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You may be looking for the zine X-Philes.

Synonyms: Philedom, X-Files Fan, X-Philia (plural), X-Filer (the later two are usually used by media to describe fans of The X-Files)
See also: Fandom Nickname, Babyphile
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X-Phile is a term used by fans of Chris Carter's The X-Files to describe themselves. A play on words, Phile (from the Latin -phila, from Ancient Greek φίλος [philos], “dear, beloved”) is used in the fannish sense as someone who is a lover of a certain character of a show.

History of Use

In February 1994 (five months after the show premiered), fans discussed the topic on alt.tv.x-files.

The first X-Files print zine published was Incident UXP (May 1994), and in it, the editor uses the terms "X-O-Phile" and "X-o-Phile." Another use of "X-o-Phile" was in October 1994 when a fan on alt.tv.x-files referred to the character, Fox Mulder, as an "X-o-phile," rather than a description for a fan.[1]

According to the wikia The X-Files Wiki, Chris Carter originally called fans of The X-Files "File-o-philes" before the term X-Phile was coined.[2]Many fans in 1994 referenced a "USA Today" interview in which Carter used the term. [3]

Some Fan Discussion About the Term

From a February 1994 discussion on alt.tv.x-files, one that lasted a month:

Ok, this discussion has been going on for so long, perhaps we should devote some time to it. What do people think about doing an official vote on candidates which we will collect? [4]

Some short sample excerpts from the comments:

  • "Chris Carter in the USA Today article calls fans "file-o-philes" -- might be a little confusing."
  • "IMHO, [file-o-philes] just plain stinks."
  • "Nope! Anything with 'o' in the middle sounds like the name of some kind of cheap gadget: Ronco (tm) Dial-o-matic, Rolodex, etc."
  • "For me, [File-o-philes] produces: Ugh! Yuck! No way!!!"
  • "I vote for X-o-philes. My second favourite is X-tremists."
  • "I will be an X-ophile if needed, but I prefer X-phile...."
  • "X Fans? Blech! X Philes. It's a nice play on words."
  • "'X-Filers' is OK but why not use the glaringly obvious and already semi popular "X-philes"?"
  • "1) File-o-phile: PRO--preferred by creator Chris Carter CON--just too goofy. 2) X-Phile: PRO--preferred by netters CON--verbally indistinguishable from "X-file". 3) X-Philer: PRO--doesn't sound like "X-file" CON--possibility of being mispronounced as "X-Filler," which would be disasterous [sic]. 4) X-Filer: PRO--no possibility of that "X-Filler" thing CON--also a bit goofy. 5) X-ophile: PRO--nice variation of X-phile CON--also a bit goofy. some others I've seen in one or two messages: X-ite, X-Fan, X'er. All of which seem ok, but a little too generic (possibility of being confused with X-men fans)."
  • "Am I the only one who doesn't care? I'm all for letting Chris Carter call us whatever he wants to call us."
  • "I personally like X-Filers."
  • "Personally, I think X-Filers makes you sound like some glorified file clerk in an FBI office....*snicker*"
  • "Because "X-Phile" makes no phoenetic sense, as has been pointed out numerous times. Go tell someone aloud that you're an "X-phile" and see what kind of reaction you get. As long as we stick to the prinited (or displayed, I guess) word, though, it oughta do the trick."
  • "1) "File-o-philes" - Basically, I think this just produces, "Huh?" 2) "X-Philes" - My personal favorite - 3) "X-ophiles" Although this eliminates the "Hi, I'm an X-file" problem, I think that it sounds sorta loopy and looks strange in type. So, I vote for "X-Philes." I don't think that the aforementioned "Hi, I'm an X-file" problem would actually be too much trouble, primarily because I don't think that I'd actually be saying, "Hi, I'm an X-Phile" aloud all that much anyway. I think that the name of the group will basically be typed ("To all you X-Philes out there," etc...) and if it looks good rollin' across my screen, that's about all I need."
  • "Double yuck to Truthseekers. My vote is for X Fans."
  • "My fave is for X-philes, I really like X-iles though. X-Filers is OK but it's not great."
  • "First -- Chris Carter, love ya, guy, but File-o-philes is just too much like Filofax for me. Feel free to use that term in house at Ten Thirteen Productions, but I don't think it's going to fly on the Net. :-) Back at the dawn of alt.tv.x-files, we were calling ourselves X-ophiles. Correct use of suffix or not, it does provide us with a joint verbal and written means of reference. I of course like X-philes. Yes, it's a play on spellings, but hey, [...] word play is the academician's specialty. It doesn't bother me. Also: this is the *written* word here on the Net, right? Unless we get some sort of voice recognition in the next 5 years, we'll be using the name visually not vocally, unless we all get face to face. (A con! Let's have a convention!!! :-) Just Kidding, folks....)"
  • "well, [ophile is] just a suffix. If you make it "X-o-phile" with the hyphen, it looks like an appliance out of a Douglas Adams novel: like veg-o-matic or something."
  • "X-philer and X-Filer: Two thumbs down, for me."
  • "[X-Filers] is what I was going to suggest as well. Plain, simple, and no confusion about what it refers to. Personally I don't see a real good reason to call myself anything just because I'm a fan of the show, but what the hell."
  • "Of the names I have seen listed, I like X-filer best. I was using x-phile, but it is confusing if spoken. I am not a joiner, so whatever."

Other Fannish uses of "Phile"

While "X-Phile" is most the commonly used fannish phrase, other fans have used the term in other ways. Some examples:


Some celebrities have "outed" themselves as X-Philes in some TV specials including writers Stephen King, Harlan Ellison[6] and William Gibson as well as singer/actress Cher. Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters had a short cameo in the third-season episode Pusher and admitted that he used to have a huge crush on Gillian Anderson in a 2014 talk show while sitting next to Anderson.[7] Other prominent fans are actors Robert Patrick, Joel McHale,[8] Robbie Amell[9] and BNF Kumail Nanjiani who all starred or guest starred on the show.

Some showrunners and directors like J. J. Abrams,[10] Bryan Fuller,[11] Ridley Scott[12] and Zootopia director Bryon Howard[13] also publicly claimed to be fans of the show.

Meta-ish perspective on Philes


See also


  1. ^ "I had thought about that when the commercial started up after that part. The only theory I could think of is that our X-o-phile was worried about Scully and the madman, and decided that it was the madman..." - Is Mulder stupid? (Ascension spoiler) (Oct 24, 1994)
  2. ^ X-phile on The X-Files Wiki
  3. ^ The X-Files Wiki also credits a man named Matt Grommes as the person who first used "X-Phile" on an early Fidonet message board. The X-Files Wiki does not provide a date or any further information.
  4. ^ Cliff Chen at RFD: Time to name ourselves!
  5. ^ from Comlink #44
  6. ^ http://harlanellison.com/buzz/bws003.htm
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDKsRSvM2YM
  8. ^ The X-Files Re-Opened-Special
  9. ^ http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/the-flashs-amell-reacts-to-shocking-x-files-finale-contemplates-more-firestorm
  10. ^ http://www.ign.com/articles/2008/05/29/jj-abrams-takes-us-to-the-fringe
  11. ^ http://www.denofgeek.com/tv/hannibal/25439/bryan-fuller-interview-hannibal-elegant-horror-gillian-anderson-more%25E2%2580%25A6#ixzz2ie9xCO99
  12. ^ according to an anecdote told by director and Carterverse producer Rob Bowman at the Paley Festival 2009
    "I had really cool meeting with Ridley Scott years ago. I was invited to go meet him and I had no idea, I thought I was in trouble. And after a half an hour of melting in his waiting room... I walked into the room and there was Ridley and I was just about to go down to lick his shoes and he said, 'I'm a huge fan of yours. The way you guys light that show and how you shoot it, it really knocks me out. And I don't know if you knew this but..' And he knew exactly how I shot. He knew I don't like cranes, he knows I don't liked the Steadycam, it was amazing. But he started talking about monsters and he said, 'You know I had this problem on 'Alien'... because it looked terrible.' So he came up with everything he could think to blind the audience from seeing the thing. And I realized that's the same, we're supposed to protect you from, you know, lesser stuff."

  13. ^ https://twitter.com/byronphoward/status/641070138670714880?lang=en
  14. ^ http://www.indieflix.com/Films/XPhiles
  15. ^ http://spookyverse.de/wiki/X-Phile#Dokumentationen