In the episode "Humbug" there is a scene in which Scully & Mulder are questioning Blockhead & Conundrum. In the scene Blockhead pours some crickets into Conundrum's mouth and he eats them. After that Scully takes one of the Crickets and pretends to eat it.

Here is the transcript:


BLOCKHEAD: When an audience partakes in the Conundrum's human piranha act, they are left to ask themselves...

(He takes out a jar of crickets. He pours out some crickets onto the Conundrum's head, who eats them joyously.)

BLOCKHEAD: Why. But... where are my manners?

(He holds out the jar to the agents.)

SCULLY: Thank you.

(She takes a cricket, puts it in her mouth, smiles and walks away. Mulder looks at her, then at the crickets, and leaves. He catches up to Scully, and watches her in disbelief. She smiles, reaches behind Mulder's ear, and "pulls out" the live cricket.)

SCULLY: It's an old sleight of hand my uncle once taught me. He was only an amateur magician, but he was still better than those two.


I read in this article that Gillian Anderson really ate that bug.

Is there any evidence of this?


2 Answers 2


I've read a few interviews where she says she put a cricket in her mouth, but did not eat it. The only source that seems to say she did is People.com:

Suddenly, Anderson notices a maggot crawling toward the stuntman's eye and calmly plucks it off. "Nobody else jumped to it," she explains. Bugwise, Anderson is something of a pro: In a past episode, she ate a live cricket. "They spent thousands of dollars making a fake one," she says. "But I'd seen this guy named Enigma who was in the show eat 200 right in front of us, so it seemed silly not to try one."

Key word being try.

More telling is from Gillian's Reddit AMA:

Did you really eat the cricket in that circus episode of X-Files, or was it just a magic trick?

It was a magic trick called spitting when cut.

No, she did not eat the cricket, she just put it in her mouth and pretended to eat it.

  • Nice research there. Could you provide a reference that explicitly says that she just put it in her mouth and didn't swallow it?
    – kmdhrm
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 6:45
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    She outright said she spit it out when they called "Cut!" How much more explicit can it be? The actress said "It was a magic trick called spitting when cut." The reference is the hypertext that reads "Reddit AMA." Spitting means not swallowing. I don't want to get too much further into common usage for these terms on this site... ;) Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 7:17
  • The episode clearly shows her put it in her mouth (under the ruse that she didn't do it by way of slight-of-hand). She just didn't eat it. Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 7:25
  • 1
    Oops! my bad. I thought spitting when cut was some phrase/expression I couldn't understand. It is clear now.
    – kmdhrm
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 7:29
  • 3
    I even just watched it again to be sure and WHAT A TROOPER. She very much put a cricket in her mouth. That is commitment to a character. Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 7:30

She did actually swallow it. David discuses it in a behind the scenes thing in "Making of the x-files". This is also referenced in imdb about the episode. I don't know why shes admits to it and then gives contradictory answers in other interviews.


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