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16 Episodes That Prove 'The X-Files' Is Secretly A Comedy

Updated July 12, 2019 2.1k votes 248 voters 8.8k views16 items

List RulesX-Files fans, vote up the episodes that show prove Mulder and Scully could work as a comedic duo, too.

For casual fans of The X-Files, the show is all about aliens, conspiracy theories, and the nefarious Cigarette Smoking Man. But many of the show's "Monster of the Week" episodes, meaning the ones not centered on the alien mythology, are actually really funny. Since it's The X-Files, the humor is macabre, deadpan, and downright bizarre - comedy that could come from the mind of Fox Mulder himself. 

Most of the show's most beloved comedy episodes were written by Darin Morgan and Vince Gilligan. Morgan penned the first comedic episode, "Humbug," in the show's second season. He wrote a total of six episodes for the series, and they're all basically instant classics. Before Vince Gilligan created Breaking Bad, he penned some of the best comedic episodes of The X-Files, including the fan-favorite "Bad Blood" from Season 5. David Duchovny also contributed to the show's comedic side with "Hollywood A.D." in Season 7. 

Huge X-Files fans have known for years: this show is secretly a comedy.

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  • Photo: Fox

    In this two-part episode, Mulder and Scully visit Area 51 and are stopped by Men in Black just as a mysterious aircraft flies above them. This causes Mulder and one of the Men in Black, Morris Fletcher (Michael McKean), to switch bodies - but nobody else in the group realizes a body swap has occurred.

    Scully does eventually realize that something is wrong with "Mulder" after he flirts with Skinner's secretary and buys a waterbed. When he calls Scully "baby," that's the final straw. She pulls a gun on Fletcher-as-Mulder and warns, "'Baby' me and you'll be peeing through a catheter." Angry Scully is the best. 

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  • Photo: Fox

    Clyde Bruckman (Peter Boyle) can see how people are going to die. It definitely helps with his job as a life insurance salesman, but in general, his psychic ability leaves him pretty upset and overwhelmed. Mulder and Scully meet Bruckman during an investigation into the slayings of fortune tellers and psychics, and he reluctantly gets involved in the case.

    Mulder is excited to meet someone with psychic abilities, but his questions only annoy the world-weary Bruckman. To shut Mulder up (or just have a little fun with him), Bruckman casually mentions that auto-erotic asphyxiation is one of the most undignified ways to perish. "Why are you telling me that?" Mulder asks. "Forget I mentioned it, it's none of my business," Bruckman replies. That's just one example of the perfectly dark humor of "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose."

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  • 7

    Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster

    Photo: Fox

    When a series of slayings occur and all signs point to a mysterious monster being the culprit, Mulder and Scully arrive to investigate. Mulder suspects Guy Mann (Rhys Darby) is transforming into a were-monster and committing the slayings, but his theory is only half correct. Mann is actually a lizard person who started morphing into a human by day after being bitten by the real culprit. 

    Mulder finally meets Mann in a cemetery, where Mann explains his depressing ordeal as a were-human. Becoming human meant he was immediately overcome with human worries, like the need to wear clothes, get a job, and finally start working on his novel. The only thing that made him feel better was getting a dog named Dagoo. "I quickly realized the only way to be happy as a human was to spend all your time in the company of non-humans," he tells Mulder. It's X-Files humor at its finest.

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  • Photo: Fox

    Premiering late in the series' second season, "Humbug" is the first overtly funny episode of The X-Files. Written by Darin Morgan, it follows Mulder and Scully as they investigate a series of slayings in a community of former sideshow performers. Mulder thinks the suspect could be the legendary "Fiji mermaid," but Scully argues the mermaid is only a humbug (in other words, a hoax).

    This episode plays with the idea of "The Other" in interesting ways. Mulder and Scully, a traditionally attractive and buttoned-up pair, are the ones who seem out of place among the sideshow performers. Scully has a few tricks of her own, though. In one of the episode's most memorable moments, she appears to eat a live cricket in front of Mulder and Dr. Blockehad (Jim Rose), but it's just a little humbug of her own.

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