The X-Files In-Jokes List


X-Files In-Jokes: Season Five



  • Title - the word "Redux" means brought back, as following retirement, illness, or long inactivity; resurgent. Fitting title for a "Mulder back from the dead" episode, don't you think?
  • Tag Line - The normal tag line of "The Truth is Out There" was changed to "All Lies Lead To The Truth".
  • 1121 - One of the phone calls that Scully checks (made by Ostelhoff from above Mulder's apartment) was placed at 11:21 (Chris Carter's wife's birthday is November 21st). We also had an 12:11 (which would be 11:21 backwards) when Cancerman met the others at the horse track -- I don't know whether this one should count or not!
    note: There was also another 11:14 -- see The X-Files Numbers Game page for more information.
  • Mulder's comment of "Keep going FBI woman" probably pays homage to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In the movie, the character played by Katherine Ross is in her room and is just beginning to undress when Sundance calls from the shadows "Keep going, Teacher Lady".
  • As long as we are mentioning homages, the scene where Kritschgau is describing the government conspiracy to Mulder is much like a scene in Oliver Stone's JFK between Kevin Costner's Garrison character and his informant "X", played by Donald Sutherland. The scenes were very similar, right down to the use of "stock footage", driving background music, and rapid, matter-of-fact line delivery. JFK also had a "secret meeting" that took place at a race track (much like the meeting between Cancerman and The Elder). In yet another parallel, in an early voice-over Mulder says "Let the truth be known though the heavens fall", which is quite similar to Garrison's line in JFK, "Justice be done though the heavens fall".
  • The monitor that the guard is watching as he witnesses Mulder's wandering's through the top secret areas is labeled with the brand name "ETAP". "ETAP" is a commonly used brand name on the X-Files because it is prop-master Jim Pate's name spelled backwards. See the entries for "Unruhe", "Small Potatoes", "Christmas Carol", and "Travelers" for other references to "ETAP".
  • There has been much speculation that the number on Scully's vial (MN1068) might be a combination of Chris Carter's birth month (October) and Gillian Anderson's birth year (1968). Now if we can find a Minnesota connection....
  • Redux II

  • The Title - This is first time 2 multi-part episodes have had the same name, but this may be because the "redux" (meaning brought back, as following retirement, illness, or long inactivity; resurgent) in "Redux" was for Mulder-back-from-the-dead, and the "redux" in "Redux II" is for Scully-back-from-the-dead.
  • 1013 - The time shown on the clock when Mulder and Samantha are talking in the diner is 10:13 (Carter's birth date is 10/13).
  • The name Roush is probably a reference to then-USA Today writer Matt Roush, who had written many, many favorable articles on the X-Files. It is also interesting to note that "Rache" is German for "revenge" and "Rauch" is German for "smoke".
  • When this episode first aired, I, like many of my co-X-File-fanatics, attempted to go to in an attempt to see if this would shed any light on where Carter got the name 'Roush'. To my surprise, it went to the Pillsbury Home page. Dead end, or so I thought. A few days later, Pillsbury replaced their original front page with a new one -- one with an X-Files-ish font that read "Believe the Pie" (a take off on X-Files phrase "Believe the Lie")! The page has since been returned to its original appearance.
  • Unusual Suspects

  • Title - a play on the phrase "The Usual Suspects", which is also the title of a movie containing unreliable narratives (The Usual Suspects). The episode did seem to reference the movie a few times, with a questionable character making up a story from objects he/she sees around the room, jail scenes, and the hard-to-explain opening that is revisited later when it is much more easily understood.
  • Byers' co-worker friend Ken Hawryliw was played by X-Files prop master Ken Hawryliw. (See the Season Three In-Jokes for "D.P.O." and "Pusher" for other "appearances" by Mr. Hawryliw, as well as Season 6's "Trevor" and Season 1's "Jersey Devil").
  • Detective Munch (who is a main-character on NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Streets") told Byers "Don't lie to me like I'm Geraldo... Do I look like Geraldo" is a reference to an early "Homicide: Life on the Streets" episode (where Munch's line was actually "Do I look like Montel Williams to you?").
  • Langly's "Your kung fu is best" line is a reference to famed computer hacker Kevin Mitnick, who left the voice mail message "My kung fu is best" to tease investigators who were attempting to apprehend him.
  • When Suzanne first meets Byers, she tells him her name is Holly. Although she supposedly borrowed the name from the packet of Holly Sugar that was on the table, she also borrowed it from writer Vince Gilligan's significant other, Holly Rice. For the full list of Holly sightings, see the Lists & Statistics page.
  • Eric Knight, who played "Eric the Hacker Dude", is David Duchovny's personal assistant.
  • Suzanne's dentist, Dr. Michael Kilbourne, is named for writer Vince Gilligan's own, real-life dentist.
  • Detour

  • Search and Rescue leader Michelle Fazekas was named for co-executive producer Frank Spotnitz's assistant. For another tribute to Fazekas, see the entries for season 4's "Demons".
  • Post-Modern Prometheus

  • Title - The title is a homage to Mary Shelley's classic book "Frankenstein" -- which is actually titled "Frankenstein: or the Modern Prometheus". Prometheus was a demi-god who made men out of clay, and is probably best remembered as being the one who stole fire from Olympus and taught men how to use it -- an act that got him punished by Zeus. His punishment was to be chained to a rock and to have an eagle eat his liver every day (wouldn't Tooms love this guy?).
  • Izzy Berkowitz's 2 buddies, Goat Boy and Booger, were a bus boy where Chris Carter gets coffee in the morning and the snake handler on the X-Files movie, respectively. Izzy himself was played by Stewart Gale, just some guy Chris Carter spotted on his way to the gym the previous summer.
  • The artist who did the art work for the Mutato comic book covers as well as the ending portrait of Mulder & Scully is Claude St. Aubin, the 'penciler' who did the Topps comics adaptation of "Deep Throat".
  • This episode paid tribute to both Mary Shelley's classic book and Universal's movie (the 1931 James Whale version starring Boris Karloff). Here are just a few of the less-obvious similarities:
  • Dr. Polidori was named for physician Dr. John Polidori, who was the personal physician of Lord Byron. Lord Byron is the man who suggested the ghost story competition that inspired Mary Shelley to write "Frankenstein".
  • Dr. Polidori's wife, Elizabeth, was probably so-named because the infamous Dr. Frankenstein's wife was also named Elizabeth.
  • Isn't it amusing that Dr. Polidori had to leave so he could deliver an address at the University of Ingolstadt, since it was at the Ingolstadt University that medical student Victor Frankenstein first had the idea of 'creating' a human.
  • Where the original monster studied and related to John Milton's "Paradise Lost", our Mutato studied "Mask".
  • Christmas Carol

  • Title - Named for the popular Dickens classic, "A Christmas Carol". There are some obvious ties to its namesake, particularly Scully having visions of "Christmas Past" and being visited/contacted by a spirit.
  • Zoe Anderson, Gillian Anderson's young sister, played the teen age Dana Scully in this episode.
  • The person who ran the DNA analysis at the end of the episode was named John Gillnitz. This name could be in reference to the three writers of this episode, John Shiban, Vince Gilligan, and Frank Spotnitz. This is not the first time the name John Gillnitz has been used, however. It was previously used for the man with lung cancer in "Leonard Betts" (another Gilligan, Shiban, Spotnitz episode) and the man killed in the hammock in "WetWired" (written by Matt Beck). The name was later used in the season 6 episode "Dreamland II" as the real name of Saddam Hussein, and the name of a reporter in "Theef".
  • While Scully is looking over the case file in the Sim investigation, she reviews a report on someone named "Modell" (from the 3rd season episode "Pusher"). The report includes information such as an education in "general studies" at "Our Lady of Perpetual Motion" and a degree in philosophy from "Bubba's Community College". His work experience lists "Cady - Fairfax Driving Range" and a comment at the bottom of the report reads "Modell has excellent dental hygiene".
    (note: I really must add a note of thanks to Autumn Tysko for finding this information -- my VCR refuses to focus on the page well enough for me to read any more than a fraction of this information).
  • The Sim family was named after Alistair Sim, the actor who played Scrooge in the 1951 movie classic "A Christmas Carol".
  • The film brand printed on the back of Melissa's picture is "ETAP". "ETAP" is a commonly used brand name on the X-Files because it is prop-master Jim Pate's name spelled backwards. See the entries for "Unruhe", "Small Potatoes", "Redux", and "Travelers" for other references to "ETAP".
  • Reportedly, the "hat" worn by Mulder during his extremely brief appearance in this episode was knitted for him by his lovely wife, Tea Leoni.
  • Emily

  • 925 - As Frohike is reading off the birth records for the women that Mulder lists, one of the births he mentions is on September 25th, 1994 -- a "healthy baby girl". This is probably a reference to the birth of Gillian Anderson's daughter, Piper Maru, who was born on that date (and who is the real reason for the whole abduction arc).
  • 1013 - One of the dates on the manifest Mulder looks through is 13.10.94. This would translate (in American notation) to 10/13/94. 10/13 is creator Chris Carter's birth date.
  • Another (unexplained) date on that manifest is 02/08/67. 2.08 has appeared before in reference to X-Files episode 2x08, "One Breath", the episode where Scully is returned after her abduction. See the entries for "Leonard Betts" for more occurrences of 2.08.
  • Kitsunegari

  • Title - "Kitsune-gari" is Japanese for "Fox hunt" (with "Kitsune" meaning "fox", and "Gari" meaning "hunting").
  • Tim Minear (co-writer of this episode with Vince Gilligan) was fresh off of the staff of "Lois and Clark" when he penned this episode, which may explain why Linda's brain tumor looked suspiciously like a diamond with an "S" in the middle.
  • The cerulean blue paint used was manufactured by the "Gulf Breeze" company. The real Gulf Breeze is a suburb in Florida known for being a hotbed for UFO sightings.
  • Kitsunegari Script Differences


  • Title - "Schizogony" (spelled slightly differently than the title) means reproduction by multiple asexual fission. Perhaps in this case, the title "Schizogeny" is actually a combination of the prefix "Schizo", meaning "split" (referring to the personality of Karin the psychologist), and the suffix "geny", meaning "production, generation, origin" (as in progeny, referring to the children and their problems with their parents, especially Karin).
  • Scully's line about the town getting "400 inches of rain a day" is a reference to a comment David Duchovny jokingly made about Vancouver during his appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Mulder's response to Scully ("Now that's a bit of an exaggeration, don't you think") made the reference particularly humorous.
  • Katharine Isabelle, who played Lisa Baiocchi, is the daughter of X-Files production designer Graeme Murray.
  • Chinga (Bunghoney?)

  • Author - this episode was written by horror author Stephen King. It was somewhat easy to tell that this episode had touches of King-ishness. Some of the things that gave it away are the face that Chinga takes place in Maine, King's hometown and the setting for many of his novels (note Scully's "Maine - The way life should be" t-shirt); the King-movie-like melody replaced Mark Snow's usual dark music as the episode opened; and the police chief's "Ayuh"'s.
  • Possible Title Explanations - "Chinga" is reportedly equivalent to "the f-word" in Mexico (apparently it means different things or nothing depending upon which type of Spanish you speak). "Chinga" is also the name of a meteorite found in Siberia in 1913. Reportedly (although it was never mentioned in the episode), Chinga was the name of the little girl's doll.
  • Reportedly, Fox made Chris Carter change the name of this episode after they discovered the "bad" nature of the word. Too late to change it as it aired in USA and Canada, overseas the name was changed to "Bunghoney". Supposedly Carter did not want to change the name, so he changed it to this perhaps-equally distasteful but non-sensical word.
  • Tom Maddox's 16 year old daughter will appear in this episode. Tom Maddox is the co-author of "Kill Switch", along with William Gibson. His daughter's appearance in the episode was a birthday gift from Chris Carter.
  • The name of the boat in this episode is "Working Girl" -- possibly a reference to the movie of the same name in which David Duchovny made an appearance (as a partygoer)
  • Not really an in-joke, but the book Scully was reading is titled "Affirmations For Women Who Do Too Much" (which may be a take-off on the similarly titled book Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much.
  • Chinga Script Differences

    Kill Switch

  • Author - this episode was written by sci-fi/cyper-punk authors William Gibson and Tom Maddox
  • Title - a 'kill switch' is usually a button or switch that shuts something down completely, and may or may not be the normal method of turning something off (it is sometimes meant to be used only in emergency situations)
  • Esther Nairn's blonde hair and particularly her black makeup reminds me of Pris at the end of the movie Blade Runner (played by Daryll Hannah).
  • Reportedly, one of Mulder's nurses in this episode is a member of SPCDD (The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to David Duchovny). If anyone knows which nurse (or which member), please let me know!
  • Bad Blood

  • This episode took place in Chaney, Texas. The town was probably so-named for Lon Chaney Jr and Sr, both of whom played vampires during their illustrious film careers (Lon Chaney Jr in "The Son of Dracula" and Lon Chaney Sr in the silent film "London After Midnight).
  • Skinner's secretary in this episode is actually Mitch Pileggi's wife, Arlene Warren. Arlene is also Gillian Anderson's photo double. Arlene can also be seen as Skinner's assistant in Season 6's "Triangle", "S.R. 819", and "Monday", Season 7's "The Sixth Extinction: Amor Fati", Season 8's "This Is Not Happening" and "Dead Alive", and Season 9's "Sunshine Days". Arlene also played Scully's look-alike in Season 7's "Fight Club".
  • Ronnie worked for AB Pizza. While this name gets good marks for continuity (AB Pizza was also the company the ill-fated deliverer Jack Hammond worked for in "D.P.O."), it is also worth mentioning that it is an appropriate name for a pizza parlor in a town of vampires ("AB" is also a blood-type).
  • Sheriff Hartwell is named for Vince Gilligan's girlfriend, Holly Rice (her middle name is Hartwell). For the full list of Holly sightings, see the Lists & Statistics page.
  • During the "funeral home" scene, where Mulder tells Scully that he doesn't know what she should look for during the autopsy, a box behind them says "Heads - Human Remains - Handle with care" (I don't know whether this is really an inside joke or not, but I found it humorous).
  • Ronnie's middle name was LaVelle. An odd name, LaVelle is also the middle name of character Xander Harris from "Buffy: the Vampire Slayer". Maybe it's a vampire thing?
  • Bad Blood Script Differences

    Patient X (originally Blood Lines)

  • This episode paid particular attention to the constellation called Cassiopeia. Aside from the constellation being in that particular area of space where aliens are speculated to originate, Cassiopeia is named for Queen Cassiopeia, who in Greek mythology was placed in the heavens by Neptune but was condemned to sit in her throne for all eternity (much like Cassandra Spender must sit in her wheelchair).
  • Cassandra Spender may have been named not only after the constellation Cassiopeia, but also for another figure in Greek mythology, the prophet Cassandra. The god Apollo fell in love with her and granted her the gift of prophecy, however since she did not love him back he cursed the gift by having no one believe her prophecies. Cassandra, who claimed to speak for the aliens, was also called "The Prophet" by Mulder (sarcastically) when he was talking to her son.
  • The part of the Swedish paranormal professor, Dr. Per Lagerqvist, was played by Max Wyman, the book review editor for the Vancouver Sun.
  • Apparently some of the X-Files staff were killed on Skyland Mountain. As Cassandra Spender is watching the news footage and mourning the loss of people she knew, two of the names that scroll by are "Val Arntzen", "James Pate", and "Kathleen Kasinger". Val Arntzen is a set decorator with the show (as well as Krycek's pseudonym while in Russia), and Jim Pate and Kathleen Kasinger are assistant prop masters (see the in-jokes for "Unruhe", "Small Potatoes", "Christmas Carol", and "Travelers" for other references to Jim Pate).
  • Jack Finn, who was Cancerman's messenger boy, is the son of X-Files producer J. P. Finn.
  • The Red and the Black

  • Title - there has been a huge amount of speculation over this title. Suggestions on what "Red & Black" could refer to include things such as a checker board, a roulette wheel, Russians & Oilens, red dwarfs & black holes, red blood vs. oilien blood, and perhaps a reference to the American Civil War's "the Blue & the Grey".
  • Probably the best suggestion to the origin of the title (especially after the episode "Travelers") is from a film made by the American government in the 1950's, during the height of McCarthyism. Used as both entertainment and anti-communism propaganda, the film is filled with truly astonishing stereotypes of "Commie Bastards". The film also depicts the cold war as a clear-cut battle between good and evil, with Americans as the patriotic freedom-fighters and the Russians as a threat to all that the Americans hold dear. The title of this film is "The Red and the Black". (Thanks CleverGrrl!)
  • One of the more interesting suggestions is that the title is a reference to Stendhal's Le Rouge et Le Noire (French for The Red and the Black). The main character in the book (Julien Sorel) is an angry, self-made man who hates the rich people who don't accept him because he was born poor. The book follows his life as he manipulates and connives to advance his career and his status in life. The title of the book relates to two life-choices that were available to the Sorel, the army or the priesthood. Eventually, the character's past comes back to haunt him, and he loses everything (this could possibly be the story for Krycek, Cancerman, or Agent Spender -- only time will tell).
  • Another interesting possibility comes from a song from Les Miserables (the theme song for the Rebels!): "Red- the blood of angry men/Black- the dark of ages past/Red- the color of desire/Black- the color of despair/Red! A world about to dawn/Black! the night that ends at last".
  • Travelers

  • Title - "Fellow Travelers" were Americans who were sympathetic to the Communist cause during the McCarthy era.
  • The episode marks the long-awaited appearance of Darin McGavin on the X-Files. McGavin's show, The Night Stalker, is the show Carter acknowledges as being the basis for The X-Files. Carter had attempted to get McGavin to portray Mulder's father during season 2, but they could never get their schedules to sync up. It was good to see that they finally found a way to get him on the show.
  • 11/21 - the date Mulder first meets Arthur Dates is 11/21/1990. 11/21 is Chris Carter's wife's birthday.
  • The record the agents stop on the turntable was recorded by "Paula Rabwini". Paul Rabwin is one of the producers on the X-Files.
  • The same record mentioned above was recorded on the "ETAP" recording label. "ETAP", a commonly used brand name in the series, is actually the name of assistant prop master Jim Pate spelled backwards (see "Unruhe", "Small Potatoes", "Redux", and "Christmas Carol" for other "ETAP" reference).
  • Arthur Dales' partner, Hayes Michel, was named after the fiance of Mary Astadourian, Chris Carter's executive assistant.
  • Writers Frank Spotnitz and John Shiban had a teacher at the American Film Institute named Howard Dimsdale. Dimsdale, who was "black listed" during the McCarthy era, used to pseudonym "Arthur Dales" so he could continue to publish his works. This episode and its main character was a sort-of tribute to him.
  • Mulder's awkward left-hand-through-the-hair motion may not have been solely to show off the wedding band. People attending the Miami Expo noted that William B. Davis (the actor who plays the Cigarette Smoking Man) made a similar gesture quite a few times himself.
  • J. Edgar Hoover's paranoid rant to Arthur Dales about the Communist menace was taken almost verbatim from a speech by Senator McCarthy.
  • Mind's Eye

    All Souls

  • Title - "All Souls Day" is a holiday with its roots in the ancient "Pagan Festival of the Dead", which celebrated the Pagan belief that the souls of the dead would return for a meal with the family. Candles would be placed in the windows to help the dead find their way home, and an extra place would be set at the table for them. The act of "Trick or Treat"ing on Halloween can be traced back to the early celebration of "All Souls Day" in Britain. On this day, the poor would go begging and the housewives would give them special treats, called "soulcakes" in exchange for a promise to say a prayer for the dead. In the episode, father Gregory described "good" as losing the struggle for "all souls".
  • The seraphim who appears to Scully at the end of the episode is played by Co-Executive Producer R.W.Goodwin's assistant, Tracy Elofson.
  • Former producer J.P.Finn also appears as the priest who listens to Scully's confession.
  • The Pine Bluff Variant

  • Title - Pine Bluff is a city in Arkansas. Perhaps the "variant" part of the title refers to a disease or viral strain -- much like Ebola Reston is a variant of the Ebola virus named for the place it was discovered, Reston, Virginia.
  • Tom Braidwood's daughter, Kate, appears in this episode as the "usherette".
  • A suspicious Scully follows Mulder to the Aaron Burr hotel. Aaron Burr (known as Thomas Jefferson's Vice President and for the dueling-death of Alexander Hamilton) was convicted of treason and has gone down in history as a traitor. A suitable name for a hotel where Scully suspects Mulder of becoming a traitor himself.
  • The alias Mulder uses at the motel is "Mr. Kaplan". George Kaplan is the name of the "fake" agent that Cary Grant's character is mistaken for in "North by Northwest" -- so "undercover" Mulder uses the name of a nonexistent agent.
  • Folie A Deux

  • When Scully calls Mulder to tell him about the X-File involving "hiding in the light", she says that the case was from August 9th, 1992. August 9th is also Gillian Anderson's birthday.
  • The agent in charge of the hostage situation, Agent Rice, is named for writer Vince Gilligan's significant other, Holly Rice. For the full list of Holly sightings, see the Lists & Statistics page.
  • The End

  • Title - A fitting title for the episode, since it marked "the end" of a few things. Not only does it appear to be the end of the X-Files (and Mulder's office), but it also marks the end of the show being filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, thus bringing an end to the 5 year relationship with the excellent Vancouver crew and beautiful city.
  • While we are on the subject of Vancouver, it is also nice to see that Vancouver finally got to play itself in an episode. The chess match in the opening teaser took place in Vancouver (both literally and figuratively), and the chess fans filling the 12,000 seat stadium were actually thousands of X-Philes from the Vancouver area. Although Duchovny and Anderson were not in the filmed scene, they appeared to bid a fond farewell to the fans filling the stadium.
  • Tag Line - The normal tag line of "The Truth is Out There" was changed to the episode's title, "The End"
  • Mimi Rogers guest-starred in this episode. Recently seen as the mother in the movie "Lost in Space", Mimi also starred in the movie "The Rapture" with David Duchovny, where he played her husband.
  • Mulder's bulletin board contained many remembrances of cases past, including photos of Duane Barry (from the episodes "Duane Barry" and "Ascension"), Eugene Victor Tooms (from "Squeeze" & "Tooms"), the young Eves (from "Eve"), and the Japanese doctors (from "Nisei" and "731").
  • Inget Murray Hospital is named for set designers Shirley Inget and Graham Murray, who were nominated for an Emmy (Outstanding Individual Achievement in Art Direction) for their work on "Jose Chung's From Outer Space".
  • The assassin was held at Fort Marlene. Fort Marlene is the same facility from season one's "The Erlenmeyer Flask" -- the one Scully infiltrated so she could take the alien fetus. While there is no real-life Fort Marlene, there is a Fort Dietrich in Maryland -- a site known for its experimentation with biological weapons. Is the X-Files location an homage to Marlene Dietrich, or a play on the actual Fort Dietrich in Maryland?
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    Laura Witte
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