Five Ways Something Ruined My LifeFive Ways ‘The X-Files' Ruined My LifeErin Mallory Long

I don’t know what you guys were doing between the years of 1993 and 2000, but I was watching a lot of The X-Files (everyone briefly stopped watching once Robert Patrick came on, right?). By “watching”, I of course mean “watching but also holding things in front of my face when I was too scared to watch” and just wishing I was Dana Scully. Obviously.

I started watching X-Files with my dad on Friday nights and remember wanting to watch it because I thought it was cool. I had this sort of understanding like, “Oh, this is a TV show that I should appreciate, so even when I’m terrified I should stick with it.” I always loved those X-Files fan favorite marathons (I’ve seen “Home” about 100 times despite the fact that it’s the creepiest hour of television I’ve ever seen), I made an X-Files collage that I brought with me to college and I still remember an episode of The Rosie O’Donnell show where David Duchovny was a guest and he told a story about the theme song’s lyrics being “The X-Files is a show. …with music by Mark Snow” and to this day, I can never NOT hear that when I listen to the theme music.

There’s also a great story where I convinced my 4-year-old brother (I was 9) that I had amnesia and pointed to some pictures of Mulder and Scully on my wall and told him those were my parents. But that’s for another time.

Here is my list of five ways The X-Files ruined my life:

1. Always Assume Everything is a Paranormal Occurrence

Like most girls, I’ve always kept a lot of diaries. Not necessarily always documentations of my day-to-day life but some sort of place to write down thoughts or just take notes of things.

When I was a kid (around the time I started watching X-Files), I would keep a diary of weird things that happened to me. Most of them were like, “I was walking by the basketball court and I saw something” or “I had a weird feeling come over me and thought I saw someone.”

You know, kid stuff.

The X-Files definitely helped me with my “imagination” and made me suspect everyone and everything around me as a potential paranormal occurrence. “I heard a strange sound – must be aliens” or “Hmmm, weird light pattern coming from the woods.”

I guess it means I had a good imagination and explains how I ended up working in TV, but it definitely all sprung from a desire to be involved in an X-File that Mulder and Scully could investigate.

2. Made Me Obsessed with Sexual Tension Between Male & Female Partners

By now we know that I am into shows that involve sexual tension between male and female partners. Well, The X-Files is where that all started.

I’m not going to pretend this was something I was aware of when I first started watching it. I definitely got into the show just based on the stories, but Older Erin was definitely interested in it for this business:

(pic from here)

I loved “Arcadia” for them playing house together (and the Rob and Laura Petri joke was particularly hilarious to me as I was obsessed with both Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore) and I loved “Detour” because of this exchange:

Mulder: I was told once that the best way to regenerate body heat was to crawl naked into a sleeping bag with someone else who is already naked.
Scully: Maybe if it starts raining sleeping bags, you might get lucky.

Also, my love for them together may have contributed to me becoming the snarky smart alec I am today. (And by “may have”, I mean “definitely”).

It’s just like, their relationship is perfection to me. They have banter, she “debunks” his theories but then falls for them every time and all along the way they investigate mysteries.

If that’s not a perfect life, I don’t know what is.

3. Ruined my Favorite Color For Me

My favorite crayon color has always been cerulean blue. Just, forever. So you can imagine my surprise when my favorite color was used in a really disturbing episode of X-Files, “Pusher”.

The beginning of this episode is this kind of normal but kind of weird-looking guy getting taken by the FBI and put in the back of a car. He starts talking about cerulean blue and it kind of puts the driver in a trance and he doesn’t see this giant blue truck coming and smashes into it so this normal/weird guy can escape!

Guys, “please don’t use my favorite color for evil!” is what I was thinking the entire time this episode was playing.

The episode gets even worse and includes someone lighting himself on fire (among other things), but I was most haunted by that cerulean blue. For real.

4. Made Me Love One of TV’s Lamest Conventions

I will admit it. I’m a sucker for a crossover event.

I loved when NBC did that “blackout Thursday” crossover in 1997. I guess I’m just am a fan of any kind of jokes I can be in on.

One of my favorite examples of this is the episode of The Simpsons (another of my favorite things) called “The Springfield Files”.

(pic taken from my DVD)

The best part of any crossover is the “in” jokes that come up when the one show is crossing into the other show. I love when Mulder flashes his badge and the way he says “FBI” and when Scully has Homer run on the treadmill for hours.

But that wasn’t the only time X-Files joined with another TV show! It gets better!

There was an entire episode called “X-Cops” which is basically an episode of The X-Files shot as if it’s an episode of Cops. I was never someone who watched Cops but I absolutely loved this episode.

(pic from here)

I don’t really have anything to say about these things except that I desperately love any crossover event of things that I love and even would probably get on board with crossovers with things that I don’t love.

5. Made Me Fall In Love With a Sex Addict

I mean, really what all of this comes down to is that I love David Duchovny.

(pic from here)

Do I care that he says he’s a sex addict? No.

Did I unreasonably hate Téa Leoni when they got married? Yes. (AND I used to watch The Naked Truth!)

Firstly, DD is just attractive. This is a fact. So, not being blind, I can appreciate him for that. But then he also plays this character that I love who is funny and smart and obsessive and basically also a just a really attractive (though probably annoying to date) guy.

So, duh, I’m a pre-teen and teen watching this show and I’m obsessed with DD. Not surprising.

But it’s kind of weird he says he’s a sex addict (and now, looking back, it seems extra weird that Mulder was always casually watching porn in The X-Files).

But, you know, meeting other people who loved X-Files was how I first learned about fans of things on the internet and, also, fan fic (actually the only piece of fan fic I have ever read was X-Files related) so maybe this all is making sense…

I’m still desperate for a “the truth is out there” poster, though, guys.

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  1. [...] por desgracia no recuerdo quién pero le agradezco sobremanera. El texto original procede de “Hello Giggles”, una especia de Blog comunal donde diversos autores hablan de todo, desde moda a actualidad [...]

  2. Everything you claimed about the DD and The Xfiles is so right on. I love that show and it is still No. 1 with me. Only episode that bothered me was “Signs and Wonders” because I do not like snakes!!! Watched it with a blanket up to my eyes. Hopefully, we will get our wish and Chris Carter will produce the X-Files 3 movie. Never give up on a miracle.
    Karen Haynes

  3. I think you and I may have been the same person during the time of the X-files. Collage, irrational hatred of Ms/ Leoni, obsession with Mulder/Scully relationship… You name it, I was right there, too! Thanks for the fun read.

  4. I taped white crosses on my windows =/

  5. Right there with you…

  6. That episode where the disembodied spirit of the paraplegic soldier drowns a girl in a pool means to this day I have difficulty swimming in a pool alone (there’s also the shark fear, but that’s a slightly different story). PLUS THAT EPISODE HAD A GUY JUMPING IN BOILING WATER AND THEN SURVIVING ALL BURNED AND WRINKLY. Haunted my dreams for years.

  7. Elegy is one of the best episodes EVER, though pretty much anything seasons 3-5 is gold. And Arcadia. Once Robert Patrick showed up, I was out. 8-9? What WAS that? You know, I still can’t watch Nick Lea in anything without expecting him to burst into Russian and expectorate black oil from his eyes.

  8. I definitely recently purchased a “The Truth is Out There” poster. Never will I ever regret that decision.

    • oh – you just reminded me!
      I found that poster in a store, but couldn’t buy it cos I was catching the bus. When I went back it had been bought. Fast forward to when i first met my boyfriend (now fiance, we’ve now been together 11 years) he had bought it instead! It’s now sitting in our bedroom…. lols

  9. Every time you write a post it’s like you’re reading my mind! :) Love the X-Files and DD!

  10. The best unresolved sexual tension episodes in my honest opinion: Quagmire, Detour, Triangle, Momento Mori, Dreamland PT 2, All Things, and of course the last dance in Post Modern Prometheus.

  11. My favorite sexual tension episode is Syzygy!! “Sure, fine, whatever!!” :) love it!!! And totally hate Téa leoni although watched and loved the naked truth!!!! And wanted to be the mother of their children!! Lol. And of course had the Scully hair cut!!!!

    • I have TWICE had the Scully. Once in college and then just last year during my x-files rewatch. And both times I went “DAMN YOU, GILLIAN ANDERSON!”
      It always grows out, though.

  12. remember when deep impact came out and tea got to die in the end?! my girlfriends and i were so happy!

  13. Back in…I don’t know, the 90′s sometime, I thought I was so clever because I changed our family’s email alert to a sound byte of Scully saying “Have you checked your email this morning?” Also, I’m beginning to get scared. EVERY TIME there’s a new 5 ways…I just sitting here nodding while reading it. And now I’m worried that I’ve never seen the two of us in the same room at the same time…

  14. If you haven’t watched the YouTube video of GA’s bloopers (and her adorable laugh), you’re missing out. I was too scared to watch the show with my parents when it first came out but I’m watching the whole series on netflix right now!

  15. You were 9?? I had kids older than you and was still just as obsessed – Hey, I’ve written fanfic for 12 years. Talk about obsession. I can break into Why Don’t You Love Me by Bree Sharp at any time…

  16. I was obsessed to, to the point that when I got the internet at my home ( 98/99-ish) I downloaded clips of interviews, blooper reels and everything, I even found out about the twin peaks days of DD as a cross dressing FBI agent….fun stuff. I watched that show with my parents but had no idea what was going on cause I was like in first grade. But I obsessed with collages, art projects and conspiracy theories of my own, mostly concerning loop holes in my school’s code of conduct and our extremely shady board of education. Yeah I had it bad. But it came in handy, my skills of analysis, thinking outside the box, and being open to debunking has really prepared me for my career. And my husband has some DD similarities to boot. :)

  17. OMG! I prefer girls but I would still go straight for David…I am still completely head over heels for the guy and still get made fun of for it

  18. I tend to hide my inner geek but I can announce that I too loved, sorry love, The X-Files. I mean why wouldn’t you?! Brennan and Booth have a lot to learn on the sexual tension front. Oh and the Simpsons episode has to be my favourite one ever! Gotta love an in joke. Thanks for a great article,

  19. “There’s also a great story where I convinced my 4-year-old brother (I was 9) that I had amnesia and pointed to some pictures of Mulder and Scully on my wall and told him those were my parents. But that’s for another time.”

    Brilliant! I wish I would’ve thought of that.

    I can definitely relate to this article. Although, I’d have to mention how disappointed I’ve been when a date hasn’t begun with something like “Do you believe in the existence of extraterrestrials?” or closed the deal with “You’re my one in five billion.” :)

  20. eeek! It’s like you’re me. It completely ruined my life too.
    I’m OBSESSED with shows that have sexual tension – moonlighting, bones, castle… and I still find myself quoting it to this day.
    I loved detour and arcadia, but my favourite was always small potatoes – that one where the guy pretends to be Mulder and gets Scully drunk and is about to kiss her when Mulder walks in…
    And yes, I so admired Scully as a teenager, which I guess was quite different to many of the other late – 90s role models… I’d love to see GA do a cameo on Californication and we see those two in a completely different context…
    Ok, phew, end nerdgasm.

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