You have to hand it to them: Fans of The X-Files are a creative bunch. Shortly after the series' debut on Fox precisely twenty years ago today, they began posting their own fictional stories about the show on newfangled Internet listservs and forums for consumption by other rabid X-Philes. Occasionally, these stories would mix universes, so that Mulder, Scully, and other X-Files characters could hang out with the likes of Anglea Chase, Xena, and George Constanza.
Of course, the actual show wasn't averse to using this tried-and-true crossover gimmick. Richard Belzer dropped by as John Munch, his Homicide: Life on the Street (and, later, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) cop, in season five's "Unusual Suspects." Vince Gilligan parodied a fellow Fox show with season seven's "X-Cops." (A Picket Fences crossover plot almost happened in season two's "Red Museum," but CBS scrapped the idea.) And of course there was the 1997 episode of The Simpsons, in which Mulder and Scully determine that an alien haunting Springfield is actually just Mr. Burns.
The influential show may have ended more than a decade ago now, but diehard fans are still cranking out stories. Strangely, about the only series that has yet to receive a fan-fic crossover with The X-Files is Breaking Bad, so Hank-and-Scully shippers will have to scratch that itch some other way. To celebrate the series' twentieth, here are the twenty most ridiculous crossover episodes that (mercifully) never made their way across Chris Carter’s desk.
THE X-FILES MEETS ... SEINFELD
Synopsis: "Mulder and Scully go to New York to investigate a laundromat dryer that may have sucked a man to another dimension."
Word count: 9,583
Steamiest line: "'You know, Jerry, I'd forgotten how much action there is in these laundromats,' said George, looking inside the laundromat window. His eyes darted around the machines, gazing at the single women washing their fineries."
Suitable for fans of: The comedic genius of "Jose Chung’s From Outer Space" (Season 3, Episode 20)
Ranking: Four sunflower seeds (for Kramer believing in aliens and Jerry’s riff on laundry day)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... M*A*S*H
Title: "The Never Ending Battle Book One: Through Early Fog"
Synopsis: "Was Henry Blake's death the sad fortune of war it seemed in 1952? Can Fox Mulder and Dana Scully help Hawkeye Pierce find out the truth? Or is Pierce somehow playing the two FBI Agents? How does the history of the 4077th tie in to that of the Consortium?"
Word count: 37,544
Steamiest line: "A blur then streaked through the park, knocking Cigarette Man down as it did. With gray hair dye not yet washed out, Margaret Pierce [née Houlihan] was kissing her husband like he'd rarely been kissed before. Angrily, the stunned spy pulled his gun and picked a target — Dana Scully."
Suitable for fans of: The Vietnam War cover-up in “Unrequited” (Season 4, Episode 16)
Ranking: Three sunflower seeds (for the breadth of prose alone)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... SCRUBS
Title: "My Dream of Scully with the Dark Red Hair"
Synopsis: "Dr. J.D. Dorian of Sacred Heart Hospital comes face to face with his latest fantasy girl — Special Agent Dana Scully. Too bad she had to bring her partner with her."
Word count: 3,758
Steamiest line: "My my my, she is a hot little number. Red hair, perfect body, heels that make her head about even with her boyfriend's shoulder — she looks almost as good as my donut."
Suitable for fans of: That guy who listens to his Jodie Foster–voiced talking tattoo in "Never Again" (Season 4, Episode 13)
Ranking: Two sunflower seeds (for J.D.'s failure to get the girl)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... THE HUNGER GAMES
Title: "The X-Games"
Synopsis: "When a mysterious criminal decides she needs more excitement in her life, she comes up with a devious plan that ends up trapping Fox Mulder and Dana Scully inside the world of the Hunger Games, where they are forced to compete as tributes in the Games."
Word count: 6,665
Steamiest line: "The announcer woman turns to Mulder, almost bouncing up and down with excitement. 'What a handsome young man!' She shoots me a quick glance, 'Do you and Miss Scully know each other? Are you family? Friends? Or more?'"
Suitable for fans of: The virtual-reality killing spree in "First Person Shooter" (Season 7, Episode 13)
Ranking: Three sunflower seeds (for being half-finished)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... THE BRADY BUNCH
Title: "A Very Brady X-File"
Synopsis: "Mulder and Scully are called to the greater San Fernando Valley to investigate a possible abduction."
Word count: 9,346
Steamiest line: "Marcia sat, legs crossed, at the boys' desk, her limpid blue eyes fixed on Mulder. He was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen. Not like football-player beautiful, more like Tiger Beat beautiful."
Suitable for fans of: Psychokinetic Oliver obsessed with The Brady Bunch in "Sunshine Days" (Season 9, Episode 18 — written and directed by Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan)
Ranking: Five sunflower seeds (for portraying Alice as lustful, Marcia as a Lolita, and Jan as a sociopath)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... TWIN PEAKS
Title: "Little Black Dress"
Synopsis: "Alex Krycek delivers a bloodhound to a deputy in the small town of Twin Peaks and encounters a Mulder look-alike, cross-dressing DEA agent, Denis/Denise Bryson." [Note: Duchovny originated this role during a three-episode arc on Twin Peaks in 1990]
Word count: 3,451
Steamiest line: "The woman I saved looked like Mulder; Mulder in a tight black sheath dress with a torn strap, a smear of bright red lipstick, and mascara running from one eye. A surprisingly strong hand steadied me and a voice that sounded like my lover said, 'Hey, there, don't faint on me now. You're my white knight.'"
Suitable for fans of: Nicholas Lea in his pre-Krycek part in “Gender Bender” (Season 1, Episode 14)
Ranking: One sunflower seed (for being NSFW)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... GONE WITH THE WIND
Title: "Gone with the X"
Synopsis: "Scully O'Hara meets Rhett Mulder."
Word count: 1,161
Steamiest line: "Ascending the grand staircase in her spreading green hoopskirts, she became aware that a man was staring at her. Leaning negligently against the newel post, a leer upon his handsome face, he gazed insolently up at her with sparkling hazel eyes. Turning abruptly to the simpering magnolia blossom on her right, Scully demanded, 'Who *is* that man? The spooky one at the foot of the stairs.'"
Suitable for fans of: The body-switching escapades of "Dreamland" (Season 6, Episodes 4 and 5)
Ranking: Two sunflower seeds (for turning Margaret Mitchell over in her grave)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... TWILIGHT
Title: "The Twi-Files"
Synopsis: "Carlisle Cullen appears to be the target of a serial killer. But Mulder and Scully uncover strange things about the Cullens, especially Ren. Are the Cullens the real X-File? Is Mulder right? Are there vampires in Forks?"
Word Count: 25,240
Steamiest line: "He was thrusting in his sleep. Against her leg. Her bare leg, and his old, soft, sweatpants."
Suitable for fans of: The plasma drinkers in "3" (Season 2, Episode 7) and "Bad Blood" (Season 5, Episode 12)
Ranking: Four sunflower seeds (for uncanny attention to detail)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... I DREAM OF JEANNIE
Title: "The Jeannie File"
Synopsis: "In 1993, Special Agents Mulder and Scully are doing a background check on BG Anthony Nelson for a second star and command of NASA. Mulder is interested in a 1968 report Arthur Dales did on then Major Anthony Nelson."
Word count: 11,406
Steamiest line: "Just then a 20-something young woman in a harem outfit came down the stairs and said, 'Anthony ... I can smell the Arabian coffee and caviar, you shouldn’t have ... "
Suitable for fans of: The vengeful genie from "Je Souhaite" (Season 7, Episode 21)
Ranking: Five sunflower seeds (for nostalgia’s sake alone)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... FRASIER
Title: "Unexpected Dimensions"
Synopsis: "Mulder has to hide out in Seattle before going to New Mexico and he is missing Scully quite a lot. A trip to Café Nervosa encourages him to make a very risky but necessary move."
Word count: 900
Steamiest line: "He envied this man, this Niles, for his freedom to be with the woman he loved out in public without a care in the world to concern him. If only Dana could be as happy as Daphne was, for he knew that she was probably just as lonely as he was."
Suitable for fans of: Mulder and Scully's long-distance pining in "Trust No 1" (Season 9, Episode 6)
Ranking: Two sunflower seeds (for leaving Frasier out in the cold)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... 24 — AND ALIAS!
Title: "Day 4: X Marks the Spot"
Synopsis: "President David Palmer is on his way to address the U.N. when a series of strikes hit D.C. and bring Sydney Bristow and Michael Vaughn out of their desk jobs. Operating in conjunction with Jack Bauer and CTU they find evidence implicating an unlikely suspect — Fox Mulder."
Word count: 169,383
Steamiest line: "Mulder didn't even see the smack coming. The sound of her hand hitting his face was so loud, some of the teams looked up to see if that was gunfire. Mulder rocked back on his heels, and Bristow moved right into him, violating his personal space, even though he had six inches on her."
Suitable for fans of: X-Files and 24 scribe Howard Gordon's "Unrequited" (Season 4, Episode 16)
Ranking: Five sunflower seeds (for the triple crossover — and for being longer than most novels)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... MY LITTLE PONY
Title: "The H-Files"
Synopsis: "My FBI ponies Mulder and Scully work to prove that humans exist, despite the machinations of 'The Chair Rocking Mare.'"
Word count: 2,080
Steamiest line: "Scully looked at Mulder. 'I'm pregnant!' Mulder frowned, looking at an ultrasound. 'Scully I think your baby is a human pony hybrid.' [Scully:] 'It can't be!' He turned the ultrasound to show her. On it was a picture of the baby, clearly a centaur."
Suitable for fans of: Babies that aren't fully human, as seen in "William" (Season 9, Episode 16)
Ranking: Four sunflower seeds (for the parodic “Filly Bureau of Investigation”)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... VERONICA MARS
Title: "The V Files: Strange Start to Summer"
Synopsis: "Veronica finds herself working on the X-Files for her summer internship at the F.B.I."
Word count: 11,727
Steamiest line: "Veronica turned her back on the door to wipe the tears from her face that she hadn't even noticed falling from her eyes. It appeared that Agent Mulder and Veronica had more in common than either of them could ever have suspected."
Suitable for fans of: How alluring the FBI is sometimes, as satirized in "Hollywood A.D." (Season 7, Episode 19)
Ranking: Five sunflower seeds (for a Kickstarter-worthy premise)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... TITANIC — AND MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS!
Synopsis: "Fate is so powerful that it can draw eight young adults together as they were destined to be. It's a force that can bring the best and the worst out in two FBI agents, their Assistant Director, and a familiar adversary. Fate is powerful enough to sink the largest ship ever and, most impressive [sic], fate is able to decide who lives, who loves and who dies."
Word count: 17,524
Steamiest line: "'What!?' Scully whispered, harshly, 'What are you talking about? I'm not coming on to Skinner!' Mulder shook his head, calming himself, 'He's coming on to you, Scully.'"
Suitable for fans of: Luxury liners and romance at sea, as explored in "Triangle" (Season 6, Episode 3)
Ranking: Five sunflower seeds (for pulling off the most WTF trifecta mash-up, obviously)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCO COUNTY, JR. — AND MISFITS OF SCIENCE!
Title: "The (Future) Adventures of Brisco County, Jr."
Synopsis: "This story was written in 1994. It was accurate through that time, but the shows that were (and are) still in production have moved on, and it isn’t totally accurate any more — enjoy it for what it is ..."
Word count: 21,716
Steamiest line: "'Goodbye ...' Dana hesitated. 'Oh, what the hell.' She flung her arms around a startled Brisco."
Suitable for fans of: New Mexico, flashbacks, and the Alien Bounty Hunter in "The Unnatural" (Season 6, Episode 19)
Ranking: Four sunflower seeds (for being written in 1994 and still existing on the Internet as well as the excellent crossover choices: the underrated 1993 Western/sci-fi series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., co-created by Lost executive producer Carlton Cuse and starring the great Bruce Campbell, which served as The X-Files' first-season lead-in on Friday nights; and Misfits of Science, an NBC series co-starring a young Courteney Cox that's best described as the eighties version of Heroes)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... THE OFFICE
Title: "Spirit’s Rumble!"
Synopsis: "In the Scranton branch, strange things are happening ... Is it Jim's fault? Michael's? Or really a restless ghost? Mulder and Scully investigate!"
Word count: 14,975
Steamiest line: "Both FBI [agents] jerked apart, panting, gazing blindly through their window shield. Faces red, they were unable to meet each others eyes — instead, they focused on the familiar sight of Michael Scott, who was hurrying from his car into the building, waving at the security guards."
Suitable for fans of: The bug boss from "Folie à Deux" (Season 5, Episode 19)
Ranking: Three sunflower seeds (for including all Dunder Mifflin employees, even "sad-eyed" Toby Flenderson)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... MY SO-CALLED LIFE
Synopsis: "Angela and her friends are having a squirt gun shoot-out competition. Meanwhile, Mulder and Scully visit some zoos to take a look at some black oil found on the animals."
Word count: 16,662
Steamiest line: "The camera goes to her make-up table where the yellow squirt gun lies and then up again to the mirror with Angela's face and on the edge the postcard she got from Mulder and Scully: 'I want to believe.'"
Suitable for fans of: The escaped zoo animals in "Fearful Symmetry" (Season 2, Episode 18)
Ranking: Two sunflower seeds (for not following up on its Angela-visits-Scully-in-D.C. ending)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS
Title: "Scully, Warrior Princess"
Synopsis: "When Scully touches a sacrificial knife, the FBI agents go back in time to ancient Greece where Scully discovers a new side of herself and Mulder 'bonds' with Xena."
Word count: 7,690
Steamiest line: "'Me and Xena were briefly bacchi,' Gabrielle said. Scully nodded. 'Small world,' Mulder said."
Suitable for fans of: Lucy Lawless's guest-starring turn as a Super Soldier in "Nothing Important Happened Today" (Season 9, Episodes 1 and 2)
Ranking: Two sunflower seeds (for too many references to Homer)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Title: "Edge of Doom"
Synopsis: "Mulder and Scully investigate a slasher case in New York City; Vincent, Catherine, and the Tunnels have to decide how to handle the investigation. All is not as it seems; what will Mulder and Scully do when they discover The Truth?"
Word count: 53,905
Steamiest line: "'Mulder said himself that he was unsure of his feelings for Agent Scully; to be honest, whenever he would think of her, his feelings reminded me of the emotional bundles you and I send to one another. Perhaps their relationship cannot be labeled at this point,' Vincent said."
Suitable for fans of: The misunderstood Frankenstein hero in "The Post-Modern Prometheus" (Season 5, Episode 5)
Ranking: Three sunflower seeds (for drawing attention back to the Linda Hamilton–Ron Perlman series, where X-Files writers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa began their careers)
THE X-FILES MEETS ... WALLACE AND GROMIT
Title: "The Big Cheese"
Synopsis: "Wallace and Gromit's cheese has gone missing and it's up to Mulder and Scully to find it."
Word Count: 923
Steamiest line: "'Here, would you like some cheese and crackers? Edam perhaps? Or maybe you'd prefer Blue Vein?" Wallace asked. Mulder nodded,
taking a plate. "Thank you, but I have to ask. Who cut the cheese?"
Suitable for fans of: Eccentrics who create wacky inventions, as seen in "The Goldberg Variation" (Season 7, Episode 6)
Ranking: Five sunflower seeds (for the premise of stop-motion Special Agents — and pure G-rated weirdness)