Dana Scully

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Name: Dana Scully
Occupation: FBI agent
Relationships: Fox Mulder , mother of William Scully and Emily Sim, Daniel Waterston, Special Agent Jack Willis (all canon)
Fandom: The X-Files (Carterverse)
Other: afraid of clowns, may be immortal played by Gillian Anderson
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Dana Scully is a main character on the FOX television show The X-Files. Her partner is Fox Mulder.

"The redheaded F.B.I. agent and medical doctor is, without a doubt, one of the most influential TV characters of the last few decades, thanks to Anderson’s steely portrayal. A recent study showed that women who watched the series were 50 percent more likely to pursue careers in STEM, a phenomenon known as “the Scully Effect.” How much more consequential could a TV character get? Without Scully, future iterations of the show would never be the same."

Fox Has “No Plans” for More X-Files—And That’s a Good Thing, YOHANA DESTA, Vanity Fair, May 14, 2018,

Some Very Brief Canon

Dana Katherine Scully was born on February 23, 1964, and has three siblings: Charles, William Jr., and Melissa (murdered during the course of the show). She comes from a Navy family; both William Sr. and Jr. are seen in uniform. She is a practicing Roman Catholic, and wears a gold cross at her throat.

Scully is a pathologist by training, and often performs autopsies in the course of her work with Mulder. She has a medical degree (prerequisite for pathology) and a bachelor's degree in physics. She often acts as a logician and brake on the wild speculation of her partner, demanding that his theories conform to evidence and reason. One early line for which she is famous goes as follows: "Nothing happens in contradiction to nature; only in contradiction to what we know of it."

Fannish Engagement With the Character

OBSSE, the Order of the Blessed Saint Scully the Enigmatic, was a society formed specifically to appreciate this character, as was the Scullyfic mailing list. Their mailing list, News for the OBSSEsed, was one of satire, as well as serious and irreverent fun.

Another group, SWILS, challenged their self-defined sexualities, being Straight Women In Love With Scully.

In 2019 the French feminist collective noustoutes.org renamed a street to rue Dana Scully.// A feminist collective renamed my street and I totally approve !, Archived version

Scully is a fan fave especially with the female fans on the show:

(...)The way she encapsulates both the traditionally feminine and masculine without it being a thematic statement of the show or her character? Is it the draw of a stern and incredibly competent intelligent woman who is deeply compassionate, vulnerable, and secretive with her desires, which she represses in order to operate in a man’s world (because she does live in a man’s world, and the show never makes any forced attempt to dispel that truth)? In real life, this is how the strong, accomplished women I know are. It’s not easy to do it all. She’s shy around people she likes, brazen with people she doesn’t. She’s excellent at showing frustration without anger or condescension, simply a exasperated intimacy. She’s incredibly loyal, to the point where it sometimes causes her to neglect her personal needs, leading to resentment, loneliness, doubt, yearning for recognition. She’s guarded, but there is so much in her eyes and looks to suggest all that she is feeling. The way Scully/Gillian dresses alternatively in rugged and very prim & proper outfits encapsulates this permeating duality which is so attractive in her character. I think a lot of women can identify with that and admire it.(...)



Dana Scully was an early, fairly vibrant subject of femmeslash.

See ScullySlash.

Fanon About the Character

Agent Scully's hair always smells like strawberries.


No Pairing

Noromo or No Romance was used in The X-Files fandom to describe a preference for canon reading and fan fiction writing that maintained the relationship between Mulder and Scully as platonic.

Noromo fans were often set opposite Shippers, or MSR fans. This was taken to satirical extremes by the Mulder And Scully Hate Each Other (MASHEO) movement: "Mulder and Scully Hate each other? The idea is absurd. Almost as absurd as the ideas that Mulder and Scully should, could, or want to, be involved romantically."[2]

Scully-Centric Fanfiction

Much Scully-centric fiction can be found at the ScullySlash archive, which features "fanfiction, slash stories focused on Dana Scully, a gallery of images of Dana Scully, email lists to discuss and post fiction about...that's right, Dana Scully."[3]

Notable Scully stories include:

Scully-centric art

Scully-Centric Vids

A YouTube playlist can be found here

Filk/Fan Songs

Further Reading/Meta


  1. ^ [1], Archived version
  2. ^ MASHEO Satirical website devoted to Mulder and Scully's Hate. Accessed 26 October 2008
  3. ^ ScullySlash archive.