiting her family early in the morning.
  • Dresses the Same: Played with. Mulder and Scully discover two decomposed corpses under the floor and they have the same clothes as the agents. They are of course supposed to represent them.
    Scully: Mulder, she's wearing my outfit.
    Mulder: How embarrassing!
    Scully: Yeah, well, you know what? He's wearing yours.
  • Genre Blindness / Genre Savvy: Maurice laments that they don't get to scare people on Halloween. Lyda immediately counters that by saying people love being scared on Halloween and how it's much easier to play on a person's regrets during Christmas.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: "I don't show my hole to just anyone."
  • Haunted House: The ghost live in one. Some of the tricks are really good. The lights switch on and off, the old clock chime, the furniture is appropriately covered with dust, brick walls keep appearing in places where doors are supposed to be; there are missing stairs and ladders in the big library room, corpses under the floor, mind-screwing multiplied rooms, Christmas music keeps playing... Really quite good.
  • How the Character Stole Christmas: The episode title is a [Trope Name] example, but the plot has nothing in common with the Trope Namer.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Maurice laments that he and Lyda used to have all year round to drive victims into madness. Now, they only get one day and have to rush their tricks.
  • New Year's Resolution: Scully has a good one. It's something like not to follow Mulder on his crazy quests all the time.
  • Scary Flashlight Face: Mulder tries it on Scully. Her nerves are taut, so it works.
  • Self-Deprecation: Scully initially derides the sights in the house as standard clichés. Later on, Maurice laments the stunts they pull and that their pop psychology lines run the risk of being more annoying than anything else.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Frank Sinatra's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is featured heavily in the episode.
  • The Stakeout: Mulder stakes out the house from a car.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Lyda and Maurice. They were together when they were alive, but they were afraid that one of them might die and leave the other alone.
  • Suicide Pact: The ghosts, a couple of lovers, try to get Mulder and Scully re-enact their suicide pact.
  • Together in Death:
    • The ghosts Maurice and Lyda died via Suicide Pact and are together in the afterlife.
    • The ghosts tries to get Mulder and Scully re-enact their deaths. They invoke the illusion of the bodies lying together with corpses that remind Mulder and Scully under the floorboards.
    • It is implied that the ghosts drove other couples to suicide. They were people who lived in their Haunted House.
    • Nearly played straight with Mulder and Scully who appear to have shot each other so that they need not to face their lonely lives. However, they recognize that it is a trick and they flee from the house.