Welcome to Night Vale Wiki

Citywide utility failures still continue to haunt us, but not as much as the strangers who do not appear to move. Welcome to the Night Vale Public Utilities phone line.
— Phone

"Things Fall Apart" is the 88th episode of Welcome to Night Vale. It was released on May 15, 2016.


Things fall apart.

Plot Developments[]

  • Intern Maureen / Chad Bowinger:
    • It is revealed that former Intern Maureen is leading the army of Strangers (which she speculates is from a portal that leads to Hell), and that Chad is the boss of the operation.
    • Cecil also figures out that Chad is Chad Bowinger, the intern who went into the Used and Discount Sporting Goods Store (which was a front for the World Government) and didn't return for weeks.
  • Strangers
    • Maureen let Michelle (from Dark Owl Records) touch and see the strangers. This lets us know it is possible to avoid becoming a breathing stranger if approached by one up close, but only if someone protects you from them. Michelle also explains that the strangers don't move much because they are in so much pain for so long from the transformation into a stranger.
    • It is also made apparent that the Sheriff (and by extension, the entire Secret Police) knows little about the strangers.
  • "The September Monologues"/"The April Monologues"
    • The context of the monologues are revealed as audio recordings Night Vale citizens submit to be played on the air. Only Michelle a month ago did so against the wishes of Michelle now.

Recurring Segments[]



  • "Things Fall Apart" is a line from W.B. Yeats' 1920 poem "The Second Coming" ("Things fall apart; the center cannot hold / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world..."). The same line also provided a name for Chinua Achebe's classic 1958 novel of colonialism in Africa.
  • Though previous episodes ("Voicemail", "Water Failure" to some extent, and the bonus episodes "Minutes" and "What of the Sea?") have stepped outside the podcast's usual format of an episode of Cecil's radio show, those have kept to the podcast's central conceit that we are listening to discrete audio artifacts from the world of Night Vale. This is the first episode where we are listening to extracts from Cecil's life without his direct involvement in recording them--or even awareness that his words are indeed being recorded.
  • The song is credited as The Weather but is played as one of Michelle Nguyen's favorite songs at that moment.
  • This episode's proverb was re-used for episode 95, Zookeeper.
  • There is a post-proverb clip of a message Maureen Johnson left for Jeffrey Cranor.


Wanna feel old? People born in 2014 have already graduated college, don't know what a trombone is, and are all named after gourds.
— Proverb