The X-Files In-Jokes List


X-Files In-Jokes: Season Seven


The Sixth Extinction - 7x03

  • Title - the title is a reference to the point of Scully's monologue at the beginning of 6th season finale, "Biogenesis". Scully told us, "440 million years ago, a great mass extinction would kill off nearly every species on the planet leaving the vast oceans decimated and empty. Slowly, plants began to evolve, then insects, only to be wiped out in the second great mass extinction upon the Earth. The cycle repeated again and again. Reptiles emerging, independent of the sea only to be killed off. Then dinosaurs, struggling to life along with the first birds, fish, and flowering plants - their decimations Earth's fourth and fifth great extinctions." ... "Will we pass, as those before us, into oblivion, into the sixth extinction that scientists warn is already in progress?"
  • 925 - Scully lands at Dulles airport at 9:25. 925 is a number usually used to reference the birth of Gillian Anderson's daughter, Piper Maru, who was born on 9/25. (see The X-Files Numbers Game for more instances of 925's)
  • The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati - 7x04

  • Title - Amor Fati means "Love of Fate". It can be a religious term, having to do with our lives being divinely willed (thus we are supposed to love our lives). A relatively famous phrase, it was written about by Nietzsche ("Amor Fati: let that be my love henceforth").
  • Tag Line - the familiar "The Truth is Out There" tagline was changed to part of the episode's title: "Amor Fati".
  • The idea behind Mulder's dream sequences were largely borrowed from the last 30 minutes of the 1988 film "The Last Temptation of Christ" (based on the Nikos Kazantzakis book of the same name). In the movie, we see Christ saved from the cross at the last minute and allowed to lead a normal life. He gets married, has kids, and leads a long, normal life. As Jesus is dying of old age, he is visited by his supposedly-dead best friend Judas, who calls Jesus a traitor and shows him that Jerusalem is burning because Jesus did not die for our sins. Jesus then snaps back to reality where he is indeed dying on the cross. As you can tell, the X-Files episode is nearly identical, with Mulder "saved" by the Cancerman, allowed to have a normal life where he marries and has children, where he is about to die of old age when visited by his supposedly-dead best friend Scully who calls him a traitor and shows him that the world is burning because he did not complete his quest, and he snaps back to reality where he awakes upon an X-shaped table.
  • Special Date - We all know how Chris Carter likes hiding special birth dates (usually 1013 and 1121) in significant numbers on the show. In this episode that borrowed quite a bit from "The Last Temptation of Christ", it is worth noticing that the code on the swipe-card that Fowley left Scully is MSF 1225 L1 -- 12/25 is Christ's birthday (and Christmas).
  • Arlene Pileggi (Mitch Pileggi's wife and Gillian Anderson's former photo double) reprised her role as Skinner's assistant. Arlene can also be seen as Skinner's assistant in Season 5's "Bad Blood", Season 6's "Triangle", "S.R. 819", and "Monday", 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".
  • The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati Script Differences

    Hungry - 7x01

  • In keeping with Vince's habit of putting his girlfriend's name (Holly Rice) in each episode he writes, the manager of the fast-food store is named Mr. Rice. Another employee is named Lucy, which is Holly's real first name. For the full list of Holly sightings, see the Lists & Statistics page.
  • Private Investigator Steve Kiziak was played by David Duchovny's photo double, Steve Kiziak (didja notice the resemblance?)
  • Vince set this episode in Costa Mesa because his brother Pat lives there.
  • Rob Roberts, a main character in the episode, is named for Vince Gilligan's helicopter flight training instructor, as well the morning traffic reporter in Richmond, VA (Vince's hometown). The psychiatrist, Mindy Rinehart, is named after real-life Rob Roberts' wife.
  • Derwood Spinks was named for Gilligan's sixth grade teacher, Derwood Guthrie. The last name came from World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Leon Spinks.
  • The speed-metal music playing in the first victim's car is that of a band called "Unearthed". Producer Paul Rabwin's daughter is dating a member if the band.
  • Millennium - 7x05

  • Title - Not only does this episode take place as 1999 turns into 2000, but it is also the much-anticipated crossover episode between X-Files and Chris Carter's second series, "Millennium".
  • In keeping with Vince Gilligan's tradition of including his girlfriend's name (Lucy "Holly" Hartwell Rice) in all episodes, we get her twice in this one -- much of the episode takes place in Rice County, Maryland, and the institution where Frank stays is the Hartwell Psychiatric Hospital (in Virginia -- Vince's home state). For the full list of Holly sightings, see the Lists & Statistics page.
  • Vince's brother Patrick played the sheriff's deputy.
  • The neuromancer (Mark Johnson) is named for the real-life Mark Johnson -- the producer who did Home Fries with writer Vince Gilligan.
  • 1121 - the time the policeman stops to help Mr. Johnson with his flat tire - 11:21 (11/21 is Chris Carter's wife's birthday)
  • 1013 - "The time is near" -- the time on the grandfather clock when Frank and Mr. Johnson are discussing Frank becoming the Fourth Horseman (10/13 is Chris Carter's birthday)
  • What with this being a Millennium/X-Files crossover, now would be a good time to mention that the character Frank Black was actually named for the lead singer of one of Chris Carter's favorite bands, "The Pixies" (and that same Frank Black makes an appearance on the "Songs in the Key of X" soundtrack with the song "Man of Steel").
  • It is worth mentioning that Frank Black was watching a game between Notre Dame and Boston College -- both well-known Catholic schools, and that Notre Dame had once had four players nick-named "The Four Horsemen".
  • The line "Shoot them in the head, it seems to stop them" is an homage to the original "Night of the Living Dead".
    (see The X-Files Numbers Game for more instances of 1013 & 1121)
  • Rush - 7x06

    The Goldberg Variation - 7x02

  • Title - this title appears to be a play on 2 different Goldbergs. The first Goldberg was a brilliant harpsichordist in the 1700's who played special compositions written by J.S. Bach. These compositions, although written by Bach, were called "The Goldberg Variations". The other Goldberg is Rueben (Rube) Lucius Goldberg (1888-1970), a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, sculptor, and author. A trained engineer and accomplished artist, Rube Goldberg's "inventions" were known for making simple tasks amazingly complex by utilizing dozens of arms, wheels, gears, handles, live animals, etc to accomplish something as simple as squeezing orange juice or closing a window (anyone remember the game "Mousetrap"?). His name, Rube Goldberg, has become associated with any convoluted solution to perform a simple task (to see what I mean, check out the "Gallery" page at The Rube Goldberg Site). The X-Files connection? This episode's description involves Mulder & Scully being "caught up in an elaborate real-life Rube Goldberg device" involving luck, coincidence, and chance.
    Extra special thanks to Dennis Wittig for his investigative prowess!
  • Orison - 7x07

  • Title - The definition of "Orison" is "a prayer"
  • Among the words scrawled on the prison chapel's walls was the phrase "Sheep go to Heaven, Goats go to Hell". This phrase can also be found in the song "Sheep go to Heaven" by the band Cake -- which is one of Gillian Anderson's favorite bands.
  • The ending slo-mo scenes between Scully, Pfaster, and Mulder look eerily similar to the scenes toward the end of The Matrix (when Mr. Smith shoots Neo) -- including the flash as the gun goes off being reflected on a character's face, a spent cartridge falling to the ground, the gun going off in slow motion, etc.
  • Orison Script Differences

    The Amazing Maleeni - 7x08

  • The Amazing Maleeni was named named for real-life magician Max Malini (1875 - 1942). Famous for relying on his own skill rather than props, Malini performed for kings, queens, and millionaires.
  • Magician Billy LaBonge is named for Second Unit Director of Photography Bob LaBonge.
  • Signs & Wonders - 7x09

  • A fairly common biblical phrase used to describe the acts used to convince followers of the nature of Christ and his apostles, for example:
    Second Corinthians 12:12: "The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles."
  • Sein Und Zeit - 7x10

  • Title - "Sein Und Zeit" means "Being and Time" and is the title of a rather famous 1927 philosophy book by world renowned philosopher Martin Heidegger. It deals with our existence -- being. If you would like to know more about Heidegger's Master Work, follow this link: Lectures on Heidegger's Being and Time
  • In the episode's teaser, Mr. LaPierre is watching "Harsh Realm" (Chris Carter's short-lived and grossly un-promoted drama series) on television. Mr. LaPierre apparently really liked the show, commenting to Mulder that he didn't know what it was called (probably since it wasn't well promoted by Fox), but that it was good. On a related note, the actor playing Mr. LaPierre was in the 2nd episode of Harsh Realm as a bounty hunter.
  • The names of the LaPierre parents (Billie & Bud) may be a reference to the Melville book Billy Budd.
  • The LaPierre's lawyer, Harry Bring, is named for the X-Files Unit Production Manager.
  • Amber Lynn LaPierre is named for Amber Woodward, Chris Carter's assistant on "Harsh Realm".
  • Tencate and LaPierre are both last names of two of Chris Carter's former girlfriends.
  • Closure - 7x11(formerly Sein Und Zeit: Aliatope)

  • Mulder finds his sister's former home on "Albatross Way". The street name may be in reference to the cliche (from Samuel Coleridge's narrative poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner) of having "an albatross around one's neck" -- a heavy burden of guilt that becomes an obstacle to success. Samantha is Mulder's albatross.
  • Agent Lewis Schoniger is named for the next door neighbor of Chris Carter's grandparents.
  • X-Cops - 7x12

  • Title - So-titled because this episode is filmed with a "Cops"-like perspective. "Cops" is/was a popular show wherein camera crews rode along with real-life policemen and filmed them doing their jobs.
  • The episode also appeared to be a homage to "The Blair Witch Project", not only with the hand-held camera footage, but also the scene with the camera falling to the floor, hand-prints on the wall, and also because we never do get to see the "monster"
  • Real-life "Cops" cameraman Daniel Emmett and sound man John Michael Vaughn played a cameraman and a soundman in the episode (the guys who end up in the closet).
  • When a character talks about the police giving 150%, I have to wonder if this is in reference to the fact that X-Cops marks the 150th episode of the X-Files?
  • Chantara Gomez is named for Vince Gilligan's literary agent, Ronda Gomez.
  • Steve & Edy are named for the performers Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme
  • Sergeant Paula Guthrie was named for Vince's sixth grade teacher.
  • As always, Vince finds a way to get his girlfriend's name (Holly) into his episodes. In this case, the police first find Mulder and Scully on Holly Street. For the full list of Holly sightings, see the Lists & Statistics page.
  • First Person Shooter - 7x13

  • This is the computer programmer/video-game episode by William Gibson and Tim Maddox -- the people who brought you Season Five's "Kill Switch" (however, this is not a follow-up to "Kill Switch", it is a stand-alone).
  • Title - "First Person Shooter" is a phrase used to describe games like Quake and Doom -- games where you see the action through your game-character's eyes (first-person perspective), and your main goal is to shoot your weapon and take out your opponents, bad-guys, etc.
  • "Maitreya" means "loving one" in the Buddhist religion.
  • Although the name Musashi seems to be a somewhat common Japanese name, perhaps game-guru Daryl Musashi was named for the popular SquareSoft game "Brave Fencer Musashi"? "Musashi" is also a series of books written in the 30's about a Ronin, or rogue Samurai. (They were last re-printed in 1985 in the states) He is the literary epitome of the Samurai who holds no allegiance to a Lord and the best of the best.
  • Maitreya says "Watashiga korekara surukotowo yurushitene" to Musashi just before he loses the game -- it is Japanese for "Forgive me for what I am about to do."
  • Much of the opening action sequence was filmed at the Rykoff food distribution company. Rykoff is X-Files producer Paul Rabwin's uncle.
  • First Person Shooter Script Differences

    Theef - 7x14

  • The name of the reporter covering the flesh-eating disease story, John Gillnitz, marks the 5th appearance of the name in an X-Files episode. This long-running in-joke is a conglomeration of the writers' names (John Shiban, Vince Gilligan, and Frank Spotnitz) and has been used previously in the episodes "Wetwired", "Leonard Betts", "Christmas Carol", and "Dreamland II".
  • The Dr. Wieder character was named for Frank Spotnitz's assistant's doctor (Sandra Tripicchio's doctor).
  • The phrase "Stinky's Good" has gone on to become an inside joke and somewhat commonly-used phrase amongst crew members.
  • Not an in-joke, but the episode was in memory of Rick Jacobson, president of Twentieth Television (the syndication arm of Fox) who died of cancer in March of 2000 at age 48.
  • En Ami - 7x15

  • Title - "En Ami" is French for "as a friend", yet phonetically it sounds like "enemy".
  • This episode was co-written by the Cigarette Smoking Man himself, William B. Davis.
  • The exterior of the restaurant in this episode is the "Old Writer's Building" on the Fox lot, which reportedly houses the writers and producers of Chicago Hope.
  • Chimera - 7x16

  • Title - Greek for "goat", my trusty Websters defines "Chimera" as "1) from Greek mythology, a fire-breathing she-monster usually depicted as a composite of a lion, a goat, and a serpent. 2) A foolish fancy. 3) An organism, especially a plant, with tissues from at least two genetically distinct parents."
  • Writer David Amann's wife Michelle Deschamps, gets mentions in the episode. The little girl in the teaser is named Michelle, and the psychiatric hospital in the episode is the Deschamps County Hospital.
  • Katy, the baby daughter in the episode, is played by the twin sons of Michelle Joyner, the actress playing Ellen Addrely.
  • all things - 7x17

  • This episode was written and directed by Gillian Anderson.
  • Colleen Azar's girlfriend Carol is played by "The X-Files" Script Supervisor Carol Banker.
  • Gillian chose work from artist Gary Christopherson to be displayed in Colleen Azar's house. To see more of his work, visit
  • Hollywood A.D. - 7x18

  • This episode was written and directed by David Duchovny --
  • The "Hollywood A.D." is in reference to A.D. (Assistant Director) Skinner, who has pitched an X-Files story to a Hollywood filmmaker. Since much of the story also references religion and Christ, the A.D. probably also refers to "Anno Domini" -- Latin for "the year of our Lord" and our designation for the time after Christ (A.D.) (as opposed to B.C. -- the time before Christ).
  • David Duchovny's wife, Tea Leoni, appears as herself (and the movie-version of Dana Scully) in this episode.
  • One of David Duchovny's best friends, Garry Shandling, appears as himself (and the movie-version of Fox Mulder) in this episode.
  • Some of David's other friends (Minnie Driver, David Allen Grier, etc) also make cameo appearances in this episode.
  • Chris Carter makes his second appearance in an X-Files episode as a member of the audience along with Visual Effects Producer Bill Millar.
  • Even David Duchovny's dog, Blue, has a role in the episode. Blue can be seen wandering the set when Mulder & Scully meet Shandling & Leoni, as well as when Scully is showing Leoni how to run in heels.
  • David Duchovny's stand-in Steve Kiziak appears in the episode as Tea Leoni's date to the movie premiere (although I never saw him...). :)
  • David Duchovny wrote the part of obnoxious Wayne Federman for his friend, actor Wayne Federman.
  • A few references to Duchovny's "real life" include Scully's assertion that Tea Leoni likes him, as well as the assertion that Shandling likes him too (A cute reference to David's appearances on Garry Shandling's Larry Sanders Show as himself, but with a crush on Larry).
  • Another "real life" reference was Mulder's request to be played by Richard Gere. Back when the X-Files was really starting to take off and Duchovny was thrust into the limelight, a few magazines started dubbing David as "a young Richard Gere" or a "Gere-look-alike" (although I don't personally see it). Later, during one of his hosting stints on Saturday Night Live, David appeared in a sketch where professional celebrity look-alikes were guests on a talk show. David played a person impersonating Richard Gere.
  • Scully is described as "Jodie Foster's foster child on a Payless budget" -- referencing the fact that Agent Scully was indeed originally modeled on Foster's character from "Silence of the Lambs".
  • Mulder is described as a "Jehovah's Witness meets Harrison Ford's Witness" -- Harrison Ford's "Witness" is the answer David Duchovny got wrong on "Who Wants to be A Millionaire".
  • Chuck Burks line "There's music in the air" was taken from another television series Duchovny acted in, "Twin Peaks".
  • Much of the X-Files crew plays roles as "The Lazarus Bowl"'s crew. The guy on the bike with the donut is Company Grip Richard Deats. The Production Assistant who brings Mulder and Scully to meet the actors is played by David Duchovny's assistant, Kevin Cooper. Second Assistant Cameraman Tim Roe is a zombie. The craft service woman is Tina Ameduri, who does craft service for the show.
    Special thanks to the Official Site -- the paragraph above was lifted directly from the "research information" on "Hollywood A.D."
  • Other X-Files crew members who played roles in the episode include assistant director Barry K. Thomas as "Sugar Bear", producer Paul Rabwin as a producer schmoozing a chorus girl, director of photography Bill Roe as the anti-meat zombie, and visual effects coordinator Bill Millar as a director.
  • David Duchovny's brother, Daniel, makes his second X-Files appearance -- this time as an assistant director.
  • The names on the tombstones are actual names of obscure, deceased directors specifically chosen by David Duchovny from the Fox archives. The most notable one (that I recognized) was the name "Alan Smithee", a notorious pseudonym used by Hollywood directors when they want to "disown" a film. The Director's Guild contract does not permit a director to remove his or her name from a film -- the only exception being when a movie has clearly been taken away from a director and heavily recut against his/her wishes in ways that completely altered the film. Directors can appeal to the Guild in those cases, and if the appeal is successful their name is removed and replaced with the name "Alan Smithee".
  • Micah Hoffman was named for Mark Hoffman. In the 1980's, Mark Hoffman made extremely good forgeries that seemed to cast doubt on the origin of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons). The most prominent of these was the 'Salamander letter' that received national coverage. The forgeries passed several tests and were at one point declared authentic, but Hoffman's Mormon accomplices were threatening to expose him as a fraud. Hoffman planned to kill them by blowing them up with home made bombs. When one of his own bombs went off early and hurt him, it started an investigation that exposed most of what he had sold over many years as fake, including the Salamander letter, rare coins, other documents etc.
  • In the episode, the newly-mobile body of Micha Hoffman says "Noli me tangere" to Scully. "Noli me tangere" is Latin for "touch me not", which is what Jesus said to Mary Magdalene when he appeared to her at the tomb. ["Touch me not, for I have not yet returned to the Father." John 20:17].
  • When Wayne Federman is talking to Mulder and Scully about observing them, he tells them "I'll be strictly Hiesenbergian-- like a hologram". Reportedly, during his time at the University, Duchovny was fascinated by the Hisenberg Theory (which states, among other things, that you can not observe something without changing it -- thus Federman used it in the wrong context and might explain why Mulder gave Scully such a pained smile). Also, in the book "The Duchovny Files" a chapter is named "The Hiesenberg Theory" in reference to Duchovny's fame.
  • Brand X - 7x19

  • Title - the "Brand X" is in reference to a brand of cigarettes (Morley).
  • Dr. Libby Nance is name for X-Files script coordinator Barbara Nance's sister (an entomologist specializing in beetles).
  • The victim Thomas Gastall is named for Ten Thirteen's Office Production Assistant.
  • Morley Security Chief Daniel Brimley was modeled after the character that actor Wilford Brimley played in the 1993 film "The Firm" (and writers Walker and Maeda never got around to changing his name).
  • The character names Voss and Scobie were taken from the 1963 Audrey Hepburn/Cary Grant film "Charade".
  • The episode took place in Winston-Salem, NC -- a real city known for cigarette manufaturing and home to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
  • Ashford Medical Center is named after writer Greg Walker's girlfriend, Michelle Ashford.
  • Fight Club - 7x20

  • Title - Possibly a reference to the 1999 Brad Pitt, Edward Norton film of the same name (or the original novel by Chuck Palanhiuk)?
  • LuLu Pfeiffer was named for LuLu Powers, a regular catering chef for Ten Thirteen Productions.
  • "Ma nish ta na", what Saperstein says when Mulder mispronounces his name, is Hebrew. It is a slang-like statement shortened from the phrase "Ma nish ta na ha'lilah hazeh" which means "why is this night different from all other nights" -- the shortened version can be read more like "So what else is new?".
  • The Mulder & Scully look-alikes in the episode were played by David & Gillian's stand-ins, Steve Kiziak (who also appeared in "Hungry") and Arlene Pileggi (Mitch Pileggi's wife, who also has a recurring role as Skinner's secretary on the show).
  • Je Souhaite - 7x21

  • Title - "Je Souhaite" is French for "I wish"
  • Jay Gilmore (the man without a mouth) shares his name with the son of Virginia governor Jim Gilmore. Writer Vince Gilligan had promised an aide to the governor that he would use the name (Virginia is Gilligan's hometown).
  • Gilligan took the name Anson Stokes from "Happy Days" star Anson Williams.
  • Mulder comments that Henry Flanken's death was on April 4th, which is also the birthdate of Gilligan's girlfriend, Holly. For the full list of Holly sightings, see the Lists & Statistics page.
  • Mulder and Scully watch "Caddyshack" at the end of the episode, which might be in reference to David Duchovny's first date with Tea Leoni, where they watched "Caddyshack" together and "just howled".
  • Requiem - 7x22

  • Title - A "requiem" is a mass for a deceased person, or a musical composition for such a mass. It is a hymn, composition, or service for commemorating the dead.
  • Same as in the Pilot episode, much of the episode takes place in Bellfleur, Oregon -- Chris Carter was born in Bellflower, California.
  • According to the police dispatcher, the code for a downed aircraft is a "code 10-13". (10/13 is Chris Carter's birthday)
  • This episode bore many homages to the Pilot episode -- some obvious (the orange "X" in the street), and some a bit more subtle (such as a troubled Scully coming to Mulder's hotel room and ending up in his bed).
  • The group scene in Skinner's office was modeled after Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper".
  • Deputy Ray Hoese was probably named for the Ray Hoese who appears in the credits of the Season One gag reel -- however I still don't know who the "real" Ray Hoese is? Anyone know??
    - thanks to Dennis Wittig for spotting the name in the gag reel credits.
  • ==================

    Be sure to check out the highly informative "Research Information" for the season 7 episodes at the WONDERFUL Official Site


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    Laura Witte
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