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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Welcome to Night Vale
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     Cecil 

Cecil's physical appearance is really frightening to normal humans.
In "A Memory of Europe", he describes walking into an alehouse in a country called Luftnarp during his travels in Europe and not receiving service because everyone was standing there grey-faced with their mouths hanging open in terror.
  • Jossed by creator Joseph Fink, who said that the bizarre appearance of the people in Luftnarp is just the way they look and act, having nothing to do with Cecil.

However, Carlos, despite being an outsider, doesn't seem to be shocked or scared of Cecil at all, since he grins the first time they meet. His only concern upon coming to Cecil's radio station for the first time is the high levels of radio activity coming from the radio mic. He worriedly tells Cecil to get himself, and everyone else in the station, outside. Implying that he truly believes outside forces to be malevolent and not the actual people around him.

  • Cecil is described loosely over the course of the series and is only, as yet, ever mentioned as having normal human attributes. Kevin describes him as being a man and makes mention of his hair, eyes, and nose. Carlos puts his hand on Cecil's knee in one episode and Cecil, in turn, rests his head on Carlos' shoulder. Later, on their first date, they are described as walking arm in arm with Cecil being dressed in a tunic and furry pants. Cecil is also described as wearing a tie and he talks about his shoes and gesturing with his hands. But all accounts his seems to have all the limbs and features of a regular human.
    • In episode 25 Carlos does comment that "sometimes things seem so strange or malevolent and then you find that underneath it was something else altogether, something pure and innocent." This could be a reference to Cecil himself and how Carlos may have regarded him at first. Or just in reference to Night Vale itself, which he had previously been too busy trying to figure out to give Cecil the time of day.
      • Or perhaps the Carlos listened to the station, caught Cecil gushing about him a few times, and thought he was weird. Cecil mentions that Carlos used to always emphasize that he wasn't calling him for personal reasons.
  • Alternately, Carlos is Admiring the Abomination. Cecil's appearance is creepy, but perhaps he's a handsome kind of creepy. Or he knew about Cecil's constant gushing and was flattered.
  • Another possibility is that Cecil looks totally human, but his presence can create a disturbed feeling in people who can sense something is not right with him.

Cecil is half-human, half monster.
He is possibly the child of Azathoth.

Cecil has partial omniscience.
Even when he isn't being fed information by random sources, Cecil seems to simply "know" things that are going on, such as in A Story About You. If true, however, he doesn't seem to use it very often. Which is likely due to his crippling biases, his small attention span, and his fear of The City Council.

Cecil is clairvoyant because all NVCR reporters are. The visions teen!Cecil experienced were due to his nascent powers.
As above, Cecil seems to know things he, logically, has no way of knowing. (This could be symbolized by the third eye fanon likes to give him.) What if it's to do with his job? It seems like an awfully big coincidence that teen!Cecil's visions started right when he took the first concrete steps towards a career in radio.

Cecil is proficient in astral projection.
Like it says in the above WMG, Cecil seems to know things that he probably shouldn't be able to know. Also, it's mentioned in one episode that astral projection is no longer allowed in school, so we know that it's possible. "A Story About You" was Cecil suddenly being interested in one particular person and following them for the duration of the episode.

Cecil has experienced too much mind control/brainwashing/etc. and is resistant
Too many Eldritch Abominations and authority figures in Night Vale have toyed with his mind over the years, giving him resistance to it. This explains why he isn't an upbeat puppet like Kevin and is capable of sounding dubious about City Council pronouncements, was able to talk about the Shape, and didn't change his behavior after being summoned to "re-education". (This suggests that he might actually be lying about such things as sharing the town's amnesia about the first appearance of the Glow Cloud or not remembering what the Man in the Tan Jacket looks like.)

Cecil is becoming self-aware.
He is constantly questioning his existence because he doesn't exist. He is a fictional character and may be somewhat aware of that fact.

He's entirely human otherwise. He likes to change his appearance in every episode, just for the fun of it and to keep listeners guessing. It also explains why Cecil keeps a photo to "remember what he looks like"; he shifts so much that he sometimes forgets to go back to his natural form (which looks just like Cecil Baldwin, BTW).

Cecil’s appearance depends on others’ perceptions.
  • People perceive him as looking however they think he should look. Two people could look at him simultaneously, and see two different appearances.
    • Part of the reason he likes Carlos so much is that Carlos can see the real him.

Cecil is a gorgon.
Gorgon, as in the mythological creature, like Medusa. Snakes for hair, horribly ugly, turns people to stone when they look at his face.
  • In episode 26, Cecil says: "Or better yet, destroy all of your mirrors. As my mother used to tell me, “Someone’s going to kill you one day, Cecil, and it will involve a mirror. Mark my words, child!” And then she would stare absently through my eyes until I giggled. Ah, I miss her so much.” This seems like a silly Night Vale proverb or prognostication but in the context of both Cecil and his mother being gorgons it makes sense.
  • In episode 16, Cecil says: "not taking off our gas masks for meals, even though it is considered polite." This implies that Night Vale residents are supposed to be wearing gas masks most of the time, meaning that his face would be covered the vast majority of the time so he'd be able to live a normal life — at least as normal as a citizen of Night Vale's life can be, anyway.
  • Either way, as a gorgon, he would have a perfect face for radio.
  • It might also explain his obsession with Carlos's perfect hair. He wouldn't have any.

Cecil Gershwin Palmer, the kid in the cassette tapes, is dead, and the Cecil reporting to us is not him.
They may be inhabiting the same body and may have some of the same habits but they're not the same person. The current person we know as Cecil somehow "took over" the teenager Cecil Gershwin Palmer and became the radio station host.
  • Current Cecil does not remember any of the events in the tapes, interning at Night Vale Community Radio, or even having a brother, and that's because he wasn't the one experiencing them at all.
  • When listening to the cassette tapes, the radio host says, "Let's get back to these tapes of this younger person with whom I share a life." Regular Night Vale listeners have become jaded to these bizarre turns of phrase, but in this case it might be more literal.
  • Cecil Gershwin Palmer was an intern at Night Vale Community Radio, and we all know what happens to interns. They tend to die.
  • Some of his last words on the cassette are "I think, therefore I soon won’t be."''
  • His mother said “Someone’s going to kill you one day, Cecil, and it will involve a mirror. Mark my words, child!" She was telling this to Cecil Gershwin Palmer, and it's already happened. We heard it happen at the end of Cassette. His mother was trying to protect him by covering up all the mirrors but this ultimately proved futile.
    • Also, covering mirrors is a surprisingly common funerary preparation; many cultures including, for example, the Victorians and those who practice Judaism (while sitting Shiva) do so. A little added symbolism, perhaps?
      • After trying to look up reasons why people cover mirrors for mourning, there is some stuff about avoiding vanity during mourning but possibly a more apt superstition is that the spirit of the dead person can get trapped in a mirror. This is probably unrelated but there is a similar superstition about stopping clocks.
      • And there is only one real, working clock in Night Vale; the watch Cecil got from Carlos.

Now there's the question of who exactly the current Cecil is — he was the flickering at the corner of Cecil Gershwin Palmer's eye up until the last recorded point on the radio. He might be some kind of "spirit" of NVCR.
  • Current Cecil was disturbed at the end of the tape because he knew exactly what happened.
  • The reason why Current Cecil knows some things that Cecil Gershwin Palmer knows and has some of the same quirks is because The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body.
  • Cecil Gershwin Palmer says that the reason why he's going to replace Leonard Burton is because the tablets at City Hall say so. All of these events were foreordained. This is why his mother and brother are gone by the end and someone has uncovered the mirror — his takeover has to happen.
  • Cecil Gershwin Palmer describes Leonard with "Leonard lolls his tongue out of his thick, purple lips" Purple lips are not used to describe someone who is healthy. Leonard is either very sick or already dead and the thing that made him the voice of NVCR would then need a new host.
  • Current Cecil being some kind of entity of the radio station explains how he can know things that he shouldn't be able to. It would also explain why he hasn't been fired for acting unprofessionally. The station needs him too much.
  • The reason for the symmetry in Desert Bluffs then is not because it's some kind of "mirror world", it's because Desert Bluffs has the same kind of entity in its radio station in the form of Kevin.
  • As of episode 44, Current Cecil apparently has a sister. A sister that Cecil Gershwin Palmer did not seem to have, or he would have mentioned her along with his mother and brother.
Cecil is a fetch.
  • The Cecil recording the radio show. The recordings in "Cassette" are just before the original Cecil's abduction. The thing just outside his vision was the Fae that eventually took him. The reason the current Cecil doesn't remember what was on the tapes was the Fae covering its tracks but somehow missed the tapes.

The winner of Lot 37 was...
  • Carlos.
    • And he did it because he was sick of Cecil risking his life to report things and doesn't want to see him get himself killed (or worse, knowing the Strex).
      • Jossed by the creators, who felt that reeked of a possessive relationship.
  • A member of Strex Corp; not only would they own the radio show (along with apparently other businesses in town), but they would also own NVCR's host too. And after the last episode...
  • Marcus Vansten. Perhaps to use the radio to further publicize his mayoral campaign?
    • To support this; Marcus is super rich, and he was mentioned prominently in this episode. Who else would have the money to stop the bidding after just one raise of the hand?
  • The Man in the Tan Jacket.
  • Old Woman Josie. Partly because they're friends, and partly because she's been feeling kind of lonely since the disappearence of her Angels.
  • The Faceless Old Woman. Really, anyone is fine, as long as it wasn't someone from Strex Corp.
  • Kevin.
  • Steve Carlsberg.
  • The Smiling God. It would explain why no one else bid - the Smiling God is just so scary, even for Night Vale citizens, that no one wanted to bid against it and draw its attention. It might make Renovations and Old Oak Doors into one big, drawn-out Hope Spot by showing up to claim its property, maybe even forcibly taking over Cecil.
  • Cecil's father. His identity is a mystery, but prime candidates include Garrison Keillor, Rod Serling, and Yog Sotthoth.

The winner of Lot 37 was us, the listeners.
  • Think about it. The creators have been working on this podcast for a long time, taking donations, selling merchandise and even making tour appearances that sell out of tickets as fast as they can make them. Us fans have been pouring money because we want more stories, more podcasts, and ultimately more CECIL. Not to mention the fan-created content that interprets the character how they wish.
We may not literally own Cecil Palmer, but the audience response to WTNV has not gone unnoticed.

Cecil was bidding for the rights to Cecil Gershwin Palmer (i.e. his lost memories of his childhood.)
In the episode Cecil expresses an intense desire to win the lot - disregarding the extreme cost to the point that his entire body is shaking. His lost memories of his family and childhood have been plaguing him for some time, and he wants the lot as hope that his memories will be restored along with the fate of his lost mother and brother. Also, he wants to affirm that he is indeed the Cecil Gershwin Palmer from the tapes. Earlier WMG's say that he had been replaced by the entity that is now Cecil here. Those memories may reveal what happened to that kid.

Cecil was bidding for his freedom as a fictional character to break the fourth wall and save Night Vale.
He knows Strex Corp is growing stronger and he wishes to take control of his own destiny instead of being controlled by corrupt governments, eldritch abominations, and ultimately the creators of Night Vale's universe.

Cecil has trouble understanding humans.
To him, humans are the most fascinating and terrifying things in existence. On the one hand, he finds that Humans Are Special for persisting in a vast, uncaring universe and finding meaning in whatever they do. On the other hand, he finds that Humans Are Cthulhu for their baffling, often contradictory sense of morality - hence why he sees the Sheriff's Secret Police and Marcus Vansten as upstanding citizens. This also explains why he tolerates the City Council (which follows his Blue and Orange Morality), but is worried about Strex Corp, which does not seem to be supernatural in the slightest.

Cecil was normal before his encounter with Station Management.
At the end of episode 3, Station Management has been ticked off on an epic level due to Cecil fighting to keep his show. Station Management threatened to absorb Cecil into itself if they caught him. The end of the episode leaves things kind of ambiguous, but considering all the episodes between then and now, Cecil survived. But, did he really? Sure, Cecil has continued his show, but that doesn't mean he escaped Station Management unscathed. Station Management are the reason why Cecil doesn't remember his childhood, because this Cecil is a copy created by them.

In the mid-sixties, Cecil bought a gun, which he brought to a drug orgy. Things went downhill quickly.
The weirdly apathetic tone of Sister Ray seems to fit quite well with the general attitude of Night Vale, and a lot of his personality could be explained by past drug use, although this would make Cecil considerably older than he's generally thought to be.

Cecil has been replaced with clones several times during the course of the podcast
Similar to Rei of Neon Genesis Evangelion and Sam and Dean of Venture Brothers, there is an army of replacement Cecils for whenever the current one dies (as he may have more often than he lets on) or becomes too uppity for Station Management or, now, Strex Corp. There are many situations where Cecil manages to get out alive where others haven't and for reasons that he can't explain, like in the episodes Station Management or Subway, so he may not have actually lived but a replacement Cecil was used. Also, in episodes like Yellow Helicopters and Missing, Cecil has fierce disagreements with how the station or town is run and then suddenly in the next episode he insists that everything is fine — almost as if he had been reset. There may be a Cecilquarium under the studio or something.

Cecil has become more and more isolated after becoming the radio host for NVCR
Whenever he talks about friends and acquaintances like Old Woman Josie and John Peters (you know, the farmer) he speaks like he doesn't actually interact with them much anymore. Carlos seems to be his main contact in town besides work contacts, and he's a newcomer. It could be that the station is mutating him into something awful making people want to stay away from him, but or something as benign that ever since he started being a radio host he's been announcing all of his friends' personal lives over the air driving them away.

Cecil comes from a family of Seers
Or oracles if you prefer. His mother did predict exactly how he was going to die and Cecil himself seems to know more than people would expect, making it possible that he too can see the future somehow (not necessarily with any "third eye" though). We can assume that his brother has the same ability, unless his aloofness was because he alone of his family lacked this ability.

Cecil shares a mind with and voices the thoughts of the town of Night Vale
The process that the young Cecil went through, beginning with his mother and brother's disappearence and ending with the mysterious attack at the end of the Cassette tapes was part of a ritual to grant the town a voice. This ritual may have been conducted by city council or by the town itself, but as prophesied, the ritual created a new 'Voice of Night Vale'. The Voice of Night Vale is not a title. It is a literal description of the NCVR Radio host, whose grooming connects them to the city until their prophesied replacement. The incidents involving the mirrors and the mysterious attack were necessary to groom Cecil to speak for Night Vale. What happened with Leonard's death represents the city deciding to change out its voice.

In episode 47, Cecil is safely hiding with Carlos
Pleaseletthisbetruepleaseletthisbetruepleaseletthisbetruepleaseletthisbetrue...

Cecil directly instigated Strexcorp's takeover of the town.
Cecil's opening to A Blinking Light up on the Mountain is "Our god is an awesome god. Much better than that ridiculous god that Desert Bluffs has." The very next episode is Yellow Helicopters, when Strexcorp begins their takeover of Night Vale. The takeover is Strex's direct reaction to Cecil's careless insult. It's all his fault!

Cecil is disabled in some way.
When Steve Carlsberg flips out and throws Kevin back through the door, he mentions specifically "you will not change my stepbrother". Two possibilities: either he's just concerned that his stepbrother has a creepy doppelganger who can just waltz into his studio and menace him or something like that, or else maybe Kevin's remarks about Janice made him get defensive of Cecil because Cecil is also disabled, and Steve is worried that StexCorp might feel like he needs fixing too.
  • I think he actually said step DAUGHTER, as Cecil is his brother-in-law not his stepbrother.
    • Maybe, but the transcript here says he said step-brother. It's possible to be both brothers-in-law and stepbrothers.

The third Story Arc will be about Cecil (possibly following up on Cassette).
  • WTNV has had two distinct story arcs so far, each taking up roughly 25 episodes. The first was mainly about the tiny civilization under Lane 5 and Cecil and Carlos' relationship. The second was concerning StrexCorp's gradual takeover of Night Vale and its defeat. Since Cassette and The Auction are the two episodes that are leaving us obvious loose threads after both One Year Later and Old Oak Doors, the "season finales," I've got a feeling we'll get to know Cecil better in the coming 25, or perhaps the 25 after that if we're lucky enough to have more. At the time of writing, Episode 50 is yet to come, but that would really only have the possibility of resolving who bought Cecil, and not have time to fully touch on who (or what) Cecil might be.

Cecil is an omniscient, omnipotent Eldritch Abomination (or the son of one) that is somehow bound in Night Vale.
  • But Cecil doesn't know this, or at least doesn't know why he can't leave Night Vale. His family and the entire town did, and his true potential started to surface at puberty, hence why he seems to know things he shouldn't; perhaps he's just omniscient and part of it emerged, perhaps the omnipotence is stemmed, which might have been something he was expressing frustration at when he thought Carlos had died. The flickering was a powerful something they'd employed, possibly a resident of Night Vale, to trap and keep Cecil in and not too powerful, lest he wind up inadvertently causing massive damage to this plane. We've seen the fact that Cecil has a nasty capacity for cruelty, and he may know that he's sealed in and secretly resent it at least a little. It'd be a stretch, but Carlos may possibly be a Morality Pet, to some extent. Furthermore, Station Management is a more powerful Eldritch Abomination that is is responsible for keeping Cecil contained, and not dangerous to the town. Despite the threats, they're unable to absorb him due to his nature, but they can scare the living shit out of him.

Cecil is actualy just a kid recording a "imaginary" radio through Diary Logs.
Its his way of dealing with the unimaginable horrors fo Night Vale. Also the adult voice is imaginary . He also talks smoothly because being scared all the time mkaes him insane. His eye also has a mind of itself.

     The Radio Show 

The Weather is actually horrifying and alien to our ears.
We only hear music from little known bands because that is the form our mind can cope with.
  • Jossed by Steve Carlsberg in episode 53. He mentions having listened to the weather on the day of his wedding, and that everyone had to sit around awkwardly until the music stopped.
The show is live, and Cecil prerecords the weather before each show.
Night Vale weather patterns are heavily classified and are being censored by the Vague Yet Menacing Government Agency. Since the show goes out live, they don't know how long they're going to have to censor Cecil's weather report, and the little known bands work for the VYMGA.

Episode 37 will be narrated by Kevin.
Since in episode 36 Strexcorp shut down Cecil's show.
  • Jossed.
  • It's likely Kevin will narrate the episode following Parade Day, though. Since Parade Day ends with Cecil being dragged off by Strex Operatives. More, a moment before he hints strongly that Kevin entered the studio... I fear for Night Vale. I fear for Cecil.

Kevin will host Episode 44
The sponsor ad in Episode 43 was narrated by Kevin, his second appearance. Kevin first appeared in Episodes 19a and 19b. Episode 25, One Year Later, takes place one year after the show starts. 25 + 19 = 44. Episode 44 will comes out on April 1, 2014. What's a better April Fool's Joke than Kevin as the Voice of Night Vale?
  • Jossed, although he and Lauren do host together a few episodes later.

Night Vale MUST have a Radio Show, and the Host MUST Host
Cecil and Kevin narrate everything that happens, even in times of great stress. Cecil and Kevin got away with so much from whoever was in charge, be it the Station Management, City Council or even Strex. Regardless of the body count, regardless of the vulnerability from it, Night Vale, and possibly Desert Bluffs, MUST HAVE A RADIO SHOW. ... Just not sure why.

We don't hear all of Cecil's show
  • It starts around noon, and ends between 8 and 10 pm. We hear an edited version of the day, and/or a much shorter version of the weather, which lasts for varying amounts of time (ranging from minutes to hours). Cecil has mentioned coming in around midday, and has reported after sunset. It's also only on the first and fifteenth days of every month. There are other hosts on other days, with equally specific schedules.

     Night Vale 
Night Vale is just an ordinary desert town and Cecil is a guy with a radio show who makes everyday events bizarre and creepy because he's bored as hell.
All of the people he alludes to are actually real people, who he's lampooning (the City Council) or just actually fangirling over (Carlos.)
  • He's actually really good friends with Steve Carlsberg, that's why Cecil almost cartoonishly hates him on air. The Apache Tracker however is exactly the same.
    • Expanding off this, the Apache Tracker actually used to be a co-writer for the show of sorts, but had to leave shortly after finishing up Episode 24. This is why he "dies" in the next episode, "One Year later".

Night Vale is located somewhere near either Gravity Falls or Nowhere, Kansas.
  • It'd explain all the weird things going on (provided they're actually going on at all). The talking pyramid in Episode 11 should also be a Hilarious in Hindsight for Gravity Falls fans.
    • Gravity Falls is in Oregon, and Nowhere is obviously in Kansas. Night Vale, set in a desert, could easily be between the two of them, in Nevada.
      • Night Vale is actually most likely in Southern California, since they have a Ralphs, which is the Kroger Food Co. Southern California brand. I would think they were probably also somewhere near the Mexico border since in one episode Cecil mentions Mexican Spinach, which isn't all that common that much far north of San Diego.
      • Also, in more than one newscast, Spanish is referred to as if the most common second language (usually when discussing the Russian-speaking formally two headed local football star), such as the television stations being in either English or Spanish, or said football star's inability to communicate with his teammates in either English or Spanish.

Night Vale is on a Hellmouth.

Night Vale is just Cecil's delusion.
Cecil is actually in a mental ward for severe hallucinations. The "radio broadcast" format is how Cecil copes with or processes the delusions. Carlos and the other citizens of Night Vale are based on other residents of the clinic. Kevin is Cecil's alternate personality, for whom he affects a voice, created in order to offset his own depressive self-loathing. The dog park is the outside world, meaning Dana is either a patient who's recovered or someone from Cecil's life before admission.
  • Carlos is probably Cecil's doctor, but Old Woman Josie is clearly another patient. The wheat and wheat by-products ban is because Cecil has a gluten allergy.
  • I'd probably guess the following: Carlos is Cecil's doctor and he's slowly succumbing to the Florence Nightingale Effect. Old Woman Josie's a patient who was admitted because she claims to see "Angels" everywhere. Dana is a friend of Cecil's who was the one who admitted him and still contacts him from time to time. Steve Carlsberg seems sane at first, but his wild conspiracy theories led to him being admitted and Cecil hates him for some reason. The Apache Tracker's well, the Apache Tracker. The "Faceless Old Woman" is a patient with depression (hence why she calls herself "faceless") and Hiram MacDaniels has multiple personalities (hence the "five heads").

Night Vale is all for Cecil's benefit
Cecil is, in fact, the son of an Eldritch Abomination, who founded the town in an attempt to give its lonely spawn a more social life. It tries to give its spawn a normal human life, but it doesn't really get what that entails, and can't exactly curb its malign influence on the world around it and Cecil. Enter the local The Men in Black, who run the town and keep the crazy contained. Cecil is allowed to speak out against the local authorities because they wouldn't dare move against his creator. Carlos is allowed in because he has an unusually high tolerance for weirdness, and the powers that be realize that he's just Cecil's type, thus keeping everyone important happy and preventing Cecil from leaving and causing chaos elsewhere when he comes into more of his own power.

Night Vale is an Eldritch Location that people with paranormal attributes are subconsciously attracted to.
All of the citizens and visitors to the town have some kind of otherworldly feature or power, and the town itself wants them to stay in its borders. At the very least, the town has to attract a lot of new residents to keep any sort of population with the number of deaths and disappearances described in the show.
  • Building off that point, it is a place where paranormal things are attracted and, for lack of a better word, tamed. Consider the Glow Cloud, which goes from ominous and terrifying to running for PTA and joining the band. This is also the reason for the town motto.

Night Vale exists in the same world as Look Around You.
And, in universe-it's an educational program run by Strex Corp.

Night Vale exists in the same world as Scarfolk Council.
Just not perpetually trapped in the 1970s.

Night Vale exists in the same world as the The World of Darkness
  • and Carlos is a Hunter of some kind.
  • It would explain the fact that supernatural events that happen and everyone is apparently perfectly fine with it.

If The Doctor visited Night Vale, the TARDIS wouldn't let him.
Night Vale wouldn’t like the TARDIS or vice versa. There is too much temporal weirdness going on for the Doctor to even land her there. She just well avoid the town completely.

Night Vale is actually a Domain of Ravenloft.
It was created for a Darklord that just wanted to be normal. Namely Steve Carlsburg.

Night Vale is built on a Rift In Space and Time- like Cardiff.
Carlos and his scientists are really Torchwood Four.

Night Vale and Twin Peaks are sister towns.

Night Vale is actually in Arcadia.
Following on from earlier theories about Night Vale being in the World of Darkness, and the Faceless Old Woman being one of the Gentry... well, the town being a Keeper's nightmare realm makes a whole lot of sense, doesn't it? All the weird stuff that goes on is just part of the madness of Faerie.
  • The Keeper is, of course, the City Council. Its other aspects include the Glow Cloud and Station Management.
  • Desert Bluffs is the domain of the City Council's Fae rival (the CEO of StrexCorp). Strex moving into Night Vale and buying the radio station? All part of the Legend.
  • The Dog Park is actually the exit to the Hedge. Dana is currently walking back towards the mortal world.
  • Cecil is a Wizened Oracle. Carlos is well on the way to becoming a Fairest (note his perfect and beautiful everything).
  • The civilisation below the bowling alley is another Keeper's Realm.
  • Big Rico's pizza helps hasten the process of becoming a changeling - why do you think it's mandatory?
  • The Man in the Tan Jacket may be a rival Fae... or he could be a changeling trying to set the citizens of Night Vale free. Either way, it explains why the Council wants him captured so desperately.
  • The Apache Tracker's transformation was just the work of the Keeper, shaping him (like all changelings) into a form that best fit his purpose.
    • The Faceless Old Woman is one of the True Fae.
  • The Feral Dogs Plactic Bags are changelings, specifically, Beasts, who were trying to get the citizens of Night Vale to free themselves, but were driven back through the hedge to earth.
Night Vale is really the Q Continuum.

Remember the episode "Death Wish" where the Q Continuum was depicted as a town by the side of the road in the desert? "Welcome to Night Vale" is a radio show produced by some very bored Q (yeah, probably THAT Q.) And the news? It's all true. Who else would have the power to make giant snails?

Night Vale exists in the New World of Darkness God Machine Chronicle.
It is one of the strongest bastions of the God Machine on Earth — a place of vast, layered Infrastructure, of innumerable, layered Occult Matrices both large and small. Most of the town's bizarre municipal projects are for this purpose: the Dog Park; the teleporting, invisible clock tower; the municipal waterfront. It is a town populated mostly by Stigmatics, many of whom were unerringly drawn to the town from elsewhere, and is governed by Angels, and perhaps and other beings who've stumbled across the town and found themselves caught up in the God Machine's machinations.

Cecil is a regular old Stigmatic, but Night Vale Community Radio is almost certainly Infrastructure of some sort. Whatever its purpose is, it is quite probably fuelled by the regular sacrifice of interns.

The Man In The Tan Jacket and the Apache Tracker are both demons. Tan Jacket makes extensive use of the Never Here embed to disguise his features and actions; the Apache Tracker's inexplicable Race Lift is the consequence of a Soul Pact. (He may even have been Native American originally, a long time and several Covers ago.) How they are operating so freely right under the nose of the God Machine — and what they're attempting to accomplish — remains to be seen.

Strexcorp, well, Strexcorp is something worse. A malevolent, cancerous growth on the God Machine, perhaps, or something else competing with it for control. Whatever it is, something is preventing the God Machine from just wiping Desert Bluffs off the map. Is Strexcorp too powerful? Is it fulfilling some part of the God Machine's plan? Or does it exist in some strange blind spot that prevents the God Machine from confronting it directly?

Or maybe it's just more Infrastructure; maybe there's a good reason why the Desert Bluffs radio studio is covered in blood. Maybe the conflict between it and Night Vale is just...friction, the grinding of gears that don't quite fit but still turn well enough. Who knows?

Night Vale is cursed.
Remember the town motto?
"We have nothing to fear except ourselves. We are unholy, awful people. Fear ourselves with silence. Look down, Night Vale. Look down and forget what you've done."
Perhaps the founders of the town had done something to really tick off someone/thing they really should have left alone, and he/she/it punished them by cursing the town. Things like Street Cleaning Day, Valentine's Day, the Mayor, Station Management, StrexCorp and the Apache Tracker are all part of the curse.

Night Vale is gradually "normalizing", and this will become a major plot point on the show.
A number of recent developments have reduced the number of supernatural phenomenon that beset Night Vale... The disappearance of Old Woman Josie's angel friends, Meghan's corrective surgery turning her into a hand attached to a man, the absence of the Mysterious Hooded Figures since Strex's takeover, and the implication that Khoshekh has been forced to become a regular, non-floating cat since the events of Episode 43. Gradually, the show will become more and more about the excesses and social injustices that Strex Corp inflicts upon Night Vale, with the occasional use of a supernatural element when the story / mood calls for it. Perhaps we'll learn that Strex has been behind this, reducing the number of powerful other-worldly elements that could possibly stop them. Cecil eventually has the option to prevent this from continuing, but is conflicted whether or not he prefers "normal" existence to the oddball one he is so familiar with.

Street Cleaners

The street cleaners are perfectly normal.
The weirdness of the situation comes from the entirety of the population of Night Vale reacting to them much like pets or small children sometimes react to vacuum cleaners.

The Street Cleaners are actually from Desert Bluffs.
And everyone is thus entirely correct in being terrified at their approach.

     Carlos 

Welcome to Night Vale is a video game, in which Carlos is the main character.

Night Vale is a neighboring town to Silent Hill, which is a town with similar properties(trapping and calling people to the town, random weird stuff). Carlos, the player character, visits the town to investigate it's strange...everything, fighting off monsters, strange townspeople, and the hilariously corrupt secret police. Along the way he meets Cecil who works as both a narrator, the comic relief, the love interest, and the exposition for the next objective. Supported by Episode 15's Traffic Report (which is probably the game's driving minigame), Episode 10 and 11(which introduce new monsters), and Episode 15(wherein a chronicle about another person trapped in the town is introduced). The Man in the Tan Jacket is either a secret boss, the place where you'd get power ups, or the game's Pyramid Head. Maybe even all three.
  • More evidence, from episode 27 - the entire population of the town turns into buzzing shadow beings except Cecil and Carlos, despite walking among them all night (in the same way that a main character tends to be unaffected by events around them), and later Carlos apparently defeats the shadow thing.

Carlos knew the cause of the flashing red light in the distance from the very start of the episode.
He just wanted the people of Night Vale to acknowledge the existence of mountains.

Carlos is the same person as Carlos from The Magic School Bus.
  • Ms. Frizzle's class inspired a lifelong love of science that would lead to his future career... and gave him some experience with the sort of weirdness Night Vale would later throw at him.

Carlos is not as attractive as we've been led to believe.
Evidence: Cecil describes his voice as "oaken tones", but when we hear Carlos's voice in Ep. 16 it sounds fairly ordinary. Carlos is probably good-looking, but not to "Brazilian supermodel" levels, and Cecil has simply been exaggerating out of adoration.

In episode 47, Carlos is planning something to take Strexcorp down
Well, isn't it obvious?

Carlos is actually an amnesiac Gilderoy Lockhart.
  • He's got perfect hair, who else could he be?
    • But Carlos isn't British. And he's not useless.

     Dana 

Dana the Intern is actually Dana from The Cabin in the Woods.
She survived the rise of the Ancient Ones and moved to Night Vale, getting a job at the radio station. Her previous experiences with ghastly, unimaginable things are what gives her such a cool head in dealing with things like her doppelganger and her imprisonment in the dog park.
  • This also explains why Night Vale is so damn weird; it takes place in a post-nightmare-apocalypse world, where countless random awful horrors have been released upon the Earth. Humanity, as it so often does, just got used to them.
Dana has arrived in our world.
In the events of Dana our intrepid intern wandered out of the Dog Park and into another plane of existence, unseen and unknowable by Night Vale citizens. When she did this, she crossed over into our reality, which inhabits the same space on a different plane than Night Vale proper. This is why Cecil is aware that Night Vale is an American town without having seen anywhere else in America, and why none of the European countries he visited are real. Carlos and the science team journeyed out into the desert to investigate paranormal occurrences and wandered through the same wormhole.

The surviving Intern Dana is the doppelganger.
Notice how, when she's on the phone with Cecil, she seems to be hearing something slightly different than what he's actually saying? It's nothing to do with the dog park; it's because she's the double rather than the original Dana.

The surviving Intern Dana...didn't.
Intern Dana died not long after being trapped in the Dog Park, and she's a restless spirit who'd unknowingly been calling Cecil from beyond the grave. Hence, all the supernatural weirdness when he tries to call her at the wrong times and her passing through the living like a cold wind.

The thing that seemingly attacked Young Cecil near the end of "Cassette" was Dana.
And she really didn't attack him at all. Since Dana is apparently either in a world between worlds or somewhere in the past, she would presumably have the ability to go to Cecil's childhood, even if by accident. She appeared first as a faint flickering when he first started using the tape recorder, because that's when she first noticed a person named Cecil who was involved with the radio, and tries to really contact him for the first time when he sings his High School fight song, hence the static. She then tried to contact him in various other ways, ranging from simply being with him more often (why he sees the flickering more) to even touching him. When she finally manages to contact him, the shock of it sent him into an asthmatic episode (two WMG's for the price of one- Cecil has/had asthma) and was completely unrelated to the mirrors.

Dana was saved by the angels
from the underground caves in episode 42. She was guided outside the cave system with the growing triangles on the wall by a beam of black light. The same kind of light that protected Old Woman Josie when Strex first showed up in Night Vale.
  • Additionally, the settlement Dana found is related to StrexCorp, which has an S in a triangle as its symbol.

Dana is The Smiling God
In Episode 44, we learn that Dana has the ability to travel through space and/or time and/or dimensions. During the course of the episode, she mentions meeting her older self, who is described as important-looking, glowing, and "smiling." People obeyed and clearly respected her, and Dana was suspiciously warped back to the desert before she had the chance to ask her future self what it was that she did for a living. It's not inconceivable that she gained additional powers during the seven year skip, or simply became omniscient by virtue of her ability to travel practically anywhere and anytime, and as a result became StrexCorp's oft cited Smiling God.
  • Sort of Jossed in episode 45. Cecil describes Dana as fleeing from the malicious encroaching light, and refers to this light as a "smiling god of terrible power and ceaseless appetite".
    • She's also revealed to become the mayor of Night Vale, which may be why she looks important.

Dana will lead the huge masked army to Night Vale
And she will lead them against Strex Corp.
  • Additionally, the tiny people under Lane Five will also join the war against Strex perhaps because Strex Corp has been stealing their buildings?
  • And Carlos will let them inside Night Vale since it seems the doors randomly appearing in Night Vale in episode 46 and the House That Does Not Exist are somehow linked, and Carlos is investigating those.

Dana becomes the Faceless Old Woman who Secretly Lives in Your Home
She never fully got out of the alternate dimension. The "unstuck in time" nature of that reality allowed her to grow into the ageless woman. Her ability to flicker in and out of our reality combined with time travel is how she manages to be in everyone's home at the same time, and also why nobody ever actually sees her. Her run for the Mayor's office is an attempt to alter the timeline by cutting off the Smiling God before things get even worse than they already are.

     Other Night Vale Residents 

The people of Night Vale know that Khoshekh is not really a cat
On the main page, there's a point implying that Khoshekh's weirdness is the way cats are in Night Vale, but given the fact that cute internet cat videos are present in the series, this seems unlikely. Basically, Cecil (and everyone else) knows that Khoshekh is by no means a cat, they just call him one because they don't know what he really is and "cat" was the only thing they could call him. Perhaps a cat is the type of animal he most resembles.
  • Originally that entry was worded, that we don't know how Cecil can identify cute cat videos if Khoshekh is a cat for him and the kind of abomination described. Also there is the weird thing (so for Cecil: not a cat or anything he could identify) that he reported on once, which wasn't described in detail but the way it acted sounded suspiciously catlike for some listeners.
    • Come to think of it: Cecil knows how cats look like (thanks to intenet cat videos). There is a being that looks catlike but doesn't act or sound like one (Khoshekh), and a different one that acts like a cat but looks completelly different (weird even by Night Vale standards)? Did an Eldritch Abomination do unspeakable things to a poor cat and switched bodies with him?!

Josie

Old Woman Josie's warnings about killing your double were meant for Cecil because Kevin will somehow be involved with Cecil's death.
"Someone's going to kill you one day and it's going to involve a mirror." Who's to say that mirror isn't his double.
  • As of "Cassette," when we find out that the young Cecil—Cecil Gershwin Palmer—was apparently attack by unseen forced while looking in a mirror.

Apart from Barrier Maiden powers, the Angels gave Old Woman Josie another parting gift.
She now has the power of anonymity. To elaborate: Thanks to the Angels, StrexCorp can't cause any harm to Josie. Why? Because they don't know she exists. Either the Angels managed to erase Josie from Strex's records or convince them into believing that Josie had passed away. The people of Night Vale still know Josie is alive/exists, but StrexCorp doesn't and as a result, Josie is safe from them.

The Angels decided to put Josie in charge of Strex Corp
. And her first order of business was to demote Lauren all the way down to janitor for daring to hurt Cecil.

Steve Carlsberg

Steve isn't actually Cecil's brother-in-law.
We've never had any indication that Cecil had a sister, and never called Janice's mother his sister either. Maybe she was married to Cecil's brother from Cassettes (you know, the one he doesn't remember, but we at least know he was around at some point). Janice's mother is actually his sister-in-law, and Steve is her second husband, after Cecil's brother and mother left for whatever reason. It would just be another great reason to hate Steve. Cecil just doesn't question why he has a niece.
  • Obviously the answer is Steve Carlsberg must be married to Cecil's brother and Janice is their daughter through a previous marriage. The mother he was referring to in Cookies is the ex-wife who is still involved with Janice's life. Whether Cecil's brother is actually in the picture and Cecil continues forgetting he exists, is dead, or whatever, Cecil is still aware of how he is really related to Janice and Steve Carlsberg.
    • Jossed; in Episode 53 he talks about his wedding and very clearly mentions a wife who is Cecil's sister.

One of the reasons Cecil hates Steve Carlsberg.
Is because his last name sounds like his beloved Carlos. Just grrrr, he knows it's neither of their faults but the fact that he can't hear Carlos's beautiful and perfect name without thinking of Steve Carlsberg just pisses him off.

Cecil's hatred of Steve Carlsberg.
  • They were in a relationship once. It ended badly.

Steve Carlsberg is from Desert Bluffs
  • Cecil despises two things, Desert Bluffs and Steve Carlsberg, without any given reason. He despises Telly the barber and despised the Apache Tracker too but he was always quick to point out exactly why that was (Carlos' haircut and being a racist embarrassment respectively). Perhaps an intuitive feeling of wrongness about both?
  • It was Steve Carlsberg of Night Vale that sent in the e-mail to the Desert Bluffs radio show, not his local double. And unlike Cecil, Kevin doesn't have an animosity toward him, nor a nemesis in general.
  • If he is a former Desert Bluffs citizen, he is either a refugee or a scout.
    • If he is a scout, then the e-mail he sent to Desert Bluffs Community radio was a secret communiqué.

Steve Carlsberg is going to be the next casualty in Night Vale.
  • During the last anniversary show, the Apache Tracker, who Cecil was always talking trash about on air died to save Carlos. History repeats itself - during the two year show, Steve Carlsberg will somehow sacrifice himself (possibly to save Cecil, despite their rivalry), forcing Cecil to admit he may have been wrong about him.
    • Jossed, though Cecil does (somewhat begrudgingly) gain a new perspective on Steve during the second half of the episode.

Steve is the NVCR's astrologist
During the episode "Cookies" Cecil criticizes Steve about his gambling, in "The drawbridge" the horoscope references gambling twice, one sign was even instructed to gamble their life savings on a street game. In "Old Oak Doors" Steve tells Kevin that he got more work done at the company picnic than he ever had in his life, it's possible that he was forced to spend every hour of the night for two weeks interpreting the stars, which is probably why the horoscopes in "Rumbling" are better put together than the ones "The Drawbridge". Him being the astrologist also helps explain why the horoscope is rarely broadcasted even though in "The Drawbridge" it was called a weekly horoscope; Cecil doesn't approve of a lot of what Steve believes in (said in "Old Oak Doors") astrology could be both one of the those beliefs and something he can reasonably not give airtime to.

The Man in the Tan Jacket

The Man In The Tan Jacket is Matthew Swift.
It's canon that Matthew can make himself totally unnoticeable by enchanting his coat. With a few more enchantments—the kind of sensible precautions a not-so-sensible sorcerer would take in a place like Night Vale—he could presumably make his face forgettable. The briefcase is some kind of mega-mystical thing that makes sense to him.

Additionally, The Man in the Tan Jacket is Randall Flagg.
Under the Alias of Walter o'Dim, he was able to "Dim" himself, making other unaware of his presence, explaining how nobody can recall what he looks like. The suitcase full of trained flies is just for shits and giggles.

The Man in the Tan Jacket is Cecil's brother.
He can't seen to recall either of them.

Carlos is the Man in the Tan Jacket
Or rather, a version of him from some kind of future. This is a convoluted theory so try to follow along:
  • While wandering the otherworldly desert, Carlos gets exposed to the Light of the Smiling God that makes things immaterial. It stripped him down to the point that he technically still exists, but only barely. Hence why people only remember him when he's standing right in front of them.
  • The Subway system from Episode 29 is said to have "washed out" the DNA of people who road on it, completely "draining" it of its contents. This could be referring in a different way to the effect caused by the Smiling God's light. The Subway also passed through some unknown extra dimension and caused the only non-government-created earthquake felt in Night Vale until "The Rumble."
  • The Man in the Tan Jacket advocated the re-opening of the Subway, because it would "bring him home."
  • Ergo, the The Man in the Tan Jacket — as a future version of Carlos— has, ever since he landed in his own past timeline, been working to establish a Stable Time Loop that will allow him to pass through the Subway system, reverse whatever the Smiling God did to him, and make him completely exist again, so that he can come home.
  • Bonus: the one thing Carlos is always depicted as wearing is a white lab coat. As anyone who's ever grown up in a desert knows, white things exposed to desert sands and heat for even short periods of time begin to brown. The "tan jacket" is really just a worn-down, sand-stained old lab coat.

The Man in the Tan Jacket is a Totem Pole Trench.

There are all sorts of hints about him being connected to the underground civilization beneath the bowling alley, so maybe he's just a bunch of the tiny people in a suit. The reason people can't remember his face is because he doesn't actually have one big enough for us to discern, just a hat pulled low over a collar.

Them

The man who is not tall and the man who is not short are both of exactly the same, exceedingly average height.
Why? Why not?

Maureen

Maureen has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
In "The Retirement of Pamela Winchell" Cecil said she was "waving to me frantically from the control room – well, more frantically than she does at all times about the general terrifying nature of life." At first the constant waving seems like something common to do in Night Vale, but the body language of the citizens have been reported on many times before and nobody else has been said to also do that. Cecil's assurance that the orange juice was safe for her may have been a extremely painful betrayal, which is part of the reason he was called a monster.

Other

The Glow Cloud is Azathoth.

Cactus June/Judy/Jane was originally called June, but...
The Time Traveler changed it. That's why he came back. Before the Traveler announced he changed the future, Cecil called her Cactus June. While the Traveler lived in Night Vale (so, after he made his changes) Cecil called her Cactus Judy. And after the Traveler met his untimely end in the loving arms of the Hooded Figures Cecil called her Cactus Jane, because the changes the Traveler made were changed again after his disappearance! Probably by the Hooded Figures themselves. Or not. Who knows?

Cecil's explanation following John Peters' name...
  • ... Is not actually a Running Gag. One would expect his introduction to vary; for example, "Local farmer, John Peters etc." He really is John Peters You-Know-The-Farmer.
    • He is even referred to in exactly that manner (word for word) by other people; Larry Leroy, the spokeswoman for the cereal company and Carlos, for example.
  • The same could be said about Old Woman Josie Out-By-The-Car-Lot (who apparently doesn't seem to have a last name otherwise) and Larry Leroy Out-On-The-Edge-Of-Town.
    • Or maybe that there is a man named John Peters, and that he is a farmer, is knowledge everyone acquires once they enter Night Vale, and Cecil is trying to endear himself to the newcomers.

The Woman From Italy is actually Perfectly Normal
She's a normal Italian lady who is visiting the States, probably to give her friends and family a break from the really mean demon that haunts her and spreads the most terrible rumours about her.

Chad is the Mighty Glow Cloud's child
ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY GLOW CHAD

[[Maliq Herrera is the baby named "Champ" that was born in "The Traveler"]] The town possibly imagined a new name and age for Maliq between then and "Homecoming". They might have done the same to his mother (Night Vale's third most beautiful woman) since her name changes throughout the episode she was introduced in.

     The Mayor, City Council & Vague, yet Menacing Government Agency 

Pamela Winchell used to be sane.
She was a normal person (or closest equivalent anyone who lives in Night Vale can get) who had political ambitions. To her surprise and delight, she discovered that she won the mayoral election! To her surprise and horror, she then discovered what exactly it means to be The Mayor. The woman with an easy smile, passionate ideas about street improvement and school lunches, and who had no extra-dimensional powers what-so-ever? She's gone now. The Mayor is what IS. No one is allowed to recall what Pamela was before she became The Mayor, by edict of the City Council. Trish Hidge does sometimes remember, but she's so good at denying almost everything that she doesn't weep any more. All she can do is serve The Mayor, until it is time...and The Mayor leaves. Trish used to think that there'd be a small chance that Pamela would come back to civilian live. But she's denied herself any hope of that.
  • We really are going to miss such great public servants, may they enjoy their retirement! They earned it.

City Council

The City Council are actually adult versions of The Delightful Children From Down the Lane.
They go everywhere together, speak in unison, and are never even indicated to be individuals. Sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it? Also, the Delightful Children were already on their way to becoming particularly bureaucratic Eldritch Abominations anyway.
The City Council suppresses the possibility of angels existing to protect them from Strex Corp.
  • Because who knows what Strex Corp would do with them?

Vague, yet Menacing Government Agency

The vague, yet menacing government agency is actually SHIELD...
... while Night Vale is secretly under lockdown due to high levels of Gamma radiation that came from Radon Canyon due to an accident several years ago. The locals don't notice any of the strange happenings since they've all developed adaptations and mutations to deal with radiation. Enter S.H.I.E.L.D. with their black helicopters to monitor the town and keep the townsfolk from leaving or discovering the quarantine zone. Carlos is one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s scientists charged with running experiments and tests.

     Sandstorm 

The Sandstorm had two-fold symmetry
There was an eerie, pre-existing parallelism between the people of Night Vale and Desert Bluffs, but both towns encountered their own, distinct sets of doppelgangers that they reacted to differently (and that acted differently). However, these doppelgangers were linked between towns by that eerie parallelism, so that when Intern Dana killed her doppelganger, Intern Vanessa's doppelganger died quite accidentally. Hence, all the doppelgangers vanished from Desert Bluffs because the people of Night Vale killed all of their doppelgangers.

Except, perhaps, Cecil's...

Desert Bluffs and Kevin are a Bad Future Night Vale and Cecil.

StrexCorp has already began taking over Night Vale, starting with Cecil's station. Time is canonically stated to work very strangely in Night Vale when it works at all, so it's not a stretch that the 'next town over' is actually a (very grim) possible future, in which our unflappable narrator has been completely broken and re-made in Strex's image.
  • Possibly supported by Old Oak Doors Part B. Kevin mentions that Desert Bluffs actually resisted the Smiling God's takeover, including the radio host, just like Night Vale did.

Cecil / Kevin Connections

Kevin is Cecil's Brother
  • Towards the end of episode 34 Cecil says his brother has dark hollow eyes. The picture in Kevin's office (assuming that the photo is of Kevin) is described to have eyes as dark as obsisidan. Later in the episode he says that his family has left him. Cecil, upon sparking interest in becoming the new voice of Night Vale, forgets all about his family. Kevin may have been destined to become the voice of Desert Bluffs and forgot about his life in Night Vale.

The photos mentioned in The Sandstorm are not quite Cecil and Kevin...
In The Sandstorm, Cecil and Kevin both claim the photo on their counterpart's desk looks like them. However, who keeps a photo of themselves on their own desk? The answer is simple: Cecil has a photo of Carlos on his desk. Kevin has a photo of Bluffs!Carlos on his desk. Cecil looks like Carlos' Desert Bluffs doppelganger, and Kevin looks like Carlos.
  • But then wouldn't Cecil recognize Kevin as Carlos when they briefly meet, and not as his own double?
    • Maybe Kevin and Cecil didn't actually meet each other. Kevin met Carlos, his real doppelganger, and Cecil met his own real doppelganger. Therefore, Cecil and Kevin's different accounts of their meeting are both accurate. Kevin and Carlos hugged, and Cecil and Bluffs!Carlos fought.
  • I think that the photos did not actually picture Kevin and Cecil, but instead a mysterious entity that resembles them.
  • Cecil (and Kevin, I suppose) may have the pictures of themselves as a reminder of their existence.
  • There is one thing that could explain why they would have pictures of themselves. Cecil's mother did tell him that someday he will die and it will involve a mirror. Maybe the reason why Cecil has a picture of himself in the station is to remind himself what he looks like, because he can't look at mirrors. Kevin, being Cecil's doppleganger, could have had a similar experience in his life, or maybe he's just really vain.

Cecil and Kevin aren't doubles, but they do share a link of some kind. (Compatible with the "Bad Future" theory above.)
  • We know they look (somewhat) alike, since each man comments, unprompted, that the other looks like him. So why do they have different names? All the other doubles that we know about claim to have the same name: both Pamela Winchells claim to be Pamela Winchell.
  • Even characters who are clearly cross-city analogues have sandstorm doubles. Intern Vanessa and Intern Dana are analogues, but they each have their own doubles. So do the mayors, Old Woman Josie, and Larry Leroy.
  • So why are Cecil and Kevin the only exceptions?
  • Theory: they're each the personification of their town—a sort of avatar—and the towns are each other's dark mirror, located in mutually unreachable planes of existence. They can't be doubled because they were already each other's double.
  • Other theory: Intern Dana is now in the Desert Bluffs plane of existence.
  • Third theory: Steve Carlsberg, interestingly, doesn't have a Desert Bluffs analogue: the letter Kevin receives is from Night Vale Steve. He must be involved in the Night Vale/ Desert Bluffs duplication.
  • Fourth Theory: Kevin is Cecil's brother who vanished along with their mother appearing at some point in Desert Bluffs with both of them forgetting each other.

Kevin is the original Cecil

Desert Bluffs is sort of the mirror image of Night Vale. When young Cecil looked into the mirror in "Cassette" his Desert Bluffs counterpart came out and switched places with him. The Cecil we know vaguely remembers being in Desert Bluffs and hated it. Kevin, née Cecil, continued with his admiration of Leonard, adopted his bright, cheery radio persona, and incredibly forgiving attitude towards familial abandonment.

Cecil and Kevin are the same person. The vortex was a time vortex, and Night vale and Desert Bluff's symmetry is because they are the same place.
  • Cecil hosts his show in the evening (Good Night, Night vale, Good night), and Kevin's show is in the morning (Good Morning). Cecil might become Kevin during the day, and become Cecil in the night. They look just like each other, but the difference is that Kevin's eyes are obsidian, and the smile is not right and the voice changes, and Cecil and Kevin are both unaware. The vortex in episode 19 is a time vortex, so Cecil went into his daytime "Kevin"'s studio. Maybe alongside this, Night vale sometimes turns into Desert Bluffs based on times of day, but because of the weirdness, people don't seem to notice. The vortex and the doubles were people from Night vale wandering time-wise into Desert Bluffs- because they change too based on time. Perhaps.

Either Cecil or Kevin is a clone created for the purposes of organ and blood donation
  • If Cecil is Kevin's clone: The mother in "Cassette" opted out of housing Cecil in Desert Bluffs (where the other clones live) and raised him with her natural born son for whatever reason. After Cecil was starting the process of becoming the next voice of Night Vale the family sans Cecil moved to Desert Bluffs where prophesies wouldn't interfere with their lives anymore. One of the parents then moved back and married into Steve's family but kept in contact, which explains how Steve knows Kevin's email address in "Sandstorm". Kevin is desensitized to gore because the Desert Bluffs clones are killed and operated on out in the open; The organ harvesters probably use mirror shards when operating on them (tying into Cecil being warned about his death involving a mirror) since Desert Bluffs' citizens might overpower the harvesters if they knew what knives were. Lastly the portal in the radio station may have been activated to get the client and donor closer to each other in case of an emergency, Kevin probably moves in and out of needing medical attention due to the smiling god's influence.
    • In "The Visitor" Lauren claims it was Cecil's birthday that day which he disagrees with. Lauren may have access to records he doesn't know about.
  • If the reverse is true: Most of Nightvale are not aware of Desert Bluffs' cloning program or are denying it because they know how inhumane it is (plus the salesmen can be really annoying). Possibly the angels invented the vortexes which is why they don't exist, while most other strange non humans do. The Palmer family decided to opt into the program for whatever reason. Cecil literally has Kevin's eyes, which is why in "Debate" Kevin said that the eyes are where their resemblance was the strongest.
    • In "Station Management" Cecil says that he is battling Lyme disease, which in rare cases can cause eye damage.

Night Vale / Desert Bluffs Connections

The town of Desert Bluffs is a nightmarish near-exact copy of Night Vale created by a non-human force.
They all act cartoonishly happy and cheerful, but are constantly hinted to be more horrifying than they appear, such as Kevin's radio station being caked with blood and entrails, and being there is enough to disturb even Cecil. They would have been created in the image of what the force who created them thought would blend in with other humans, hence the niceness, but occasionally, either by accident or on purpose, the masquerade fails and they commit atrocious acts.

Night Vale and Desert Bluffs are twin government experiment towns
Carlos and his team of scientists have been sent in to investigate Night Vale to see how the experiment has turned out, and a team of scientists have also been sent to Desert Bluffs to investigate them. Night Vale however is the control and the only difference between the two is the drugs in Desert Bluff's water/air/soil/whatever.

Night vale and Desert Bluff is the same place but exist in alternate universes, but because Night vale/Desert Bluff is in such a weird place, the alternate universes actually meet.
  • This has to do with the symmetry.

The world has become so weird because, as parallel universes, Night Vale and Desert Bluffs were never met to meet.
Their now-shared universe has become incredibly unstable and there are no longer any limits as to what is and isn't possible.

Desert Bluffs used to be something a lot like Night Vale.
Then Strexcorp took over, started drugging/brainwashing everyone into being more productive, but the essential weirdness of the town outed itself in a creepy love for blood and gore.
  • Strex is doing something to its employees, anyway. Episode 36 the Night Vale resistance took down a Strexcorp helicopter and gave this statement: Your pilot is fine. She is ours now. She will return when she is ready, but she will return better.
  • Night Vale is annoying Strexcorp a lot. Between Tamika Flynn and her Resistance and the crazy things that keep happening in the town... Their advert in episode 36 was actually pretty funny. Strexcorp Synernists, Inc. Working hard so you can work harder. Work harder. Seriously. Work. Harder. Strexcorp. Get to work!
  • Kevin does say that Desert Bluffs resisted its own takeover.

Kevin (and the rest of Desert Bluffs) had a life before Strexcorp.
  • In "Sandstorm", Kevin mentions Strexcorp just buying his studio. This is one of the first steps they took when taking over Night Vale.
  • In "The Debate", Kevin mentions how his intern, Vanessa died. There was an incident that happened where "some people never came back to work again." He seems to be very uncomfortable talking about it.
    • Given the "contributions" of the Seans in Episode 47, it's not hard to imagine why people never returned to work again.
  • In "Company Picnic" also, Night Vale was renamed to the Greater Desert Bluffs Metro Area. This suggests that the town "Desert Bluffs" might have been under a different name before Strexcorp came along.

Night Vale and Desert Bluffs are Todash versions of each other, existing on opposite sides of the same Thinny.
There's a reason we first "saw" Desert Bluffs in episode 19. That reason being that Strexcorp finally managed to work out a way to traverse the Thinny without ending up in Todash Darkness.

Desert Bluffs is future Night Vale.
  • The Strexcorp takeover is only one part of it, this, along with the fact that the eponymous traveler in episode 18, "The Traveler" wears a Desert Bluffs uniform, as well as making a big deal out of being a time traveler. In the Night Vale end of the episode right after that, "Sandstorm", when Kevin, from Desert Bluffs enters Night Vale radio via a portal he asks if he has gone back in time. And this ultimately ties into what seem to be the Arc Words - "Past performance does not guarantee future results."

     The Rebellion 

Tamika Flynn's militia was formed to fight Strexcorp.
Tamika's comment to the press regarding the army she's building: "We do not look around. We do not look inside. We do not sleep. Our God is not a smiling God. And we are ready for this war." Compare with this piece of Strexcorp propaganda: "Look around you. Strex. Look inside you. Strex. Go to sleep. Strex. Believe in a smiling God. Strex. Strexcorp. It is everything." We have no idea what Cecil is or isn't telling us about Strexcorp's invasion of Night Vale, and it makes sense that there would be factions within the town responding to this encroachment. Perhaps Tamika—surely among the least complacent of the town's citizens—would be involved. So not only is she reading above her grade level, she's civically minded and demonstrating excellent leadership skills!
  • Confirmed as of episode 36.

The Summer Reading Program was a plot by the Librarians to try and stop Strexcorp
They knew that they were coming, and they knew that they would be unable to defy them as they can defy the City Council and the Sheriff's Secret Police. Also, to them, life under Strexcorp would be unbearable. Censorship, mandatory sponsorship, and other library horrors. They knew they couldn't stand up to them, and that the adults would be no match, but they could train up the youth. Thus, the restarted the Summer Reading Program. The idea was to weed out the weak children, and get the rest under their firm control. However, things went differently in the form of Tamika Flynn. They didn't count on the devastation, and decapitations, that she would inflict. Much less the idea that their child army would be led by a child. Still, she's getting her forces ready to face Strexcorp, so everything is still Just as Planned.

Megan Wallaby will be instrumental in Tamika Flynn's plans.
The submarine visit from Nulogorsk was organized by Tamika, who wishes for Megan to join her child army against Strexcorp. Now that Megan has a (very strong) adult man's body, Tamika will take her away to wherever the army is hiding out after Megan completes the therapy she needs to control her new body. And on that note Tamika may want to resurrect Megan's computer friend to help them out as well....

Janice isn't Cecil's niece, it's just some sort of anti-Strex plot.
It doesn't really make sense for Cecil to have a niece all of a sudden in "Cookies". In "Cassette", he discovered he used to have a brother, but he doesn't remember him. And you'd think if he had any other siblings, it would have come up in "Cassette". So it seems a bit fishy that he has a niece all of a sudden. So what I think is that she's just posing as his niece to carry out a plot against Strex Corp. There was probably something dangerous in the cookie boxes, which Cecil was trying to give to station management to cause them harm in some way. That's why he got specifically annoyed at them for not buying any cookies. And the reason he claimed Janice is his niece is just to give a plausible reason why he'd be selling cookies. Or, anyway, even if she is really his niece, the purpose of the cookies was still to sabotage station management. The Tamika Flynn vs Strex Corp plotline did come up a lot in "Cookies", after all.
  • Well, one of the boxes sounded suspiciously like Human Mail, or possibly creature mail. (Big wooden crate with air-holes and a breathing sound).

     Desert Bluffs, StrexCorp & Kevin 

StrexCorp

StrexCorp is run by a bloody sun god
In the Sandstorm episodes, which were ostensibly simultaneous, it was daytime in Desert Bluffs and nighttime in Night Vale. As Strex started to move in to Night Vale, the sun started to rise with more regularity, and the months before even seemed to herald this with loud sunrises. They brought their yellow helicopters, counterpointing the Sheriff's Secret Police's blue ones. The Angels, to hide Old Woman Josie from them, cast darkness and shadow, they even took Intern Vythia with a dark glow.

The bloody, viscera-laden studio in Desert Bluffs recalls the sacrifices of ancient sun worshipers. Even the slogans, "Imagine a Smiling God", and "Look Around You. Strex." "Imagine Meadows. Meadows Are Important." It's likely they follow a terrifying sun god named Strex.
  • And in this, to gain supporters, Strexcorp has begun suppression of Night Vale religions - by suppressing bloodstone sales and the likes.

  • As an extension of this, the Dark Planet Lit By No Sun is one of the few places truly safe from the StrexGod

The Strex Corporation is another version of the City Council
It's a major-sounding corporation that involves itself in every aspect of Desert Bluffs life, but it's an entirely fictional company on a show that cheerfully name-drops real companies. It's also a company not mentioned at all before we get a look at Desert Bluffs life - it clearly has no presence in the next small town over from the one it appears to completely own.

This is all because it's not a national or multinational corporation, but instead just a small company ran by another power-seeking cabal attracted to the weirdness of the region. It has a much more modern and upbeat style, but those who run it are would-be immortals who'd love to evolve into whatever "true form" the City Council will achieve (or already has achieved). Strex Corp clearly isn't old or powerful enough to challenge the City Council and thus stays well out of Night Vale.
  • That last past is presumably Jossed now that Strex Corp has started moving in on Night Vale.

StrexCorp and Kevin will be reoccurring villains
Since it looks like Cecil and the Night Vale radio station has been taken over by Strex, it wouldn't be hard to believe that a Myth Arc might be starting, with Kevin as Cecil's Evil Counterpart/the face of StrexCorp (the leaders of whom will remain as vague and menacing as the Night Vale City Council).
  • Confirmed.

Strex Corp runs the world.
It's subtle, but it's there. In the pilot, Cecil mentions that the "black helicopters" that hover over the town are "probably world government". And in The Sandstorm, Kevin syays that without Strex Corp, they wouldn't have "trade schools, or regulated behaviours, or insurance, or helpful pandemics, or black helicopters." Draw your own conclusions.

As of episode 38, StrexCorp is winning.
Just think about it. Old Woman Josie and her angels: gone. Station Management? Taken over by Strex. John Peters, you know, the Farmer? stuck somewhere in the house that doesn't exist and replaced by John Peters, you know, the Imposter? The City Council: announced they would leave in episode 38. The Sheriff's Secret Police even listens to Strex! It's a bad time for Night Vale.
  • According to episode 39, Strex owns almost all the businesses in Night Vale. An ice-cream shop is a lone holdout but, by the end of the episode, they've been merged with Strex and it isn't pretty.
  • Episode 40 they even threatened Carlos!
  • Episode 45... "They pass by City Hall, which is covered in a yellow tarp, stamped with an orange triangle."
  • Episode 46. WHY!?
  • Update: As of episodes 48 and 49, it appears that Night Vale is slowly fighting back...and they're getting close to winning! So far we have Cecil returning and getting the station back from Lauren and Kevin, the revelation that Dana and Old Woman Josie have an entire army at their disposal now and OWJ has her Angel friends who may or may not exist back, Tamika Flynn is alive and kicking, etc.

As of episode 43, everyone from Desert Bluffs is a biomachine.
The little creature was absolutely this, but recall that Daniel seemed to literally break down as a robot would in "Orange Grove". This could account for their overall behavior and obsession with perfection.
  • Further WMG, Desert Bluffs is a biomachine project being done by Strex Corp.
  • Remember the little sponsor message Kevin did in episode 43? About their perfect and imperfect self (bleeding so much). The "bio" half is obviously their imperfect self, non-productive, easily injured... bleeding so much.

Strexcorp is the Light in the Desert
Specifically, the light mentioned in episode 44, as "a smiling god of terrible power and ceaseless appetite," the light that manifests in some universes as not a light at all, the light that wants nothing more than to assimilate and destroy. Um, that light.

Kevin

Kevin is Kevin from The Cabin in the Woods.
When the controllers are taking bets on the monsters written on the white board, one of them is called Kevin. This is our very own Kevin of Desert Bluffs. The item to summon him would be a radio, which when turned on would tune into Desert Bluffs Community Radio (they might try to search for music, but any other station only comes in as static). The kids would listen to it, and things would seem normal at first (other than the fact that none of them have heard of Desert Bluffs, and they are nowhere near a desert, so where is this radio show coming from?). But then Kevin would mention something creepy or supernatural (perhaps something about five friends vacationing in a cabin), and someone would fearfully request that the radio be turned off. However, even when turned off and unplugged, Kevin's voice will not stop. Suddenly the room is covered in blood and viscera. Kevin appears, a horrible smile on his face. He continues to narrate his show. He hunts them all down and kills them, one by one, smiling and narrating all the while.

Kevin will be the host in episode 47.
At the end of episode 46, after Tamika has been captured and the rebellion has been stopped program director Lauren and a man enter Cecil's studio. They are very unhappy but seem to be smiling and Cecil describes there expressions, but when he sees the man, he says "Wait... I have seen this man before... Where have I seen YOU before?" What if this is Kevin? After Cecil tries to help Tamika Flynn stage an uprising,Strex must realise that they must replace him with someone who would listen to them completely who better than Kevin? Plus, it would explain why Cecil reacted so violently to him, as he seems disgusted by what he sees.
  • Confirmed.

     The Wider World and the SCP Foundation 

Hummingbird symbolism...
  • In one news cast, Cecil tells us about the different meaning of birds. A hummingbird means that the physical constancy of the universe is slowly degrading and may shift, invalidating the laws of physics. With all the general weirdness that happens there, Night Vale is or has experienced this shift.

All of the world in Night Vale is weird.
Not just Night Vale and Desert Bluffs are strange and horrible to listeners, but the entire world. Svitz, Luftnarp, and Franchia are all well-known places and Cecil's experiences were common. The reason nobody leaves Night Vale despite all of the disasters is because they know moving elsewhere won't help a damn thing.

Carlos and his team of scientists go to Night Vale because it's unusual among the unusual — not that it's particularly weirder, but just weird in a different way. Notice how even early on, we hear Carlos interested in and afraid of things that immediately seem harmless, like the fact that people aren't experiencing earthquakes that are apparently there, or that time in Night Vale seems to be going slower, rather than any of the many, many things in Night Vale that actually get people killed. Cecil also notes that Night Vale is the first city in the US to legalize time travel, implying that everywhere else actually had reason to ban it, rather than simply be unaware of it.

The America that encompasses Night Vale will eventually become Ascia.
  • As Night Vale's resident Eldritch Abominations grow more powerful, they will begin to dominate the entire country. By the time a million years pass, the whole nation will consist of a Hive Mind cult that can only speak in quotations.

SCP Foundation

Carlos actually works for the SCP Foundation.
Although he must be a relatively new employee, since you'd expect a veteran researcher not to bat an eye at some of the goings-on in Night Vale, relative to other SCP situations.
  • If so, he will probably not be allowed to continue his relationship with Cecil, since if Cecil is anything like in Fanon, he would likely qualify as an SCP.

Going from the above, Night Vale itself is an SCP.
Due to the amount of odd goings-on, such as the Whispering Forest, the Dog Park, and Station Management, most of which is highly detrimental to human existence, the town is likely Keter Class.

Alternatively, The Man in the Tan Jacket works for the SCP Foundation.
In episode 16, Carlos was visited by the Man in the Tan Jacket, but he doesn't remember it well. Carlos is just a regular scientist studying the town and he was too close to discovering something dangerous that the world couldn't know about. The Man in the Tan Jacket was deployed to administer amnesiacs.

     Something’s Coming 

Something is under Night Vale.
But what is it? It's probably related to the small people under the Desert Flower bowling alley. It was once said that it's possible that the citizens of the city under the bowling alley worship a god - this massive being is probably the god they worship. It's also the cause of all of the weirdness in Night Vale. The center of Night Vale is also subject to earthquakes - the god could be this as well. The subways that opened in Night Vale have their lair as the center.
  • Support: When Dana is stuck outside of reality or whatever is currently going on with her, she tells Cecil that something is coming, and that it's big...

The Blinking Red Light At the Top of the Mountain and the blinking red light at the top of the radio tower mentioned in A Story of You are one and the same. Somehow.
Because Law of Conservation of Detail.

Something is horribly, terribly wrong.
Cecil should not be talking in Light Is Good and Dark Is Evil terms. Ever. Is he being slowly taken over by the Smiling God?

     Other 

The huge masked army was originally going to invade Night Vale, but called off the invasion when they realized what Night Vale is.
Every citizen is armed to the teeth (even the children in the Night Vale schools), there are bloodstone ritual circles everywhere, the town has at least one eighteen foot tall five headed fire breathing dragon, the Sheriff's Secret Police and the City Council are absurdly powerful, the obsidian walls of the Dog Park are probably good for defensive purposes, angels regularly hang out at Old Woman Josie's house, and even the librarians, if the situation got bad enough, could be cut loose and could probably do a great deal of damage to an invading army. After their advance scouts told them this, the army just decided to pretend that they were only passing through and invade Desert Bluffs instead.

The Shadowlurker is related to the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home.
Specifically, he's her kid brother. She doesn't talk about him much.

The 'Dark Planet, Lit by No Sun' is Earth in the future, possibly if Strex wins
This may be related to the 'something big' Dana mentioned.

Fey is somehow River Tam.
Her voice sounds disturbingly like Summer Glau's, and her statements sound very much like River-isms. Perhaps she was programmed with River Tam in mind, or perhaps an iteration of River was detached by the Alliance and somehow found its way to Night Vale.

Librarians in Night Vale are actually sentient Bears
When Night Vale opened the public library, the Bears were originally used as guardians, but they ate the regular librarians. Since it's a desert community, no one sees Bears anywhere except the library, and they eventually just started calling the Bears librarians.

Jossed, in episode 48 Cecil mentions bears. They are different from the Librarians.

The giant masked army and the tiny army under the bowling alley are related somehow.

The glow cloud is the one who told the weather in episode 2.
It was the one who was waiting for the bus. Midway through the song the singer said that he got on the wrong bus and was waiting for another bus to pick him up. The wrong stop it ended up at was Night Vale. When the song ends the "bus" arrives and he returns to the proper planet leaving the residents with no memory of what happened while it boarded the bus.

Fallen London exists in the same Verse as Night Vale.
London has just the Big City version of all the weirdness; Night Vale has the Small-Town weirdness. The angels conspicuously absent in London exist in Night Vale. Of course, I'm not saying that Night Vale will become the next fallen city or anything like that — London and Karakorum are massive, expansionistic, legalistic, commercialistic centres of culture, trade, and progress; Night Vale is a small town, and couldn't hold the Bazaar. But, Night Vale is on the surface in America, whereas London is underground...possibly underneath Britain.

The Faceless Old Woman is Really 700 Years Old.
By "old" the title aknowledges abnormally so. This is backed by her Oak Doors comment disregarding Dana for not being ancient. She probably looks like Mara Wilson, just without a face.

The Dark Planet Lit By No Sun is Alternia.
Going by no other logic than physical appearance here. I know Alternia has a sun, but the night side could be sufficiently dark to fool you if it's so close.

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