Oct 18 2015 9:30am

How to Say “I Love You” in X-Files, by Fox Mulder and Dana Scully

Mulder and Scully touch foreheads in The X-Files: Fight the FutureYou don't often hear Fox Mulder and Dana Scully utter those three little words in The X-Files—in fact, by my count, Mulder has said “I love you” a single time while Scully has used “It's why I fell in love with you” once in the middle of an argument. And yet, if you're paying attention, you'll notice that our favorite FBI partners, those paradigms of professionalism and Platonic Friendship, constantly express their feelings to one another in their own (emotionally constipated) way. You just have to translate using your handy X-Files-to-English Translator.

Allow me to present, then, the ever-expanding, always incomplete guide How to Say “I Love You” in X-Files, as compiled and illustrated by Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in 10+ seasons of The X-Files:

“Mulder, I wouldn't put myself on the line for anybody but you.” —Scully (Season 1, Episode 20, “Tooms”)
Translation: I don't know how this happened, but I'd do basically anything for you, including risk my reputation and career. I love you. As a colleague.

“I wouldn't change a day.” —Scully (Season 4, Episode 5, “The Field Where I Died”) Translation: Fate can take a long walk off a short pier—I choose my work and friendship with you. I love you. Platonically, of course.

“Scully, should we be picking out china patterns, or what?” —Mulder (Season 4, Episode 20, “Small Potatoes”)
Translation: Scully, marry me. For serious. Who are we kidding? Unresolved sexual tension is overrated. We should resolve it right now.

Scully sings to mulder in The X-Files: Detour“Jeremiah was a bullfrooooog” —Scully (Season 5, Episode 4, “Detour”)
Translation: Do you have any idea how much I must love you to sing for you, you lucky bastard?

“You're my 1 in 5 billion.” —Mulder (Season 5, episode 19, “Folie a Deux”)
Translation: If soulmates are real, you're mine. I love you.

“You've kept me honest. You've made me a whole person. I owe you everything, Scully, and you owe me nothing.” —Mulder (The X-Files: Fight the Future)
Translation: I'd be a wreck without you, please don't leave me, my heart is at your feet, I love you.

Mulder at Christmastime in The X-Files Scully at Christmastime in The X-Files

“Maybe I did want to be out there with you.” —Scully (Season 6, Episode 6, “How the Ghosts Stole Christmas”)
Translation: I love you and I can't imagine spending Christmas without you and your crazy cases. You're my family now too.

“Happy New Year, Scully.” —Mulder (Season 7, Episode 4, ”Millenium“)
Translation: I love you. Now, let's finish this kiss somewhere more private...

“I won't let you go alone.” —Scully (Season 7, Episode 22, “Requiem”)
Translation: I can't lose you. You're the love of my life. I'm sending Skinner to watch your six.

Mulder and Scully kiss with William between them in The X-Files“The truth, we both know.” —Mulder (Season 8, Episode 21, “Existence”)
Translation: We made love and it was amaaaaazing. Related: William, I am your father.

“Mulder, you say that you've failed, but you only fail if you give up. And I know you—you can't give up. It's what I saw in you when we first met. It's what made me follow you... Why I'd do it all over again.” —Scully (Season 9, Episode 20, “The Truth, Part 2”)
Translation: Ride or die, baby. Love you.

“Don't give up.” —Mulder (The X-Files: I Want to Believe)
Translation: Hold on a little longer to me, to us. We can get through this. I love you.

...And then there's speculation on the “I love you” moments yet to come in The X-Files Revival, like this one hinted at in this trailer for Season 10's new episodes...

Scully answers Mulder's call in The X-Files Season 10 Mulder visits Scully in The X-Files Season 10
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“I'm here.” —Mulder (Season 10, Episode 2, “Home Again”)
Translation: You can't get rid of me that easy. 23 years and a lot of ups and downs later, I still love you.


And these are just lines of dialogue! They also use body language to great effect, but then I'd be here for years. Their affection for each other is in every look, every gesture, every touch in more than nine seasons of the show. In truth, I've barely scratched the surface of the best romantic X-Files quotes and moments here. I mean, how could I have left out...

Scully lectures Mulder in The X-Files Mulder laughs at Scully in The X-Files
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Mulder and Scully in The X-Files' All Things
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Mulder strokes Scully's hair in The X-Files Mulder cradles Scully in The X-Files
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Mulder asks Scully to marry him in The X-Files
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Mulder and Scully kiss in The X-Files Season 9
Gif by storiesmakeyoufly, via

...and all the other ways they show affection in their own subtle, special way?

What Mulder/Scully-language “I love you” examples would you add to the list? (Illustrations always welcome in the comments!)

Find Heather Waters on Twitter at @hwaters_


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Teddy Pierson
1. TeddyP
Amazing post. I have been re-watching a lot of episodes and I now notice all the little shipping moments that take place. I never realized how much they do love each other.
Heather Waters
2. HeatherWaters
@TeddyP -- Thanks! It starts EARLY, too. Mulder admits to feeling "territorial" in, what, episode 2? Incredible.
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