X-Files fans have always celebrated the show in a variety of creative ways, including by writing fanfic and original songs, making gifsets and manips, and editing clips from the show into music videos. (Am I dating myself with these terms? Probably. Have some pity–I am an Elder Millennial!) Some of these art forms seem to get more respect than others, however. Because while I hear more and more people casually discussing their fic-reading habits these days, many still seem baffled when I say how much I enjoy fanvids. I guess not everyone finds it as soothing as I do to hit “play” on a carefully curated YouTube playlist, tune out the world, and relive shippy moments set to excellent songs? Weird. But those people are missing out. When I want to bask in the vibes of a favorite fictional couple but don’t have time to rewatch whole episodes, I turn on a playlist and do just that, often while doing the dishes or reading.
Lucky for me, some of the very best fanvids/fancams/FMVs on the internet are dedicated to Mulder and Scully, and I’m going to let you in on 15 that belong on your watchlist too.
“So I Stayed in the Darkness with You” by AmidTheFallingSnow
Putting the vastness of Mulder and Scully’s epic love into words is no easy feat, but Florence in the Machine gets close with “Cosmic Love.” Similarly, AmidTheFallingSnow’s 2012 edit offers a telescopic glimpse into their private universe with quick snapshots from their life together from Scully’s perspective, spanning from gazes of wonderment toward Mulder in the early days of their partnership to her countless decisions to follow him into the darkness, whatever the risk. In the vid’s parting shot, Mulder motions for Scully to walk deeper into the night with him and, smiling, she does.
“Time can’t just disappear” by snakey973
As we creep ever closer to TXF’s 30th anniversary, I’m reminded of how fun it was to celebrate the 20th. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reunited for comic con panels and an Entertainment Weekly cover, fan energy was particularly high, and speculation about another movie seemed more plausible than ever. Snakey973’s homage to Mulder and Scully’s first 20 years together is sentimental in the best way and reflects the fandom’s buoyant mood that year.
“Counting Stars” by FortunateSon
Sometimes you just need an instant replay of Mulder and Scully’s greatest action-adventure hits set to a OneRepublic song, you know what I mean? Scully screaming “Mulder, there’s no time!” is badass every time.
“24 Hours, Dana Scully” by Snakey973
Dana Katherine Scully has confronted death far too many times: Missy’s, Emily’s, Mulder’s…her own. In the gorgeous character study “24 Hours,” Snakey973 highlights how these traumatic experiences have impacted our heroine’s state of mind, relationships, and decisions. Anyone else would have stopped, gotten out of the car, and pursued “something approaching a normal life,” which Scully herself does consider midway through the show’s original run. Ultimately, though, she just can’t do it–not without Mulder. As the second half of the edit makes abundantly clear, Scully’s biggest fear is losing him. She regularly evaluates the personal costs of their quest for truth, even questioning her priorities in her most vulnerable moments, but ultimately Scully chooses to stay by Mulder’s side anyway, always.
“CrushCrushCrush” by hopelesslylazy
“Here with Me” by LovelyXImperfect
If showing up and taking care of each other every single day isn’t the definition of romance, then I don’t know what is. And no matter how Mulder and Scully define their relationship on any given day–partners, friends, lovers, all of the above–their constant demonstrations of devotion and unwavering faith speak for themselves. LovelyXImperfect conveys this idea beautifully in “Here with Me,” one of my go-to fanvids. Not only is the song choice inspired (how had I never heard it before?!), but the dreamy lyrics are paired with a riveting retrospective of MSR history through the agents’ actions, from keeping one another company on road trips to offering comfort in the wake of tragedy to cuddling for “warmth” to just…being there, in good times and in bad.
“Light || Mulder + Scully + William” by hopelesslylazy
Sadness, regret, and loneliness play starring roles in the revival seasons, as our beloved ship continues to be haunted by the gut-wrenching decision to give William up for adoption for the baby’s own safety. “Light” is a bittersweet reflection on the family of three and what it meant for Scully and Mulder to (briefly and unsatisfactorily) reunite with their son, now known as Jackson Van De Kamp, so many years later. My anger at how Chris Carter fumbled the William storyline will probably never dissipate, but this edit is gorgeous and I get a lump in my throat each time I watch it.
“Fear Is How We Fall” by Snakey973
While it’s admittedly a more general X-Files vid, I had to give “Fear Is How We Fall” a shoutout. If I only had 5 minutes to convince a friend to check out this series for the first time, I might just have them watch this edit. I’m obsessed with how the music helps evoke the darkest, most disturbing aspects of the series, and (as ever) I’m in awe of Snakey973’s talent as an editor. At 01:58, for instance, there’s this section where Mulder signals to Scully and she steps forward in response, and it so perfectly matches a transition in the song that I have been known to rewind the video just to watch it again. Masterful.
“Agape” by @skepticFCs
A high tolerance for angst is a requirement of shipping Mulder/Scully, which probably explains why so many of us are drawn to the Scully cancer arc like moths to a flame. Case in point, I have an unhealthy attachment to @skepticFC’s “Agape” fancam for how it manages to incinerate my heart to ash in a matter of seconds (47 seconds, to be exact) before starting all over again. Mulder clasping Scully’s hand as she lies on what they both fear is her deathbed, the two of them hugging in a hospital corridor, Mulder silently sobbing over her sleeping form, each of them sitting desolately alone…all to lyrics like “So tell me how long, love, before you go / and leave me here on my own.” This pure distillation of Scully and Mulder’s emotional journey, without any of the mythology mumbo-jumbo from these episodes to dilute the effect, is as thrilling as it is painful to witness. It hurts so good.
“Delicate” by @pctterjoey
As someone who already spends far too much time on her phone, I have committed to resisting the siren call of TikTok for as long as possible. The only real downside is that I know I’m missing out on a lot of amazing MSR edits that are too short for YouTube. Happily, Twitter has its own share of short-and-sweet fancams, like this one by @pctterjoey set to TSwift’s “Delicate.” Don’t let its length fool you–it packs a punch you’ll be thinking about for DAYS! Scully saw Mulder through his “Reputation” era, guys, a fact that now lives in my head rent-free.
“getting ya-yas out” by KatrinDepp
Even I, queen of darkness, couldn’t let a whole list go by without including at least one humorous edit. I have several KatrinDepp vids in my Mulder/Scully YouTube playlist, but “getting ya-yas out” never fails to make me smile. It’s a very funny roundup of some of The X-Files’ silliest moments and best examples of physical comedy. Let’s just say “Bad Blood” features heavily and I need a “Mulder, shut up” t-shirt.
(Another angst-free edit I enjoy is “Last Friday Night” by Anasyx.)
“I Need My Girl” by Snakey973
The internet reveres her, but no one knows and loves Dr. Dana Scully quite like Special Agent Fox Mulder. For her, this man has scaled a mountain ski lift, snuck aboard a spaceship docked in Antarctica, and made a sketchy deal with enemies of The Truth in return for a possible cancer cure. Most telling of all, he has put her safety above his own…and even above his quest to learn what happened to his sister, Samantha, which used to be the driving force of his life. “I Need My Girl” is a love letter to Mulder’s devotion to Dana Scully. It’s what she deserves.
“mulder&scully | all i want” by tanyaa47
A good chunk of this 5-minute video is dedicated to Mulder and Scully simply gazing at each other with tenderness and naked affection, as if they’re the only two people in the world, let alone the room. What more do you need to know?
“You & I” by BobbyMcGriffin
Oh, my heart! This relatively recent addition to my MSR playlist earned its status as an instant favorite because of how effectively it distills the essence of Mulder and Scully’s love, which seems so mysterious to outsiders but is incredibly simple to them. For all the fear and pain and loss they’ve endured over the years, one thing has remained the same: Their fidelity to each other above all else. “You and I” indeed.
“Agape” by sleepwalker
Disappointing as the revival seasons were on the whole, I’ll never regret their existence because if nothing else, the episodes gave editors some amazing new footage to work with for their transformative works. Not many shippers get the chance to follow their OTP through 25 years of their relationship, but we do, and vidders like sleepwalker take advantage of this in the most epic of ways. “Agape” is a lovely homage to Mulder and Scully’s evolution from fresh-faced agents with something to prove to calmer, wiser experts in paranormal investigations.
(And yes, I HAD to put two different “Agape” edits on this list. They’re both brilliant and the song could have been written for Mulder and Scully. In fact, I refuse to believe it wasn’t.)
“My Mulder and Scully Top Ten Moments” by SingASaranade
Can I picture Mulder or Scully actually using “baby” as an endearment? Not really, no. But did I attend a Warpaint concert purely out of love for the song in this vid? Yes, I sure did! SingASaranade’s compilation of her top 10 MSR scenes is exactly what it sounds like, and I recommend turning it on whenever you want a guided tour of Memory Lane.
“David & Gillian – Right Round” by ErlenmeyerFlasks
I really, honestly don’t ship Gillovny–at least, not any more than your average person confronted by their hotness on, say, a certain racy Rolling Stone cover–but I’m not made of stone! Edits of the two of them together over the years, especially behind the scenes of The X-Files and at press events, make me smile. I dare you to watch this one set to “Right Round” and tell me you’re immune to its charms.
Belive it or not, even stopping at a top 15 was physically painful. I’ve been collecting favorite vids for years. YEARS! For a more comprehensive picture of my taste in X-Files edits, you can browse my full Mulder/Scully playlist on YouTube here.
You know what pairs perfectly with these vids? Fanfic. So I have a feeling you may also enjoy: “Revisiting 13 Classic X-Files Fanfics with Mulder/Scully”
And if you’re as crazy about MSR as I am, fear not, this blog has your back:
- A Shipper’s Guide to Watching X-Files for the Mulder/Scully Romance
- How to Say “I Love You” in X-Files by Fox Mulder and Dana Scully
- “You’re My 1 in 5 Billion”: 21 Times Mulder/Scully Ruined Me for All Other TV Romances
- 8 Clues Ellery/Reed Belong Together in the Ellery Hathaway Books (or: Why MSR Fans Simply Must Read the Ellery Hathaway Mystery Series—Just Trust Me on This)