The X-Files

The X-Files was a science fiction series that ran for 9 seasons on FOX. It was perhaps best known for its plethora of mildly memorable catchphrases.

actually everybody pretty much trusted everybody.

Just The Facts

  1. The X-Files followed the lives of two FBI agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, as they investigated reports of aliens, ghosts, zombies, mutants, and pretty much whatever would make an actual person go completely apeshit insane.
  2. It began with an obsessive cult following and later gained mainstream commercial success, mercifully allowing nerds to discuss the show openly without fear of abuse from sexually confused frat boys.
  3. It was one of those rare cultural occasions where one would be deemed an oddball for NOT writing slash fiction.

The Show

actually they were considerably more attractive than this.
Unless you've been living under a rock that's been living under a rock that's been living with a boulder, you should at least be somewhat acquainted with The X-Files. First airing in 1993 on FOX, the show was the brainchild of a one Chris Carter, who eventually worked on two X-Files spinoffs. The X-Files followed two FBI agents, played by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, as they looked to unravel the mysteries behind unexplained phenomena and government conspiracies, all while looking unusually good.
that's more like it.
The show became one of the most innovative sci-fi shows in history, featuring a solid cast, cutting-edge special effects, and opening credits containing the laziest series summary in the history of television.
oh NOW I get it!

Dedicated fans were known as X-Philes, and much of the X-Philes speculation was upon the growing relationship between Mulder and Scully: those advocating boning between the two being known as "shippers," or "losers who vicariously live through fictional characters." The show featured two different types of episodes: mytharc episodes, which followed the overall plot of government conspiracies and alien invasions, and "monster of the week" episodes, where all manners of ghoulies and ghosties would show up for one episode, scare some people, and disappear.

another day, another dollar.

Over the 9 seasons, the X-Files acquired an extensive cast, probably because most characters would show up for one or two episodes before getting torn in half by a human/centipede hybrid. But there were some characters that, for better or worse, continuously played a crucial part in the series. They are discussed below, along with their respective positive qualities and faults, if you really care that much.

The Characters

who the hell took that picture?

Fox Mulder

The show's main protagonist, Mulder was something of an oddity for leading television characters at the time, in the way that his sister was abducted by aliens as a child. This led to his growing obsession with the supernatural, which impelled him to cast aside an almost legendary career as a FBI profiler to focus on more pressing issues, such as government conspiracies, alien abductions and whether or not it is possible to give the clap to a vampire (it isn't). As if he wasn't a bizarre enough guy already, the writers felt it necessary to give him some quirky, completely unnecessary character traits, such as a habit of constantly chewing on sunflower seeds and an unparalleled appreciation for the pornographic arts. The show chiefly follows Mulder in his quest to discover the truth (a word which was uttered approximately 4,368 times over the course of the series) behind his sister's disappearance, leading him to unravel the truth (goddamnit there it is again) behind the government's agenda involving an alien colonization of earth. Also, this one time he was home alone and he thought he heard a voice coming from upstairs and it, like, totally freaked him out.

Strengths: ridiculously smart, ends up nailing Scully
Weaknesses: ridiculously selfish, no one else likes him
test your X-Files IQ: who would Mulder rather catch?
contrary to popular belief, most women in law enforcement do NOT look like this.
Dana Scully
After graduating from medical school, Scully left behind her career in medicine to join the Bureau, where she was assigned to be Mulder's partner on the X-Files. Being naturally skeptical regarding paranormal matters (she's a scientist goldarnit), she was essentially sent to spy on Mulder's work, but eventually became convinced of the legitimacy of many of his studies. She and Mulder share a close platonic relationship for most of the series, which eventually grows into a romance. As happens with all of Mulder's associates, Scully's life after joining the X-Files gets completely fucked in half: she gets abducted by aliens, kidnapped and almost killed numerous times, mysteriously gets knocked up twice, has her father, sister, and child die, and has to give up her other kid for adoption. Oh and she also gets cancer; apparently the writers felt that investigating shit like a kid who controls lightning and a guy who FUCKING EATS CANCEROUS TUMORS TO SURVIVE BEFORE SHEDDING HIS SKIN AND GROWING A NEW FUCKING BODY was growing a bit tiresome.
you know what this show needs? Real-life issues!
Strengths: somehow extremely attractive while revealing zero cleavage
Weaknesses: always wrong, low t-cell count
Walter Skinner
Skinner is the FBI's Assistant Director, making him Mulder and Scully's boss. In the first few seasons, Skinner spent most of his camera time eye-fondling Scully and referring to Mulder as "that limpdick pretty-boy." However, as the series progressed he became increasingly sympathetic towards the X-Files, due in part to his own experiences with the paranormal. Skinner is arguably the most badass character on the show, having during the Vietnam War shot a boy in the face at close range for no apparent reason, other than it was probably just one of those days where a face-shooting is cathartic. On the other hand, on one occassion he did get his ass thoroughly handed to him by a woman. It was not his finest moment.
like a big teddy bear that would greatly enjoy strangling you to death with his thighs
Strengths: snarling, most ripped character on the show
Weaknesses: bald, has glasses
The Cigarette Smoking Man
The CSM, or Cancer Man, is Mulder's primary adversary, a high-ranking government official. Cancer Man is also a member of the Syndicate, a secret organization behind the alien conspiracy in which each member is identified by a vaguely distinguishing physical trait (the Well-Manicured Man, the Crew Cut Man, the Slight Overbite Man). In a completely creative and original twist, he is eventually revealed to be Mulder's father. Regardless, throughout the series CSM is an enormous throbbing dick, constantly destroying evidence of Mulder's discoveries and then mocking him ruthlessly for it. At least he wasn't nepotistic.
sometimes a cigarette is just a cigarette.
Strengths: really good at smoking, being mysterious
Weaknesses: a lonely, lonely man
The Lone Gunmen
The Lone Gunmen are three computer hackers and conspiracy theorists: John Byers, Melvin Frohike, and Richard Langly. The three are friends of Mulder's and assist him on cases from time to time. In addition, they are all quite unpleasant to look at. Frohike looks more suited to be leading Frodo and Sam to Mordor, Byers looks like that high school physics teacher who tries to be "hip" but comes across as a pederast, and Langly makes a Wayne's World reference completely redundant. By far the most unnecessary characters in the show, they somehow went on to create an equally unnecessary spinoff. Their only purpose seems to have been to show that Mulder does indeed have a couple of friends, even if they are much weirder than he is. They also might have been meant to provide some sort of a comic relief, but it's kind of hard to tell. In the finale of their spinoff (which doubled as an X-Files episode), the trio bravely sacrifice themselves while attempting to stop a bioterrorist from releasing a deadly virus, thus earning them eternal rest at Arlington Cemetery. X-Files fans were unmoved.
yeah, they're pretty much how they look.
Strengths: died heroes
Weaknesses: died virgins
Samantha Mulder
Fox Mulder's sister was pretty much the MacGuffin of the X-Files. About once or twice every season, Mulder would think that he had found some substantial clues as to the reality of what happened to her, only to have it yanked away from him at the last second; this was pretty much just to remind the audience of the reason behind Mulder's decision to piss away his life sifting through Chupacabra shit instead of gaining renown as one of the greatest criminal profilers in FBI history. While a few dedicated fans may have been mildly interested in Samantha's past, the vast majority of X-Files viewers only tuned in to see some crazy-ass monster fuck some fat chick's shit up, or maybe for the off-chance that Scully might take her top off (it happened in the pilot, and never again. Those writers were crafty). Anyways, the moral of the story is that Samantha Mulder was worthless.
she doesn't deserve a picture here
Strengths: who the fuck knows?
Weaknesses: everything
John Doggett and Monica Reyes
Doggett and Reyes are the two filler agents who came to the show after Mulder went on the run after being convicted of murder and Scully just kinda stopped caring. There isn't much to say about these two. Sure they may have been competent agents and whatnot, but they have about half the chemistry of Mulder and Scully and are about a tenth as interesting. That's pretty much all that matters, if you want to know more then go to Wikipedia or something, you needy bastard.
Strengths: probably
Weaknesses: boring