The X-Files In-Jokes List


X-Files In-Jokes: Season Four



  • Title - "Herrenvolk" is the Nazi/German word for "Master Race" - Hitler's plan for creating a world of perfect, blue-eyed blond people.
  • There has been much speculation over the name of Mulder's new "informant", Marita Covarrubias. The word "Rubia" means "yellow" or "blonde" in Spanish. The word "Covarrubias" means "yellow cave" and is the name of a medieval town in Spain. Recently there has been a rumor circulating that the "real" Marita Covarrubias is actually an LA lawyer who works with the Fox network (this I cannot yet confirm or deny).
  • Tag Line - The tag line "The Truth Is Out There" was changed to "Everything Dies", which is the phrase the mighty-morphing-power-alien tells Mulder before he throws him across the parking lot.
  • Unruhe

  • The brand of film, ETAP, is the last name of assistant prop master Jim Pate spelled backwards. See the in-joke entries for "Small Potatoes", "Redux", "Christmas Carol", and "Travelers" for other "ETAP" references.
  • Although the title "Unruhe" is the German word for "unrest", and the word is uttered many times during the episode, the real inspiration for this episode came from a Time-Life book on psycho killers, which included an article on mass murderer Howard Unruh. Writer Vince Gilligan found it eerily poetic that the killer's last name was the word for "unrest", and incorporated it into an X-Files episode.
  • Home

  • This episode marks the return of writers Glen Morgan and James Wong, who left the show in the middle of season 2 to create their own show, Space: Above and Beyond. Maybe the title "Home" is a fitting one?
  • The was something special about the way the location shows up in the teaser for the episode - First off, we are viewing a close up of the home plate as the word "Home" appears in the lower left corner of the screen. Just as we begin to wonder if they are going to start showing the titles at the beginning of the episodes, we see the completed line 'Home, Pennsylvania' - it's just the usual location that appears in each episode after all.
  • Although there was much speculation that the inbreeding family (the Peacocks) were named for the mascot of NBC (because of their new 'copycat' shows this season - Dark Skies, The Pretender, and Profiler), the family was really named after Glen Morgan's parent's neighbors.
  • Home Script Differences


  • 925 - When Mulder glances at Aboah's resident alien card, we see that Aboah's birthday is 9/25/62 -- Gillian's daughter Piper was born on 9/25 also.
  • 517 - The time Scully arrive at work in the morning was 5:17am. 5/17 is the birthdate of producer/writer Frank Spotnitz's wife.
  • Tag Line - the usual tag line, "The Truth Is Out There", was changed to "Deceive, Inveigle, Obfuscate", a phrase used by Scully and Mulder in this episode. For those without a dictionary at their fingertips, "Inveigle" means to win over by guile or persuasion, and "Obfuscate" means to make dark or obscure, to confuse.
  • The Field Where I Died

  • Sullivan and Sarah - Sullivan Biddle and Sarah Kavanaugh supposedly lived during the Civil War. In "real life" a Civil War soldier named Sullivan Ballou wrote a now-famous (and very moving) letter to his wife, Sarah, in which he assured her that his love for her was "deathless" and that even though he might be killed in the war, he would always be with her, he would wait for her, and that "we shall meet again". One week after writing the letter, Sullivan Ballou was killed in the First Battle of Bull Run. Although his references probably refer to being together in heaven, they can also be interpreted as meeting in another life, much like the X-Files episode.
  • Mulder's soliloquy at the beginning and end of the episode is from a long Robert Browning poem titled "Paracelsus".
  • Vernon Ephesian - the character likened to David Koresh bears Koresh's real first name, Vernon. His last name was taken from the book of the Bible.
  • The Field Where I Died Script Differences


  • Title - Sanguinary means carnage, bloodthirsty, consisting of blood. Sanguinaria means bloodroot. Sanguinarium is Latin for 'place of blood'.
  • 1953 Gardner Street - was probably named for Gerald Gardner, who founded his own form of witchcraft, Gardnerian, in 1953. His is the most-practiced form of witchcraft today. Gerald Gardner also published many books on witchcraft when laws against the practice were revoked (also in 1953).
  • Rebecca Waite was the name of the nurse who was a witch. Rebecca Nurse was the name of one of the Salem witches. Also, Arthur Edward Waite was a famous writer on medieval witchcraft and the co-creator of the modern tarot deck. Waite belonged to the same secret occult order as Alistair Crowley (see entries for "Die Hand Die Verlezt").
  • Vince Gilligan named Dr. Shannon after his favorite actress, Shannon Tweed.
  • In keeping with the 5-sided theme of this episode, production designer Graeme Murray made the ASU surgical unit consist of a suite of 5 operating rooms, each room at the point of an imaginary pentagram. The doctors also congregated in a 5 sided scrub room, with 5 scrub sinks.
  • Vanitas Vanitatum - the words scrawled in blood on the mirror mean 'Vanity of the Vanities'.
  • Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man

  • 1013 - Security Council Resolution Number 1013 dictates the immediate extermination of any Extra-Terrestrial Biological Entities.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald called CancerMan Mr. Hunt. There was a real Mr. Hunt, an E. Howard Hunt, who wrote a number of espionage thrillers under a pseudonym at the same time that he worked for the CIA *AND* who was supposedly in Dallas when JFK was assassinated. His name has been batted around by JFK conspiracy theorists for many years.
  • Closed Captioning revealed that CancerMan called Deep Throat by the name 'Ronald'.
  • If you have freeze frame on your VCR, pause it on Scully's senior thesis as CancerMan thumbs through it. You will find that her thesis contains a discussion on and references to MJ-12 (I guess we know why she was assigned to Mulder now).
  • The name of the magazine publisher who finally prints CancerMan's story, Walden Roth, is named for Dana Walden, head of drama at Twentieth Century Fox Television, and Peter Roth, one of Fox's network heads.
  • The credits list characters "Matlock, Lydon, and Jones". Presumably, these 3 men are named for Glen Matlock, John Lydon, and Steve Jones -- respectively the (original) basist, lead vocalist, and guitarist of the punk rock band the Sex Pistols.
  • The title of the magazine that CancerMan finally gets published in, Roman À Clef, means a novel in which actual persons or places are fictionally depicted.
  • When CancerMan goes to the magazine stand to get his copy of Roman À Clef, look for the white-covered End Credits magazine on the rack behind him. One of the stories on the cover is titled "Where the hell is Darin Morgan?". (Anyone who doesn't know who Darin Morgan is at this point should be shot, but for those who don't: he is the brother of writer/co-executive producer Glen Morgan - who wrote this episode, he is the actor who played the title character in the episode "The Host", played Eddie Van Blundht in "Small Potatoes", and he wrote such memorable episodes as "Humbug" and "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose", among others).
  • In CancerMan's books, his main character's name, Jack Colquitt, is also the name of a marine in Glen Morgan and James Wong's series Space: Above and Beyond from the episode "Who Monitors the Birds?".
  • CancerMan's first book is titled "Take a Chance", which is one of the catch phrases from Space: Above and Beyond.
  • The designation "classified compartmentalized" was also created by Morgan & Wong for their own show, Space: Above and Beyond.
  • When CancerMan and Deep Throat flip a coin to decide who will kill the alien, it is quite reminiscent of the way the Silicates (the race of human-looking computers) made their decisions in Morgan and Wong's series Space: Above and Beyond.
  • Isn't it funny that the Lone Gunmen would use something called the CSM-25 Countermeasure Filter in an attempt to block someone we tend to call CSM (Cigarette Smoking Man)?
  • In this episode, Jackie Kennedy was played by X-Files Associate Casting Director Heike Brandstatter.
  • Paper Hearts

  • Mulder finds Roche's old car in Hollyville, Delaware. The city of Hollyville is named for writer Vince Gilligan's significant other, Holly Rice. For the full list of Holly sightings, see the Lists & Statistics page.
  • Bosher's Run Park was named for Bosher's Dam in Virginia, one of Vince Gilligan's favorite "haunts".
  • Tunguska

  • Title - Tunguska is a location in Siberia where an object (asteroid? UFO?) struck the earth in 1908. The blast leveled over half a million acres and was hundreds of times stronger than the blast of an atomic bomb.
  • When Krycek said the line about "When you go underground you've gotta learn to live with the rats", did anyone else think that maybe this was a reference to his internet-nick-name 'Ratboy'?
  • The closed-captioning revealed that as Mulder was looking at the cockroach retrieved from his soup, the cockroach said "Bambi?". Bambi is the entomologist that Mulder had a bit of a crush on from "War of the Coprophages".
  • Terma

  • Title - 'Terma' (or 'Tyurma') is Russian for prison or jail, also a Latin conjunction of 'death'. It has also been suggested that the title refers to the Tibetan Buddhist term "Terma", meaning hidden or buried truth. Of course, in the episode, it was the name of a location in North Dakota.
  • Tag Line - 'E Pur Si Muove' is Italian for "And still it moves" or "And nonetheless it does move". Supposedly, this is the phase Galileo said under his breath after the Church forced him to admit that his theory on the Earth rotating around the sun was incorrect -- meaning that no matter what someone makes you say, it doesn't change what you know to be true.
  • The 'honorable men' lines spoken by the Well-Manicured Man were almost directly quoted from Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar'. Of course, the 'honorable men' spoken about in Julius Caesar conspired against and killed Caesar, so they weren't too honorable, were they? -- I guess we can assume the same thing about the men whom the Well-Manicured man was referring to as well.
  • "Comrade Arntzen", Krycek's other name, may be named for Val Arntzen of the set decorating department.
  • El Mundo Gira

  • Title - 'The World Rotates' in Spanish -- possibly a reference to the 'Mexican soap opera' as Scully describes it, a play on the title of the popular soap opera 'As The World Turns'.
  • Leonard Betts

  • People have commented on the occurrences of the number '208' in this episode -- #208 is the ambulance to which Betts is assigned, and Scully wakes up with her nosebleed at 2:08. This may be a reference to X-Files episode number 2.08 'One Breath', which is the episode where Scully is returned after her abduction.
  • One of Leonard's previous aliases was Truelove -- who is possibly named for production coordinator Anita Meehan-Truelove.
  • The man from the bar who apparently had lung cancer was named John Gillnitz. This name is a reference to the three writers of this episode, John Shiban, Vince Gilligan, and Frank Spotnitz. The name John Gillnitz was later re-used in the episodes "Christmas Carol", "Dreamland II", and "Theef" (all are Gilligan, Shiban, Spotnitz episodes), and was used previously in "WetWired" (written by Matt Beck) for the man who was shot in his hammock.
  • Never Again

  • Title - Once again, with this episode we bid adieu to Glen Morgan and James Wong, two of the best things/people to ever happen to the X-Files. We lost them previously during season two when they left to work on their show Space: Above and Beyond, but they were gracious enough to come back to us for a short while in season four. Now they are leaving again, and the title of this episode reportedly indicates what they claim is the likelihood that they will return to the show for a third time.
  • The tattoo "Betty" was voiced by Jodie Foster, whose portrayal of Agent Starling in Silence of the Lambs was a precursor to our own Agent Scully.
  • Internet/Newsgroup Reference, Part 1 -- I can't even count how many times the "Where is Scully's desk?" and "Why isn't her name on the door?" questions have been asked on the newsgroup. Finally -- Scully (and Morgan and Wong) ask these important questions of Mulder!!!
  • Internet/Newsgroup Reference, Part 2 -- for some time now, Mulder and Scully have been referred to as 'Moose and Squirrel' on the newsgroup, thanks to an inventive poster who discovered that there were numerous similarities between both intrepid pairs.
  • Internet Reference, Part 3 -- maybe this isn't quite an inside joke, but I found it humorous that when Scully connected to the internet from Jerse's computer, and a list of search engines could be seen on the screen. These search engines -- "Magella", "Excited", "Yahoots", and "Infos??k" (I couldn't make out all of the letters on that last one) were a parody of popular search engines "Magellian", "Excite", "Yahoo", and "Infoseek". Also, Jerse's web browser, "Cyberscope", sounds like a take-off on "Netscape".
  • Scully's tattoo -- although people have been calling it the "Millennium Tattoo", the symbol itself is called the ouroboros. The ouroboros is a mythical serpent biting it's own tail, and it is a symbol of the unending cycle of the universe (a cycle of destruction and re-creation). This is quite an appropriate symbol for Scully, since she tells Jerse that she has "always gone around in this circle", one of loyalty and rebellion.
  • The "crummy bar" visited by Scully and Jerse is called the "Hard Eight Lounge". "Hard Eight Pictures, Inc." is the name of Morgan and Wong's production company, and its title could be seen after each Space: Above and Beyond episode.
  • Ed Jerse's downstairs neighbor Kaye Schilling shares (shared) her name with Mary Kaye Schilling, the senior editor in charge of the November X-Files issue of Entertainment Weekly. (Supposedly, Morgan & Wong were upset with the ratings some of their episodes received in that particular issue).
  • I guess Morgan and Wong really do hate Entertainment Weekly, since the ill-fated neighbor was using it to paper her birdcage. The caption of this issue was "The Wisest Man in Hollywood" and the picture was reportedly of X-Files producer Bob Goodwin.
  • The bartender in this episode is actually Barry (Bear) Hortin, a Teamster who was responsible for pulling Gillian's trailer. He also appears as a bartender in the epsiode "Dod Kalm".
  • Mulder's list of people for Scully to investigate contained some interesting characters, such as Yakov Smirnoff (or Smirnov) the popular Russian comedian; Vladimir Nabokov, the author of Lolita and Pale Fire (the book where we also find Lord Kinbote), and Vsevolod Pudovkin, a Russian film maker of the 1920's.
  • Many people have been discussing their interpretations of the significance of Scully's rose petal. I would like to list Robert Herrick's famous poem as a possible answer: Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
    Old time is still a-flying;
    And this same flower that smiles today
    Tomorrow will be dying.
    The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
    The higher he's a-getting,
    The sooner will his race be run,
    And nearer he's to setting.
    That age is best which is the first,
    When youth and blood are warmer;
    But being spent, the worse, and worst
    Times still succeed the former.
    Then be not coy, but use your time,
    And, while ye may, go marry;
    For, having lost but once your prime,
    You may forever tarry.
  • Never Again Script Differences

    Memento Mori

  • Title - Latin for "a reminder of death".
  • The 'snowglobe' that contained the password was possibly from the real Vegreville in Alberta, Canada. The town is famous for its giant 'Easter' egg landmark (in keeping with the ova theme of this episode). Vegreville's egg is a 31.6 foot tall Ukrainian Easter egg made out of metal.
  • Memento Mori Script Differences


  • Title - a Kaddish is a prayer recited in daily synagogue services and by mourners after the death of a close relative.
  • Detective Bartley is so named in honor of John Bartley, ex- and still sometimes-cinematographer.
  • Issac Luria was named for the famous rabbi of the same name. The real Issac Luria is credited as the father of Jewish mysticism.
  • Not a joke but, this episode was dedicated to Lillian Katz, who is Howard Gordon's grandmother.
  • Unrequited

  • General McDougall was named for editor Heather MacDougall
  • When Mrs. Davenport sees Teager, two of the names you can see on the wall behind her are Jesse R. Ellison and Harlan L. Hahn. Harlan Ellison is a sci-fi writer, while Jessica Hahn, well, you know.
  • Names of X-Files crew members were also etched into the wall.
  • When Mulder and Scully go to investigate the woman at the war memorial, the time is 11:48 -- Chris Carter's wife's birthday is 11/21/48.
  • Tempus Fugit (originally 'Flight 549', then 'Tempest Fugit')

  • Title - Latin phrase meaning "time flies".
  • Crash survivor Larold Rebhun shares his name (but not its pronunciation) with X-Files soundmixer Larold Rebhun.
  • Assistant Director Vladimir Stefoff plays the bartender at the Headless Woman Pub. Assistant location manager Ainslie Wiggs also played a party barfly, but was edited out of the final cut. (see the in-jokes for E.B.E. for another reference to Val Stefoff)
  • Max

  • Max's pseudonym, Paul Gidney, might have been borrowed from the moon men on the Rocky & Bullwinkle show, Gidney and Cloyd. Apart from the aforementioned links between Mulder & Scully and Moose & Squirrel (see listing for 'Never Again'), moon men are appropriate for this episode (with its abductions and the birthday key chain).
  • 1013 - The time according to Skinner's watch was 10:56 (Chris Carters birth month & year)
  • This episode showcased another song from "Songs in the Key of X": 'Unmarked Helicopters' by Soul Coughing.
  • The Mustache Man's question to Mulder is similar to a question asked of Joseph Cotton by Orson Wells in "The Third Man", regarding how he would feel if, while riding a ferris wheel, one of the "dots" on the ground stopped moving
  • Synchrony

  • The opening scenes of this episode mirror scenes from the movie Back to the Future (how appropriate).
  • Small Potatoes

  • On the cover of the 'World Weekly Informer', in the bottom right-hand corner, there is a picture of none-other-than The Stupendous Yappi (who can also be seen in 'Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose' and 'Jose Chung's from Outer Space').
  • In what is probably my favorite inside joke (if that is what it really is) we have the 'silent H' in Van Blundht's name. Fans of Duchovny know that his name is often mispronounced, and that the 'H' in DucHovny is also silent. As Mulder and Scully go to interrogate Van Blundht's father, the 'H' drops from the 'Van Blundht' name beside the door -- a possible reference to the fact that David Duchovny's father, Amram Ducovny, dropped the 'H' from the spelling of his name. I am impressed with the 'cleverness' of this entire episode.
  • As Van Blundht looks at Mulder's driver's license, we can see the street address where Mulder lives: 42-2630 Hegal Place. The number 2630 is the correct street number for the building used in exterior shots of Mulder's apartment, 2630 York Avenue in Vancouver.
  • One of the headlines on the tabloid newspaper is "ETAP Bigshot Busted". "ETAP" is a commonly used brand name on the X-Files, and is so-named because it is prop-master Jim Pate's name spelled backwards. See the entries for "Unruhe", "Redux", "Christmas Carol", and "Travelers" for other references to "ETAP".
  • Internet Inside Joke - one of the favorite questions asked on the newsgroup is -- where is Mulder's bed!?! Because we usually see him sleeping on the couch, many X-Philes assume that he doesn't have a bed at all. Luckily, we aren't the only ones to ask this question, since Eddie as the Faux Mulder shares in our curiosity! (Also asked on the group, but to a much lesser degree, is the "Is this where my tax dollars are going?" question).
  • Zero Sum

  • Title - "Zero Sum" describes a game where someone wins by someone else's loss (for example, we start with 10 dollars each... every time you win I have to give you one of my dollars, and you win when I lose all 10 of my dollars to you -- you win 10 dollars because I lose 10 dollars).
  • Not a joke, but this episode was in memory of Vito J. Pileggi, Mitch Pileggi's father, who died in 1993.
  • Elegy (was 'Tulpa', then 'Revenant')

  • Titles - In Tibetan mystic practice, a Tulpa is a ghostly manifestation of a "thought-form" produced by the mind. 'Revenant' is one that comes back following an absence or one who returns after death. An elegy is a poem expressing grief for someone who is dead.
  • The scenes in the mental home were reminiscent of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", especially since the actor who portrayed Chuck Forsch also played Charlie Cheswick in the famous movie, and Nurse Innes seemed pretty sadistic, much like the infamous Nurse Ratchett.
  • One of the victims is named "Risa Shapiro", which is also the name of David Duchovny's agent.
  • Harold's roommate, Chuck Forsch, is named for Chris Carter's LA-based assistant.
  • Dr. Martin Alpert is named after writer John Shiban's physician.
  • Demons

  • 925 - When Mulder asks the doctor to 'treat' him again, the time in 9:25pm -- Gillian's daughter Piper was born 9/25.
  • Yet another mention/homage to Dostoyevsky (the first being in 'Talitha Cumi' -- see the 'Talitha Cumi' in-jokes for futher information) when the Dostoyevsky Syndrome is mentioned.
  • Victims David and Amy Cassandra are named for the Greek Prophet Cassandra. The god Apollo fell in love with Cassandra and granted her the gift of prophecy, however since she did not love him back he cursed the gift by having no one ever believe her prophecies. Much like Mulder, everything she said was true but no one believed her. (See Season 5's Patient X for further use of the name Cassandra).
  • Ill-fated police office Michael Fazekas was named for co-executive producer Frank Spotnitz's assistant. For another tribute to Fazekas, see the entries for season 5's "Detour".
  • Gethsemane

  • Tag Line - the normal tag line of "The Truth is Out There" was changed to "Believe the Lie", a line spoken 3 times in the episode.
  • Kritschgau was named for one of Gillian Anderson's friends from school.
  • ==================

    Season One
    Season Two
    Season Three
    Season Four
    Season Five
    Season Six
    Season Seven
    Season Eight
    Season Nine
    The Movie
    The Game
    Lists & Statistics
    The Numbers Game
    He Said, She Said
    X-Files in the Bathroom
    Outside-Inside Jokes
    Titles Explained
    Around the World
    What's New
    Script Differences
    Awards & Nominations
    Expo Experiences
    Home Page


    Laura Witte
    The X-Files In-Jokes List © 1996-2003
    Legal Notice: "The X-Files" TM and © Fox and its related entities. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, duplication or distribution of these materials in any form is expressly prohibited
    Disclaimer: This web site, its operators and any content on this site relating to "The X-Files" are not authorized by Fox. No Copyright Infringement Intended.