This page lists characters in the television series ''Series/RedDwarf''.



!Main Characters

[[folder:David 'Dave' Lister [[spoiler: Jr. / Sr.]]]]
->'''Played by''': Creator/CraigCharles, Emile Charles (Recap/RedDwarfSeasonIIITimeslides)

Liverpudlian bum and all-round slob, Third Technician David Lister was discovered under a pool table as a baby. He is a fairly competent man, but has a complete and utter lack of ambition and is quite happy in his slobby routine. Lister was the sole survivor of the Cadmium-2 leak which wiped out the crew of ''Red Dwarf'', because he was serving eighteen months' "temporal stasis without pay" for smuggling a cat onto the ship.

* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Lister's American counterpart was a tall, [[LanternJawOfJustice square-jawed]] guy. Craig Charles noted his dismay at this, as did many fans, as it removed Lister's relatability and [[ThePigPen flaws]] and turned him into a FlatCharacter.
* AdaptationalIntelligence: In the show he got caught bringing a cat on board through sheer stupidity while in the novel it was a BatmanGambit because he wanted to be frozen for the rest of the trip and wake up in Earth's orbit.
** Notably, it's questionable if it WAS stupidity.
* AdaptationNameChange: His last name was ''Hollins'' in the original ''Son Of Cliche'' radio sketches but was renamed Lister because there was a footballer called Dave Hollins.
* [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys All Boys Want Bad Girls]]: For a while he kept playing the Gumshoe AR game so he could have sex with Loretta, a homicidal, serial-killing FemmeFatale, on the grounds that he found the default female romantic interest to be to goody-goody and boring. He also tries to ask a rogue simulant for a date. He confides to Kryten that he's only ever attracted to "heartbreakers or moral garbage on legs." Subverted, though, considering the one true love of his life is Kristine Kochanski.
* AlmightyJanitor: Chicken soup machine repairman Lister deliberately [[BrilliantButLazy avoids doing smart or ambitious things in case he might risk his carefree life]]. He's actually pretty smart and capable when he bothers to try, and is well aware of what he's capable of.
* AmnesiacDissonance: The opening of series 6 has a just-awoken-from-hypersleep Lister not remembering anything about himself, and is disturbing to find himself a "blokeish, randy, disgusting, tone-deaf, semi-illiterate space-bum".
* AntiHero: Lister is a nice guy, but he's hardly got heroic attitudes. (Although this improves as the series progresses.)
* AnArmAndALeg: An attempt to purge the Epideme virus from his system involves forcing the disease into one of his arms and cutting it off. Unfortunately, Kochanski miscalculates the locations of where to inject the anti-virals and forces the virus into his right arm instead of his left. This still isn't enough to defeat the virus, so more drastic measures are taken. While he survives, "Nanarchy" deals with his angst regarding the loss of the arm. He manages to get a replacement thanks to Krytens nanobots.
** Old Lister from Recap/RedDwarfSeasonIFutureEchoes has a prosthetic arm, with one of the knuckles customised with a bottle opener.
* BadassGrandpa: In the later series, he's in his 50's and still exploring dangerous territories and tangling with GELFs, simulants, monsters, insane AIs, etc...
* BatmanGambit: He uses these once or twice, most noticeably in defeating The Inquisitor.
* BatmanGrabsAGun: He prefers not to kill, but in "Justice", he forces a Simulant to kills himself, in "The Inquisitor", he [[RetGone deletes the Inquisitor from the timeline]] and in "Able", shoots a GELF with a bazookoid.
** He did shoot Hudson in the side at point-blank range in ''The Last Day''. All it did was piss Hudson off.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Despite his appalling personal habits, he's by far the nicest and most moral Dwarfer, and the one most opposed to killing... but he's outright dangerous when he needs to be...
* BookDumb: There are large gaps in his overall body of knowledge, often making him appear quite unintelligent, but he's in many ways quite smart and capable. At least in the early seasons, a RunningGag is that he scraped into art college, but left after 97 minutes [[BrilliantButLazy because they had lectures first thing in the afternoon.]]
* BrassBalls: "Justice" shows that he's perfectly willing to go toe to toe with a Simulant, armed with nothing more than a [[PipePain lead pipe]], as opposed to shooting him in the back. Bear in mind that earlier in the episode, Kryten informs the crew that the Simulant is perfectly capable of surviving bazookoid fire for long enough to make balloon animals out of someone's lower intestines. [[spoiler: The Simulant is carrying both a knife and a gun, but fortunately, the Justice Field turns his own attacks against him.]]
* BrilliantButLazy: For all his appalling personal habits and seeming stupidity, Lister is in fact quite intelligent, talented, capable and competent. He just prefers the life of an abject slob. Even more evident in the novels -- for example, Lister's incarceration in stasis was the result of a well calculated plot to return to Earth without having to work rather than an exceptionally foolish mistake, courtesy of a RetCon-ish continuity tweak that Lister was just using the ship as a way to get back to Earth after winding up on Mimas courtesy of a drunken bender. [[RefugeInAudacity Which would definitely explain why he took a photo of himself with the cat and had the ship's lab develop the film]].
** Regarding Lister's intelligence, he's fairly bright but at the same time quite ignorant: he can think on his feet and plan brilliantly, but only knows of the Bermuda Triangle as [[ a hit song]] and doesn't know what an iguana is (though if the RPG is any indication, iguanas are supposedly extinct by Lister's time). In the words of the Inquisitor in Series V, which had taken on his form: "You've got brains, man. Brains you've never used."
** Lister tends to be the guy coming up with plans a lot of the time, and is paticularly good at doing so on the fly -- check out 'Inquisitor' or 'Fathers and Suns' for some very great plans under pressure. Also, one shouldn't forget that he twice repaired Kryten after the mechanoid was badly damaged (off-screen between series II and III, and part of the way into the Series V episode 'Terrorform'). True, neither repair was entirely perfect, but considering Lister has no formal training in the subject... which may explain why 'Fathers and Suns' has him enrol in the Robotics course in order to "make something of himself".
*** 'Spanners' Lister, his AlternateContinuity self from Ace Rimmer's home dimension, is an example of what he's capable when he does apply himself; Faster than light and inter dimensional travel being at least two of his accomplishments...
*** Additionally, another counterpart seen in "Skipper" is captain of Red Dwarf, while still being lazy.
* CallingTheOldManOut: Actually does this to ''[[MyOwnGrampa himself]]'' in "Fathers and Suns", after finding a recording he had made whilst drunk the previous night, where his fatherly advice amounted to berating himself for being such a massive disappointment.
* CharacterDevelopment: Lister is noticeably more juvenile and slobbish in the first two seasons and is portrayed as subordinate to Rimmer, who he spends most of his time trying to annoy and rebel against. Following the retool in series 3, he matures into a smarter, braver and more philosophical character, becoming the de facto leader of the Dwarfers (despite Rimmerís technical superiority), with a surprising aptitude for command and tactics.
* {{Claustrophobia}}: Lampshaded that it only comes up when it makes the plot [[RuleOfDrama more dramatic]].
* CordonBleughChef: Bordering LethalChef at times. Since Lister's own tastes lean towards grotesque spicy stuff, that's what he makes. Cornflakes sprinkled with grated raw onion and tabasco sauce, for example.
** He made a cake, and then said that ''it was supposed to be roast beef''. This would appear to be a joke though, as it's a pretty good cake.
*** In keeping with Lister's [[BrilliantButLazy personality]], it seems he could be a good cook if he really applied himself, but he's happy eating overspiced crap, so overspiced crap is all he ever makes. He looked to be doing quite well when he was trying to pass the Chef's exam to outrank Rimmer (although he did somehow manage to fail his final exam).
** He did also come up with the Triple Fried Egg Sarnie with chilli sauce and chutney. A sandwich described as being like a cross between food and bowel surgery. Whilst it's definitely not for the faint hearted [[SoBadItsGood it actually works on some level]]
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Just watch the bar room tidy scene backwards and you'll find he's an accomplished bar brawler. And when he's not lying in bed reading ''What Bike?'', he might be launching flying kicks and bazookoid fire at Simulants and Gelfs.
** Also note that he hand-built several things that worked very well considering they were kludge jobs. When you remember that his alternate self is the technician for a trans-dimensional ship, you wonder how he DIDN'T end up 'Spanners' in all universes!
* DeadpanSnarker: Not quite as much as Rimmer, but he certainly gets some pretty good quips.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Lister's plan for taking on the Polymorph involves strapping a nuke to his own head and nutting the smegger into oblivion.
** And, of course, defeating The Inquisitor, a nigh-indestructible self-repairing droid that can shrug off [[LaserBlade laser]] [[ChainsawGood chainsaws]].
* DoesNotLikeSpam: Whilst he shows mostly indifference to anything besides curry, he's on record as hating Pot Noodle, to the point where he'd much rather eat dog food.
** Fresh vegetables are another food he has an explicit aversion to, as shown by him disgusted by the raw carrot served with space weevil (but of course, he has no problem eating said weevil), as well as this exchange from ''Quarantine'', where Rimmer is clearly abusing his power over the others...
--->'''Rimmer:''' And fulfilling all Space Corps dietary requirements, dinner tonight, gentlemen, will consist of sprout soup, followed by sprout salad, and for desert, I think you'll like it, rather unusual, sprout crumble.\\
'''Lister:''' Rimmer, you know damn well that sprouts make me chuck.\\
'''Rimmer:''' Well, this is awful. I've got you down for sprouts almost every meal. I tell a lie - it ''is'' every meal.
* DreadfulMusician: "A little survival tip, bud. Never play your guitar in front of a man with a loaded gun."
** Sometimes he seems aware of how bad he is, other times he's apparently completely blind to his own musical incompetence and thinks he's the greatest musician since Hendrix.
*** His illusions about his musical abilities usually disappear when he's going through a bout of depression.
** His crewmates consider him to be so bad that whenever he wants to play, he has to put on a spacesuit and go outside the ship.
** He's improved somewhat by Series XII, as he shows relatively decent skill when jamming with [[spoiler: a droid of]] Hitler.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Lister was originally conceived as being "as if his brain had been fried", reminiscent of Reverend Jim from ''Series/{{Taxi}}'' -- although the first episode was mostly rewritten and reshot, it still contains scenes where Lister is uncharacteristically slow-witted. The character was later tailored to suit Craig Charles better.
* EvilTwin:
** One episode of the series involves creating "Low" versions of all the characters.
** In Doug Naylor's third novel, ''Last Human'', a parallel version of Lister who chose to go with a specific set of adoptive parents because they were rich ended up becoming a psychopathic criminal. He's the primary villain of the story.
** Lister describes the hologramatic Lister from Kristine Kochanski's parallel universe as the anti-Lister, though that was more to him being annoyed and jealous at his apparent lack of flaws
* ExtremeOmnivore: Lister's fondness for curries and spices of all sorts means his ordinary meals tend to be gross (like, onion-and-tabasco cornflakes served with a glass of cold chili sauce-level gross), and the stuff he's eaten that ''he'' thinks is unusual... Some of the more notable items have included swarfega (industrial-grade soap used to remove oil) mixed with glass cleaner, a baked space weevil (which he didn't look at and which he thought, from the taste, was crunchy King Prawn), dog food (because he was starving, admittedly), dog's milk in his tea (he didn't know -- once he finds out he throws it out: "Why didn't you tell me, Hol?" "What? And spoil your tea?"), beer milkshakes, and a live tarantula. Admittedly that last one wasn't voluntary. [[ImAHumanitarian And a dead guy]] (who looked like a bit of salt). The fact he's a major boozehound presumably doesn't help matters.
** And Lister's favorite "sarnie", more or less of his own design, is three fried eggs on chutney-spread bread and given a generous dollop of chili sauce.
--->'''Rimmer:''' I feel like I'm having a baby!\\
'''Lister:''' The trick is, you've got to eat it before the bread dissolves...
** Lister is stated to have only a few functioning taste buds remaining (or just the one).
** The dog's milk proved a bit much even for him.
** And the dog food was to avoid eating a Pot Noodle.
** Sugar Puff sandwiches are his favorite...
** Most of the strange white powder lying around ''Red Dwarf'', before Holly explained it was the remains of the crew.
** According to Rimmer, he drank "[[FantasticDrug Marijuana Gin]]". At ''least'' once.
*** There actually are preparations of cannabis (generally known as "Green Dragon") that involve letting it sit around in high proof alcohol until the THC has dissolved into the liquor, and then drinking it. It's generally not done with gin, though.
* FingerlessGloves: He wears the black leather variety in Series V, VI and VII.
* GeniusSlob: Certainly a slob, more of a StreetSmart genius though.
* GodGuise: Played straight by the Cat civilization, which, as the Cats developed sentience and formed a religion, put Lister at the top as their god, Cloister the Stupid. Lister is less than thrilled by this, especially when he discovered the Cat people nearly wiped themselves out in holy wars over what the colour of the sacred donut hat was supposed to be, Red or Blue? (It was actually meant to be ''[[AllForNothing Green]]'')
** In the Red Dwarf game from the episode "Back to Reality", Lister's ultimate fate when played properly is supposed to be jump starting the second Big Bang with ''Starbug''. This is meant to be ironic - Lister, the ultimate atheist, being God. Which is strange because Lister is outright stated to be a pantheist and it's Rimmer who scoffs at the notion of God.
** In the second novel, Holly gains an IQ of 12000 through intelligence compression and, thus, knows everything. When asked by Talkie Toaster who created the universe, Holly answers that it is Lister. Nothing more is said of this after.
* HellBentForLeather: When season three rolls around, he starts wearing a rather cool looking leather jacket, strewn with badges and patches (including Kochanski's Console Officer rank markings) and with a picture of [[WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones Wilma Flintstone]] on the back.
* HumanPopsicle: He was supposed to be put into stasis for 18 months as punishment for smuggling a cat aboard, but was in there for 3 million years while the radiation decayed, setting in motion the rest of the series.
** He then spent another couple of hundred years in suspended animation on Starbug whilst they chased after the stolen Red Dwarf.
* IdenticalGrandson: Bexley, from "Future Echoes". Justified in this case, considering [[spoiler: his parents were [[OppositeSexClone opposite sex versions]] of each other from parallel realities.]] Presumably applies to his brother Jim as well.
** [[spoiler:Lister also happens to be [[MyOwnGrampa his own father]] thanks to a [[StableTimeLoop time loop]], and as a result sends himself a Father's Day card every year.]]
* HollywoodPudgy: One would think he was borderline corpulent based on the way Rimmer harps on about his weight, yet he's only really 'pudgy' in comparison to the Cat and Rimmer, played respectfully by the very slim Danny John-Jules and the tall and lanky Chris Barrie.
* IHatePastMe: In "Timeslnides", he quickly becomes annoyed by his pretentious 17-year-old self.
-->'''Lister''': Stop calling everything "[[YouKeepUsingThatWord Crypto-fascist]]". You make me sound like I was a complete git!
** Taken slightly to meta levels when Craig Charles dismisses Lister as just another role he did in the past.
* IronButtMonkey: Partly because he's the sole human and partly because Craig Charles was more than willing to do his own stunts, Lister tends to be the one member of the crew who takes the most physical punishment, [[AmusingInjuries mostly played for laughs]].
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold
* KindheartedCatLover: He clearly cared a lot about his cat Frankenstein. He also initially takes quite well to Cat on the basis of his being a cat, acting friendly and offering him milk.
* KingInTheMountain: The cat religion portrays him as this, being frozen in time until he can come back to lead them.
* KleptomaniacHero: The many things he has stolen include Rimmer's uniforms, and UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler's briefcase.
* LastOfHisKind: At least until series 7.
* LaserGuidedKarma: In the novels, it's explained that 18 months was precisely how long it would take for the Red Dwarf to finish its run and reach Earth, and the punishment for smuggling a cat on board was precisely 18 months in stasis. Lister learned of this in advance, and deliberately got caught after they took off so he could spend the trip in stasis, and thereby make the trip without working. Though here the karma is nearer to DisproportionateRetribution.
** This doesn't really mesh with the notion that he was saving up all his pay to buy a hot dog stand on Fiji: then again, in the AU of the novels his ambition was simply to get back to Earth because he'd ended up off-world after a particularly drunken birthday pub crawl and the hot dog stand is never mentioned.
* LowerClassLout: His upbringing in Liverpool wasn't exactly privileged, having been found under a pool table in a cardboard box. He has a history of minor offences, such as [[KleptomaniacHero stealing cars and clearing out hotel rooms of their furnishings]].
* MadeOfIron: See {{Iron Buttmonkey}} above. He's taken a ''lot'' of [[AmusingInjuries damage]] over the years, not to mention the constitution he must have to make it to his 50's on a diet consisting mostly of curries, Leopard Lager, and assorted crap and ''still'' be healthy enough to cope with the craziness the crew frequently get caught up in. If the [[WordOfGod stories]] are true, this might apply to Craig Charles in real life too...
* {{Manchild}}: He can be incredibly immature, even though he's at least in his early-to-mid forties (and played by 48-year-old Charles) by "Trojan". He's still a lot better than Rimmer in this regard though.
* MrFixIt: Has twice repaired Kryten from a state of practical destruction. Plus, he's shown to have managed to repair various pieces of complex equipment.
* MrSeahorse: Between the second and third series. Entirely off-screen and pretty much never referenced again.
* MrViceGuy: Lister's a good guy who likes nothing more than laying around, not doing anything beyond eating, drinking and maybe annoying Rimmer.
* MyOwnGrampa: It turns out Lister is his own father, [[spoiler: through IVF with Kochanski as the mother]]. Subject to CallBack in Series X where he celebrates Fathers' Day by getting blind drunk and leaving himself father-to-son messages to view the morning after when he's lost all recollection.
* NiceHat: Several!
* OddCouple: With Rimmer.
* OddFriendship: Despite having a nearly total irreverence for any kind of authority, before the accident, Lister was friends with Frank Todhunter, the second officer of ''Red Dwarf''.
** In a [[VitriolicBestBuds really strange way]], he can be seen as having this with Rimmer. In spite of the fact that Rimmer annoys him, they still share the same sleeping quarters and Rimmer hasn't been switched off even after all the years they've spent together. Lister even shares several PetTheDog moments with Rimmer when he's at his lowest.
* OtherMeAnnoysMe:
** He meets a future-version of himself during series 2, and the two take an instant dislike to one another, helped by Future!Lister's being an utter berk.
** He's also annoyed by the Lister of the second Kochanski's universe, who is more sensitive and sophisticated than him.
** He is not pleased with Craig Charles when he meets him on the set of Series/CoronationStreet, and the feeling is somewhat mutual.
* {{Omniglot}}: Knows at least some Esperanto, or at least, he speaks it better than Rimmer.
** He learnt to read the Cat Language, which is written entirely in smell.
* OopNorth: He's from Liverpool.
* {{Ouroboros}}: Lister was found in a box marked "ouroboros" as a child, a hint to his own cyclical nature.
* ThePhilosopher: He has his moments.
* ThePigPen: Lister routinely wears horribly stained clothes and lives in filth because he's just such a "blokish bloke" that he doesn't care about cleanliness. Though a recurring gag is that something ends up being too disgusting even for him (for example, in "[=Me2=]", he ends up putting his dirty socks right back in the basket he dumped them out of because he realises just how bad they smell).
** His socks not only set off the fire alarm, but ''[[UpToEleven register on scanners as a completely new lifeform]]''. On several occasions, even Lister's acknowledged they're disgusting.
* ThePollyanna: On the whole, Lister is pretty upbeat even in the face of everything the crew faces, and doesn't seem to be putting it on. Kryten and Rimmer have both listed it as one of his most annoying qualities.
* PoopsGold: The third novel had the dwarfers visit a [=GELF=] planet that used sperm as currency. The locals couldn't work out why Lister was so rich.
* ThePrankster: The pranks he's played on Rimmer include replacing his toothpaste with contraceptive jelly, putting his name down on the list for experimental pile surgery, pouring a tube of sexual magnetism virus on him while in prison, ironing sneezes to disgust him, and filling his boots with runny porridge. In conjunction with Rimmer, he's also tampered with Warden Ackerman's inhaler, filling it with [[TruthSerum sodium pentathol]] and spiked the guards' half time drinks with [[RagingStiffie virility enhancement drugs]] to allow the Dwarfers to win a basketball game.
* RaceLift: Was played by the white Craig Berko in the pilot for the American remake.
* ARealManIsAKiller: Averted. Lister regards his "blokeishness" with pride, considering it to make him a real man and being very disparaging about more metrosexual/new age type guys. But he's very much not a killer. He'll fight to defend himself, but he prefers to avoid lethal force. He explicitly calls out that his EvilTwin in the TV series is capable of killing people, which he himself isn't.
* RealMenWearPink: For all his blokeish qualities, he is known to watch soppy romantic movies and cry at particularly sad endings (his favourite movie of all time is either ''Film/{{Casablanca}}'', according to the show, or ''Film/ItsAWonderfulLife'', according to the novels). He also ends up wearing a pink frilly dressing gown in "Ouroboros" (Kryten was going to dye it to a more suitable colour, but circumstances arose).
* {{Robosexual}}: Sort of; Lister has flirted with a female Simulant (a [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots Ridiculously Human]] KillerRobot) once, Kryten's relationship with him looks awfully like that of a possessive girlfriend in series VII and VIII, and in series X he has a female-personalitied vending machine with a crush on him (and a second one who accuses him of flirting with her).
** And of course there was that moment in Polymorph involving Kryten and his groinal attachment hose...
* SkewedPriorities: Though it might be the shock talking, his reaction to learning how long he was in stasis.
--> '''Lister''': ''3 million years?!'' But I've still got that library book!
** Amusingly, the American!Lister from the US Pilot of Red Dwarf has similar views, just on the other end of the scale.
--->'''American!Lister''': ''3 Million Years?!'' My baseball cards must be worth a '''fortune!'''
* TechnoWizard: Lister, when he applies himself, is capable of amazing feats of engineering that would have got him the rank of First Technician or better... Of course, It would if he wasn't also...
* TheSlacker
** {{Dismotivation}}
* SurvivedTheBeginning: Thanks to being in stasis, he isn't killed by the radiation leak that wiped out ''Red Dwarf'''s crew.
* TokenHuman: He's initially the only human left alive being accompanied by a hologram, the ship's AI, an evolved cat and, later, a mechanoid.
* TookALevelInJerkass: In Season X, his selfishness and carelessness gets at least two sentient beings killed and disables Holly, possibly permanently.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Curry, especially Vindaloo, to the point it's the only thing he ever eats.
* TragicKeepsake: He wears Kochanski's Console Officer rank markings on the sleeve of his leather jacket.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Rimmer.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: In "Polymorph", he states that snakes are his all time second worst fear after the titular mutant takes the form of one. His all time worst fear is a ten foot tall armoured killing machine, which the polymorph turns into. In the books, the fear of snakes is replaced with rats. In "Terrorform", he's revealed to have a fear of tarantulas, a phobia he shares with Rimmer.

[[folder:Arnold Judas Rimmer]]
->'''Played by''': Chris Barrie

Lister's immediate superior, Second Technician Arnold Rimmer (B.S.C., S.S.C.) is an ambitious but unpleasant and almost universally hated underachiever. Born on Io, Rimmer was loathed by his brothers and classmates, who went on to achieve great things while he remained a lowly Second Technician. Any references to his underachievements are immediately blamed on mitigating circumstances. He includes his only two achievements after his name, B.S.C. and S.S.C. (which stand for Bronze Swimming Certificate and Silver Swimming Certificate). He steadfastly believes in the existence of aliens and attributes any unexplained events to such aliens. It was Rimmer's incompetence which led to the leak, killing him and the other crew members. Rimmer was resurrected by Holly as a hologram after Lister's stasis.

Earning his highly-respected father's approval lays heavily on Rimmer's mind, and is one of the larger reasons why his self-loathing is so enormous, and yet his ego so similarly massive.

* AbusiveParents: When he was 14 years old, he went to court, divorced his parents and got visiting rights to the family dog every other weekend. He and his three brothers were abused by their father in various ways; the most severe of them was the use of a ''rack'' to try to accelerate their growth (Rimmer's father had been refused entry to the Space Corps for being an inch below regulation height). Indeed, all of the abuse they suffered was to make them succeed where Rimmer Snr. had failed; unfortunately, Arnold continually tries to use this as a FreudianExcuse for his constant failures and annoying behaviour, whilst his brothers [[spoiler:other than Howard at least]] each become successful in their own Space Corps specialty.
* AccidentalHero: When the crew come across a ship in mortal danger, rather than risk going into the asteroid field, Rimmer decides to rid himself of the problem by launching a nuclear mining torpedo at it. The missile glances off an asteroid and the blast from the explosion throws the ship clear of danger. The ship's captain responds by promoting Rimmer.
* AchievementsInIgnorance: If Rimmer really did screw up fixing the drive plate, according to Rimmer's comments in season 8, it's supposed to be such a trivial task that only an epic screw up could possibly fail.
** Also, briefly in "Cassandra". Although that may have been just Cassandra messing around in her efforts to try and get Lister to end up killing Rimmer as payback for killing her.
* AfraidOfBlood: According to Kryten, though Rimmer states he'd make an exception if it's Lister's.
* AgeAppropriateAngst
* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: [[{{in-universe}} According to Kochanski]], he might have just been uptight and irritating to Lister ''because'' he had to in order to keep him sane.
** Kryten, however, shows that's maybe just how he ''really is'', in [[ this clip]]. It certainly meshes up with how he acts in series VIII.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: A variation; it's shown several times throughout the series that Rimmer seems almost to ''need'' to believe that he is this to Lister. Even despite Lister's indifference to rank, when the official chain of command is disrupted, it drives Rimmer nuts:
** In "Balance of Power", Rimmer is horrified when Lister decides to get a promotion that will make him Rimmer's superior, and does whatever he can to sabotage Lister's plans.
** In "Back to Reality", one of the major elements that drives Rimmer to the brink of suicide is the fact that in "reality" he's a pathetic wastrel despite sharing an upbringing with Lister, who is his uterinal half-brother and a wealthy politician.
** In "Skipper", Rimmer finds a reality where he has everything he has ever wanted; he's respected, a successful starship officer, happily married and has four loving sons. But he gives it up and goes back to his original reality because, in this reality, Lister is a wealthy, successful and respect starship ''captain'', even if it is of the glorified rustbucket that is the Red Dwarf. It doesn't matter to Rimmer that he has what he wants; the fact that Lister is more successful than he is makes this universe unbearable to him. In fact, he's so horrified by this reality that he actually destroys the Quantum Skipper he had been using to reality-surf.
* AmbiguousDisorder: Throughout the series and novels it's made blatantly obvious that Rimmer's mind is an extremely unpleasant place. It's all but outright stated that he suffers from some kind of anxiety-related disorder.
** In "Better than Life" Rimmer's mind begins to destroy the game as it doesn't believe he deserves happiness or success.
*** In "Terrorform" the MonsterOfTheWeek is essentially a manifestation of Rimmer's neurosis, self-loathing and insecurities.
*** In "Demons and Angels" his low form tells Lister that he "thinks terrible things." It's played for laughs, but intrusive thoughts are a symptom of OCD.
*** 'Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers' has entire pages dedicated to describing Rimmer's obsessive compulsive tendencies, regular panic attacks and inability to take exams - he works himself into such an anxious state over them that he has a complete mental breakdown during one ("I AM A FISH"), and passes out during at least two others, including the one seen in "The End."
* AntiHero: Type I.
* ArbitrarySkepticism: Rimmer is an atheist and doesn't even pay lip service to the tiniest possibility of there being a god, but spends the first two series searching for aliens everywhere he can and declaring the flimsiest evidence to be proof of alien existence and involvement. He also expresses firm belief in reincarnation, claiming that in all his past lives he was a great warrior.
-->'''Lister''': Your explanation for anything slightly peculiar is aliens, isn't it? You lose your keys, it's aliens. A picture falls off the wall, it's aliens. That time we used up a whole bog roll in a day, you thought that was aliens as well.\\
'''Rimmer''': Well, we didn't use it all, Lister. Who did?\\
'''Lister''': ''({{beat}})'' Rimmer, ''aliens'' used our bog roll?
** Strangely though, he listens to ChristianRock, though that could be attributed to his upbringing.
** In "The Last Day", he's surprisingly tolerant of [[RobotReligion Kryten's belief in Silicon Heaven]]. He tells Lister that he didn't agree with his own parents' religion, but he wouldn't dare knock it. Mind you, atheists aren't always aggressive anti-religious proselytizers - there's a reason that's one aspect of the HollywoodAtheist trope.
* ArmchairMilitary: Rimmer fixates on war and deeply wants to be a general, but is, as noted in "Marooned", a total coward who is quick to run away at the threat of actual violence to himself -- generals, in his own words, are "in the nice white tent on top of the hill, sipping Sancere and directing the battlefield", not actually doing the fighting. He's also a total incompetent.
* AttendingYourOwnFuneral: Rimmer has a videocassette of his death. Admittedly, Holly recorded the deaths of everyone on the ship, but Rimmer is the one who went and created a long ode glorifying himself as the foreword.
** Also done in "Stoke Me a Clipper". [[spoiler:Ace Rimmer dies and Rimmer leaves the crew to become Ace. Lister claims that Rimmer, not Ace, was killed and Rimmer, acting as Ace, attends Ace's funeral which the crew think is for Rimmer]].
* AuthorityInNameOnly: Rimmer's job on-board ''Red Dwarf'' was fixing chicken soup vending machines, and any job considered too menial for the Skutters (who have better unions). He still acted like this was a matter of life and death. Once the rest of the crew died, Rimmer tries claiming he's in charge, despite the fact the only people around are himself, Lister, the Cat, the Skutters and Kryten, of whom only the latter obeys, and then not out of any real choice.
* BackFromTheDead: Rimmer pulls this a few times, only to die again fairly quickly afterwards.
* BlackComedyRape: The one time he had sex was with a woman who was concussed and thought he was someone else. The continuity of ''Last Human'' establishes that [=McGruder=] already liked him and became convinced that she imagined the whole thing after she relapsed.
** Played straight in Season 8. Except this time ''he's'' the victim.
* BlessedWithSuck: His HardLight abilities allow him to touch and feel as though he was a real person and also makes him NighInvulnerable. Unfortunately, Arnold Rimmer is an abject coward and has low tolerance for pain, so injuries that would kill him/knock him out don't do anything more than hurt severely and he'd be forced to suffer through them.
* BrokenAce: Rimmer [[EmotionEater minus negativity and neuroses]] equals [[TheAce Ace Rimmer]] (what a guy!). Apparently.
** It's worth noting that Rimmer has a certain kind of charisma - people sadly listen to him, though mostly he doesn't have anything interesting to say.
* TheBore: Rimmer frequently tries to regale the others with long, boring uninteresting tales of an old Risk game, or his walking holidays through the ship, unaware of just how mind-sappingly dull and tedious these stories are, even when Lister tells him at length about this. At one point, a slide-show of his is boring enough to nearly ''kill'' Kryten.
* BornInTheWrongCentury: Rimmer loves to use this as an excuse for his behavior.
* BreakTheCutie: During "Terrorform", the crew find several tombstones established to various good traits of Rimmer's, most of which "died" before he was out of his teens. One's even mentioned as having died at the age of nine.
** "Charm" had a tiny grave suggesting a stillbirth, and there was an open grave prepared for "Hope"...
* [[ByTheBookCop By The Book Technician]]: Rimmer attempts to be this, on occasion, trying to quote the Space Corps guidebook for his own benefits... only to be informed by Kryten that he's just used an obscure and bizarre rule instead of the one he wanted.
* CannotTellAJoke: In "Better than Life", the newly-titled "Admiral" Rimmer is attempting to tell an anecdote, but can't remember exactly what happened. It was so bad that even ''the fictional officers from his ideal dream'' went through a couple of seconds of embarrassed, uncertain silence before bursting into sycophantic laughter.
** In general, his anecdotes that are meant to be funny aren't very amusing, while the ones that aren't meant to be funny are hilarious.
* CargoShip: In-universe, his... unique relationship with Rachel the inflatable doll, stymied by the fact she developed a puncture. At Rimmer's fake funeral in "Stoke Me A Clipper", Lister comments that she's the closest thing to a widow Rimmer has.
* CharacterDevelopment: It's subtle, but, by series VII (where he ends up leaving to become Ace Rimmer), Rimmer's actually become a lot more likeable. Lampshaded in series VIII where Lister immediately notes in disgust that the nanobot-resurrected Rimmer is "you like you used to be". Of note, the Rimmer of series I is far less cowardly (He tries to attack the Cat on first meeting him), but far more obnoxious and personally abrasive. As of the reworking in Series III, Rimmer's dialogue becomes generally more snarky than confrontational and rude, but his cowardice, neuroses and massive ego come to the forefront. In series VI and VII, he begins to show very occasional signs of courage under pressure. The Rimmer of Series X (who seems to be a merging of all the previous versions of Rimmer, including the Nano-resurrected one from Series VIII) finally turns a corner in the finale, when he learns that the father he has been trying to live up to is actually not his real father. This frees him from his own crippling insecurities, allowing him to stand up to his crewmates and an attacking fleet of rogue simulants, even coming up with the (rather nifty and daring) strategy to beat them.
** This was highlighted during the part of ''[[Literature/RedDwarf Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers]]'' that adapted the episode "Me[[superscript:2]]", where Rimmer's relationship with his own double breaks down. When Rimmer points out that the double doesn't like him even though they're the same person, the double insists that spending so much time with Lister has changed Rimmer to the point that they're ''not'' the same person any more: for starters, Rimmer had come in to try and apologise for the fight they'd had, which is [[NeverMyFault something that had been ingrained in him by his father that he should never do]].
* CharacterTics: He has a tendency to smile when being insulted.
** He also jiggles his leg when nervous, a trait that even carries over to alternate selves.
* ChestOfMedals: In "Me 2", "Kryten" and "Better Than Life", when he wears a formal uniform, he wears four medals. Surprisingly, these medals are genuine awards, but much less surprisingly, they are all just long service medals awarded for every three years he has served in the Space Corps.
* TheChewToy: Lampshaded in "Better Than Life" where, even in a video game which fulfils one's ultimate fantasies, Rimmer is the Chew Toy: "My brain's rebelling because it can't accept nice things happening to me!" This actually gets expanded into the major plot point of the first half of the novel of the same name; his self-loathing is so powerful that when he visits the others in BTL, his brain corrupts ''their'' fantasies because of this, which is ultimately what enables them to escape.
* CombatPragmatist: Though he very ''very'' [[DirtyCoward rarely gets into a fight]], anytime he does, he won't play fair, instead choosing the most expedient way to save his own skin.
* CommutingOnABus: (sort of) for part of Series VII
* ConsultingMisterPuppet: Rimmer to Mr Flibble in "Quarantine" (former TropeNamer).
* ControlFreak: It's part of what makes him so annoying.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: "Better dead than smeg"
* DeadpanSnarker: Rimmer gets some of the finest lines in sitcom history.
* {{Determinator}}: Rimmer has taken (and spectacularly failed) the same officer's exam over 17 times. That he ''still'' goes back and retakes it shows his stubborn determination to become an officer. The novels [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstruct]] this trait by pointing out that if Rimmer wasn't so blindly stubborn about becoming an officer and taken the time to reconsider his position, he might realise that he simply ''isn't cut out for the Space Corps,'' and would probably be much happier in a different career.
** And he takes a different officer's exam at least 9 times as well.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Rimmer, of all people, knees the GrimReaper in the groin.
* DistressedDude: In "Terrorform", courtesy of his own self-loathing made manifest.
* DrillSergeantNasty: In "Meltdown", Rimmer becomes a combination of this and TheNeidermeyer.
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: Arnold ''Judas'' Rimmer; he tells people who first meet him that it's "Jonathan."
** Doubles up as a MeaningfulName.
* EnemiesWithDeath: Literally, in "Only the Good...", where he famously [[GroinAttack knees the Grim Reaper himself in the balls]].
* EvenNerdsHaveStandards: Rimmer dishes out a lot of zings against "nerdy" type targets, despite being the nerdiest member of the crew.
* EveryoneHasStandards: Rimmer is a slimy, cowardly, weasel-minded smeghead, but even he is utterly horrified by a planet consisting entirely of cloned Rimmers, who took his normal traits and ramped them all the way up.
* EpicFail:
** According to Season VIII, fixing a drive plate is supposed to be such a trivial task that only someone with a brain the size of a leprechaun's testicle could screw it up. And yet he somehow managed.
** In his backstory, he volunteered for a Samatarian helpline. Everybody he talked to committed suicide. Including the one guy with the wrong number calling for Cricket scores.
* EverythingsBetterWithPenguins: Mr Flibble.
* ExtravertedNerd: Part of the reason why his fellow Dwarfers dislike Rimmer is because he's extremely outspoken about the various nerdy things he enjoys (Hammond organs, telephone pole and diesel engine spotting, James Last music, muzak, morris dancing, {{TabletopGame/Risk}}, etc), never seeming to realise the others find this all incredibly boring and find him irritating for trying to shove it in their faces all the time.
* TheExtremistWasRight: In the books, Rimmer is immensely jealous of the head of A-shift, so when he hears rumors about him selling illegal Better Than Life mods, Rimmer does everything he can to promote these rumors. Turns out, the guy really was selling Better Than Life mods.
* FateWorseThanDeath: The end of ''Meltdown''; having to take a trip through Lister's digestive system.
* ForWantOfANail: The dramatic irony of Rimmer's life as outlined in "Dimension Jump" (and the novel "Backwards") is that the only thing that separated him, the galaxy's most useless screw-up, from [[TheAce Ace Rimmer]] is that one of them was held back for a year in primary school, while the other one got to move on thanks to his mother's intervention. The ''real'' irony was that it was ''Ace'' who was the one held back- for one time in his life, Rimmer got the "lucky break" he was always convinced he'd been denied, but proceeded to go through his life making excuses for everything, while Ace realised that he couldn't rely on his mother to always bail him out of trouble and used the humiliation of being the oldest and biggest boy in his class as motivation to knuckle down, fight back, excel and eventually become, well, TheAce.
* FreakOut: Part of the reason Rimmer keeps having to take the astronavigation exam is because when he actually sits down to do it, he realises he has no idea what he's supposed to be doing, goes through a brief period of crushing despair, goes momentarily nuts and passes out. In the second-to-last exam he took, he supposedly wrote down "I am a fish" several hundred times before passing out.
* FreudianExcuse: Almost everything is on his parents, or in earlier episodes, being dead. He even blamed ''Lister'' for his shortcomings very early on.
-->'''Lister''': Rimmer, you can't blame me for your lousy life.\\
'''Rimmer''': Oh, yes, I can.\\
'''Lister''': See! It's always the same. You never had the right pens for your G.E. drawing. Your dividers don't stretch far enough.\\
'''Rimmer''': [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Well]], [[DiggingYourselfDeeper they don't]]!\\
'''Lister''': See! In the end you can't turn around and say, "I'm sorry I buggered up my life. It's all Lister's fault!"
* TheFriendNobodyLikes: Lister and Holly seem to be the ''only'' ones who actually like Rimmer most of the time. Kochanski finds Rimmer incredibly sexist, Kryten repeatedly undermines his authority, while Cat often seems downright giddy whenever it seems Rimmer potentially might ''die''. Justified in that A: Rimmer genuinely is that much of an unlikable person, and B: the intelligent population of the universe that isn't actively trying to kill them pretty much boils down to Rimmer and the others, so they can't bring themselves to get rid of him.
** Leads to something of a subtle loop in that Rimmer often ends up making himself even less likeable because he knows how unliked he is and takes steps to ensure his safety despite this -- "Quarantine" ultimately stems from his own knowledge that the other Dwarfers would be seriously tempted to never turn him back on if they had another hologram, and this knowledge is the driving conflict of "Balance of Power".
** Even Howard, his own brother, describes him as an "[[PrecisionFStrike utter twat]]".
* GeekPhysique: Of the 'tall and lanky' variety. Most noticeable in the first two series and first novel.
* GeneralRipper: While Rimmer doesn't have a particular enemy he's paranoid about, whenever an enemy ''does'' come along he [[DisproportionateRetribution will always go overboard when attacking.]] To go with his ArmchairMilitary personality, as seen in "Meltdown"; he manages to kill all of his own army, but considers it a victory because all the enemy wax droids are also dead. A disgusted Lister gets him back.
* GungHolierThanThou: So long as he's not actually in danger, he's the most blatantly military of the group.
* HandPuppet: Mr Flibble, a cute but evil toy penguin through which Rimmer channels his hex energy while infected with the holovirus in "Quarantine".
* HardLight: post-"Legion", where his hardware is upgraded. It's not ''constant'', though, and because it burns through power faster, there are times when he has to switch back to his Soft Light mode.
* HiddenDepths:
** He gets to show his HiddenHeartOfGold in "Confidence & Paranoia," "Thanks For the Memory," "Queeg," "Marooned," "The Last Day," and "Holoship", and is genuinely heroic in "Out of Time" and "Stoke Me A Clipper".
** "Psirens" establishes that Rimmer does, in fact, have some small supply of charisma. A very, very, ''very'' small supply. All concentrated in his pinky finger.
* HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood: His parents basically loathed him, his father was, in Rimmer's own words, a "crazed military failure", his mother was a cold and aloof woman who cheated on his father, and his brothers were not only more successful than him, but bullied him mercilessly, something all the other kids in school did as well.
** And then it turns out his father was only his ''social'' father; he was born as a result of his mother's extramarital affairs.
** His childhood best friend, Porky Ruebeck, once threw Rimmer into a septic tank and on a scout survival trip led a campaign to eat Rimmer.
** Rimmer also mentions an incident when his uncle came into his tent and kissed him, mistakenly assuming Rimmer was his ''mother''.
* HollywoodDateless: While he's apparently been repulsive to women and only had sex once in his life, he actually has more sex during the series than Lister.
* HonorBeforeReason: Only ''once.'' When the crew's future selves appear and start attacking, Rimmer gives the order to fight as he's "better dead than smeg."
* HopeSpot: In "Timeslides", he states that his life is made up of these. Every time he gets any chance at a break, it blows up in his face. It's then revealed that due to the changes in the timeline, he's alive again. To hammer it home, when he frolics around the cargo decks he slams down on two boxes of explosives and promptly dies again.
* {{Hypocrite}}: In the first episode, Rimmer wanted Lister up on mutiny charges because he accidentally stepped on his toe. In a later episode, we find out that he had tried to jam a pencil up the captain's nose after he gave Lister a lenient punishment for drugging him.
* IJustWantToBeLoved: A very, very, ''very'' sloshed Rimmer admits this to Lister during "Thanks for the Memory", that what he'd want most in all the world is to love and be loved in return.
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: Ace once accused him of "wanting to play the hero".
* ImplacableMan: Carefully balanced/outweighed by his cowardice.
* IncrediblyLameFun: Pretty much any idea Rimmer has of fun invariably falls here; his idea of a fun Friday night is checking Red Dwarf's endless supplies of food.
* InferioritySuperiorityComplex: Whenever Rimmer is faced with something that challenges his inflated ego, his knee-jerk reaction is to deny it. In the event that denial doesn't make the issue go away, he gets very unbalanced.
* InsaneTrollLogic: He holds that the side in a battle with the shortest haircuts will inevitably win, and that Jesus was a hippy on the grounds that he had long hair and no job. He also takes issue with the way people pronounce his name, claiming they're emphasising it in some way or another that makes his name sound terrible. The first of those, by the way, had Kryten wishing there was a world-class psychiatrist nearby.
* IntangibleMan: As a soft-light hologram, Rimmer is often complaining that he cannot touch or taste or feel anything, and in one scene in "Balance of Power" when Rimmer tries to block Lister's path, Lister simply walks out ''through'' Rimmer. This largely stops being mentioned after Kryten joins the regular cast, as he carries out most of the tasks Rimmer would otherwise do, and is dropped altogether when Rimmer gets his HardLight body in ''Legion''.
** {{Subverted}} even later in the series, when it's mentioned he has a tiny projector inside him to maintain his physical presence. This usually crops up when it becomes a plot element.
* IRejectYourReality: Frequently when informed he's being boring, annoying or obnoxious, like when describing in-depths an old card game of his, Rimmer ignores the pained cries from Lister to shut up and keeps on going, truly convinced he's telling a riveting tale of heroism.
* {{Irony}}: In his ''Back To Reality'' fantasy, Rimmer is Lister's half brother ("same mother").[[spoiler: As revealed in ''The Begimning'' and material that's AllThereInTheManual, John Frank and Howard are only half brothers to him too, again [[ReallyGetsAround same mother]]. And the man they call 'Father'? He didn't father ''any'' of the them.]]
* ItsAllAboutMe: One of his defining characteristics, especially early on. After witnessing (what he thinks is) future-Lister's death in "Future Echoes", his reaction is to ask why Lister, who's just found out about what Rimmer saw, isn't thinking about ''him''. "I'VE just had a rather nasty experience! I'VE just seen someone I know die in the most hideous, hideous way!"
* ItsAllMyFault: It's revealed in "Justice" that Rimmer blamed himself for the death of the entire Red Dwarf crew and gets charged for 1167 counts of manslaughter. He is acquitted as Kryten points out that the accident would likely have occurred anyway and that Rimmer was clearly unqualified to repair the drive plate, being so incompetent he should have ''never'' been put in that position in the first place. Though in "Back in the Red", it's stated that repairing the Drive Plate was such an easy task that only someone with the brain the size of a leprechaun's testicle could possibly screw it up. Which proves that Kryten was right; Rimmer was obviously incapable of fixing the drive plate, and it was management's fault for assigning him the task.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Despite Rimmer being a total smeghead 95% of the time, his heart is ultimately in the right place.
* KnowNothingKnowItAll: Rimmer tries to act like he only barely failed passing his astronavigation exams, and yet several times throughout the series it's shown Rimmer knows ''nothing'' about even the basic concepts of physics, the sort of things usually taught to teenagers in school.
* LastNameBasis: Even ''his own mother'' refers to him as "Rimmer".
* LastStand: [[spoiler:When Lister, Cat, and Kryten are all killed by the fire of the future Starbug crew, Rimmer is the only one left, desperately trying to stop what's happening. Despite how hopeless it looks, he picks up a bazookoid, makes a mad charge, and blasts the time machine. His single act of courage and bravery ends up saving his ship mates. Although they don't realize this, and attribute the reset to their future selves' attack instead.]]
* LawfulStupid: Rimmer loves to quote regulations in an effort to try and make others comply with him. In "Balance of Power" he himself proclaims that he "follows orders blindly and without question".
* LovableCoward / DirtyCoward: Varies between these in regards to the fans. InUniverse, he's seen as strictly a DirtyCoward; in season 3, Lister resentfully brings up the time Rimmer accused one of Red Dwarf's nastiest characters, to his face and in front of his four biggest mates, of being a necrophiliac, and then ran away whilst leaving Lister to face them singlehanded ("Marooned"). Three seasons later, Rimmer attracts the enraged disgust of all his shipmates when he leaves them to die in a derelict ship with an angry simulant ("Rimmerworld").
* MadnessMantra: Rimmer when he suffered a nervous breakdown during one of his failed astro-navigation exams, referenced in the episode "The End".
-->'''Rimmer''': ''Up, up, up'', that's where I'm going!\\
'''Lister''': Not until you pass an engineer's exam. And you won't do that because you'll just go in there and ''flunk'' again.\\
'''Rimmer''': Lister, last time I only failed by the narrowest of narrow margins.\\
'''Lister''': You what? You walked in there, wrote "I am a fish" four hundred times, did a funny little dance, and fainted.
* {{Manchild}}: Even worse than ''Lister'' in a lot of ways. He often behaves like a particularly obnoxious child - sulky, petulant, selfish, and whiny, even sometimes yelling his head off like a kid throwing a tantrum. He's also willing to play childish pranks, as seen in Series VIII, or the time he tied a sleeping Lister's dreads to a bedpost and then yelled "FIRE!" in his ear.
* ManIFeelLikeAWoman: Rimmer becomes [[spoiler:Kochanski]] in "Balance of Power". He doesn't concern himself with feeling his feminine physique until the process is only partly reversed by Holly.
** Not that he was in any hurry to get that last body part replaced.
* ManOfAThousandVoices: He's been known to mock characters in their own accents, particularly Lister.
** Also TheCastShowoff: before he was cast in ''Red Dwarf'', Chris Barrie was an accomplished vocal impressionist. (He briefly slips into his 'UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan' during "Gunmen of the Apocalypse", and it's well-known enough that the rest of the cast call it out during the DVD commentary.)
** One unfilmed script was included as a DVD extra with storyboards standing in for visuals, and Barrie voicing ''everybody''. See also (or rather, hear also) the audiobooks of the first two novels, which are very popular with fans for this reason.
* TheNeidermeyer: Rimmer has this general sort of attitude at all times, which made him the joke of the ship before the accident, but he really gets to show it off in "Meltdown". Except for Kryten (whose programming forces him to do so, as he laments), the other Dwarfers don't listen to him and he can't make them, so he's a lot less dangerous than most examples of this trope.
* NeverMyFault:
** As noted above, he refuses to accept the blame for any of his mistakes or shortcomings, passing them on to everyone around him. He even blamed Lister for the radiation leak, claiming that if he had been there to help him repair the drive plate, the accident wouldn't have happened. Ironically, there might be some truth to this. According to Series VIII, fixing the Drive Plate is supposed to be trivially easy. If anyone ''but'' Rimmer tried to fix it, they probably wouldn't have screwed it up. And that's not counting Lister's HiddenDepths regarding his technical expertise, as he's managed to fix Starbug and Kryten on more than one occasion.
** He claims that had he been taught gazpacho soup was meant to be served cold, he could have been an admiral. Despite the fact that he'd been with the corps 14 years by that point, was a chicken soup vending machine repair man, and died a year later.
** In series X, Holly's replacement Pree repairs Deck B. However, because she's a highly predictive computer, she does it according to the way Rimmer would do it, so naturally the place is a wreck and has been done without any regard for safety regulations. Then she tells Rimmer that he will blame Kryten for this then walk off indignantly, and thus they don't have to. Rimmer gives Kryten an angrily pointed finger, realizes that they're about to have the conversation, then opts to skip it and goes directly into the indignant walk off.
* NighInvulnerable: Gained with hard light. Doesn't stop him cowering in terror under the nearest convenient table when the members of the crew are in trouble in future episodes, resulting in it being something of an InformedAbility (though Rimmer is explicitly stated to be able to feel normally, which implicitly includes ''pain'', something Rimmer has an incredibly low tolerance for).
** Aside from "Legion" when Kryten tries and fails, repeatedly, to knock him out, "Emohawk" when he's temporarily turned into Ace and jumps on a grenade, or "Rimmerworld" where his clones failed to kill him and resorted to imprisoning him for nearly 600 years.
* NotSoAboveItAll: When he is sent to prison, he has no problem joining in with Lister and the others to play pranks on Ackerman.
* NotSoDifferent: From his brother, Howard. As it turns out [[spoiler: Howard is also a coward and a lowly vending machine repairman who lied about how successful he really was.]]
** [[spoiler: Arguably subverted when Howard comes clean about how he's been lying all along and admitting he was envious of the apparently truly successful Rimmer, and then goes on to dive in front of an energy blaster, sacrificing himself to save his little brother. Rimmer not only doesn't admit he was lying too, he lies to Howard again so he goes to his death with his mind blanked out from resentment, while Rimmer happily celebrates Howard's death afterwards.]]
* ObsessedAreTheListmakers: A throw-away gag in the flashback of "Balance of Power" is that Rimmer wasted ''seven months'' that he could have spent studying for his exam on instead writing up a timetable for studying, with the implication that he does this ''every single time'' he tries to take the exam. In the novelization ("Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers"), it's explicitly stated that this is ''exactly'' what he does. This gets a CallBack in "The Beginning" when his first step in planning a strategy against the Simulants is to make a timetable.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: He enforces all sorts of rules and regulations that even high-ranking officers don't care about.
* OfCourseImNotAVirgin: He's not, but has had so little sex that he might as well be.
** He comes clean (against Lister's advice) after getting catastrophically drunk celebrating his "death-day". The details of the one time are really quite depressing. Another episode discloses the fact that his partner may have been too concussed to have given informed consent (the novels attempt an AuthorsSavingThrow by establishing that Yvonne was interested in him but could never work up the nerve, though how much that offsets things is very YMMV).
** He does manage a genuine affectionate sexual relationship later on in the series. Naturally, it doesn't last.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: When ''[[DirtyCoward Rimmer]]'' is voting that the crew fight a futile battle to the death against a foe they have no chance of defeating, you ''know'' shit's gotten real.
* OtherMeAnnoysMe:
** In "[=Me2=]", he quickly grows to loathe the other Rimmer hologram after just a few days.
** The ''only'' person in-universe to hate [[MemeticBadass Ace Rimmer]], considering him to be a SmugSuper. Actually not as unreasonable as it sounds, considering that he's the galaxy's biggest loser and Ace is the walking embodiment of [[ForWantOfANail what he could have been]]; just being in the same room with Ace is like having all of his failings shoved in his face (and that's a ''lot'' of failings). Plus everyone else practically worships Ace while being completely open in their dislike of him.
** In "Rimmerworld", the other Rimmers rebelled against him and locked him in prison for several hundred years.
* ProjectedMan: After his death, his recorded personality is recreated in hologrammatic form. It's a process that requires so much power and computer runtime that only one hologram per ship is possible (though, Lister works out a way to temporarily run a second).
* PutOnABus: Rimmer took over from Ace and left Starbug to be a BigDamnHero. When we get another Rimmer he's a revived version of the original.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Rimmer is almost always the target of these.
** The core of Kryten's defence in ''Justice'' is essentially one protracted TheReasonYouSuckSpeech, pointing out in excruciating detail the worst of Rimmer's character flaws to demonstrate how incompetent (and therefore unculpable) he is. [[spoiler: It works perfectly, in spite of Rimmer's objections to his own defence.]]
** He can dish them out rather well too, mostly regarding Lister's deadbeat lifestyle and Kryten's semi-human status and awkward attempts at human mannerisms.
* {{Reincarnation}}: In "Marooned", Rimmer claims that, in a previous life, he was Alexander the Great[[spoiler:'s chief eunuch]].
* TheResenter: Rimmer has an ''intensely'' deep loathing of himself that's well documented in both the series and the novels. Also of pretty much everyone around him, as well, but he definitely hates himself first and foremost. It proves almost lethal in "Trojan" by overloading and crashing his hard disk, and manages to negatively affect the other crew members in "Better Than Life" and "Terrorform".
** [[spoiler:Seems to be alleviated after his discovering who his real father is; he no longer has to live up to the high achievements of his father or his established family history.]]
* TheScrooge: He's extremely tightfisted with money. In "Marooned", it's revealed that he has twenty four grand in cash saved up, yet borrowed $£15 from Lister to buy him a book token for his birthday that was only worth a fiver.
* SenseLossSadness: Until he became a HardLight hologram, he sometimes resented being unable to interact with the physical world. Until he made an agreement with Lister [[FreakyFridayFlip to switch bodies]] to get Lister in shape, then welched on it in favor of doing things he'd missed (i.e. chain smoking cigars, eating a mountain of ice cream). When he was made to relent, he (as usual) became unscrupulous in "borrowing" people's bodies. ([[StatusQuoIsGod Until the next episode.]])
* SmallNameBigEgo: Ego is Rimmer's ''other'' middle name.
* StealingTheCredit: He does this quite a bit, laying claim to other people's successes and ideas as long as they actually ''work''.
* StrangeSalute: The novels establish that it's actually Rimmer's own invention, and he's trying to sell the Space Corps on the idea of adopting it. This tells you almost everything you need to know about Rimmer.
** He calls it the "Rimmer Salute" explicitly in the series on one or two occasions as well. Series VIII establishes on screen that the salute was developed by Rimmer. He also has even longer variations he uses for more important people.
** Made funnier during the intro for the 10th anniversary ''Series/RedDwarf'' night, when the salute was delivered by Creator/PatrickStewart.
* SuperStrength: Apparently another benefit of his hard light form; it's alluded to in one episode that he can scrunch up enamel cups like Styrofoam and rip a fridge off a wall (in an attempt to insert it into Lister). It's never really demonstrated on-screen though.
* ThatWasObjectionable: Rimmer repeatedly objected to his own defense counsel in "Justice" -- and was overruled by the judge AI of the prison spacestation every time -- because Kryten's defense strategy hinged on proving that Rimmer was too all-around incompetent to have been liable for the disaster aboard Red Dwarf that he felt guilty for.
-->"A man of such awesome stupidity, he even objects to his own defense counsel!"
** One feels he was taking advantage of the (golden) opportunity to insult Rimmer as well: Kryten can so rarely do so without violating his programming.
* ThrowTheDogABone: Season X gives Rimmer some much needed closure on his family life (though some of it is mitigated). [[spoiler: Not only is one of his jerkass, successful brothers revealed to be just as much a lying, sniveling, cowardly, ineffectual chicken soup machine repairman as he is (though [[YankTheDogsChain he's promoted posthumously after his light bee is damaged]]), but his father reveals he isn't even his father, so the pressure to live up to Rimmer's ancestors is lost.]]
* TookALevelInBadass: In "The Beginning" from Series X, [[spoiler: where he comes up with the plan to trick four Simulant ships into surrounding Blue Midget on all sides and open fire, causing them to destroy themselves with their ''[[HoistByHisOwnPetard own]]'' weapons when the missiles pass straight through the hull, due to the molecular destabilisor the Dwarfers are using to make their hull intangible]]. As of "Give And Take", it seems to be sticking as well, as when faced with a deranged medical droid who has already incapacitated Lister and The Cat, he doesn't flee in abject terror. While he still takes the relatively cowardly method of using Kryten as a shield, he still engages in a gunfight with it and actually manages to damage it enough to buy enough time to rescue Lister and The Cat before the station they are exploring is destroyed.
* TookALevelInJerkass: For series VIII and X. Somewhat justified in Series VIII, as that was a living Rimmer without the memories of the hologrammatic Rimmer.
* TookALevelInKindness: Not a full level, more half (at best), but still. The Rimmer of the first half of Series I is a complete ''dick'', driving Lister to close to absolute despair with his petty bullying, jerkassery and complete lack of empathy for anyone who isn't himself. From "Confidence and Paranoia" onward, Rimmer... is still a smeghead, but he isn't anywhere near as awful as he is in the first four episodes, and by Series II is perfectly willing to socialize with Lister and the Cat, without any of their usual bickering.
* TryToFitThatOnABusinessCard: Rimmer, sad pathetic weasel of a man that he is, would give his full title as Arnold J. Rimmer, [=BSc=], [=SSc=] - in this case they stand for Bronze Swimming Certificate and Silver Swimming Certificate. This is made even worse when it's stated in one episode that he can't swim, meaning he was self-aggrandizing with forged/stolen swimming certificates, of all things! [[note]] Although the preson who said this also said Lister was the ultimate atheist, when Lister has been established as a pantheist. And this person only existed in a LotusEaterMachine the crew was stuck in, so Rimmer's swimming ability remains ambiguous. [[/note]]
* UnreliableNarrator: The Rimmer ride from "Blue", while programmed by Kryten, was based on entries from Rimmer's journal.
* UpThroughTheRanks: His attempts at this in life by passing Astronavigation and Engineering exams [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption always resulted in constant failure]], in sometimes amusing ways; He mentions once that he had a spasm in one exam, he infamously wrote "I Am A Fish" ''four hundred times'' in another, and in "The End", we see him leave an inky handprint on his paper and faint during the exam. Even ''[[{{Determinator}} long after his death]]'', he's still seen taking the exams in Series X. He actually does manage a FieldPromotion on two occasions ("Holoship" and "Officer Rimmer"), but [[StatusQuoIsGod circumstances lead to him resigning his commission by the end of the episode]].
* VirtualGhost: As a hologram, he is brought BackFromTheDead with all his memories and personality from his life intact.
* VitriolicBestBuds: As much as he'd deny it, he's definitely got this relationship with Lister.
* WellDoneSonGuy
** He's desperate to seek his father's approval, something which The Cat notes has been holding him back his entire life. [[spoiler: When it is revealed in "The Beginning" that his father was "Dungo", the family gardener, Rimmer is no longer held back by this trope and formulates a plan to defeat the Simulants.]]
** [[spoiler: Inverted in one of the novels, ''Last Human'', where his son, having been raised on falsified tales of what a hero Rimmer was, has become the sort of SpaceMarine type Rimmer's always wished he could be]].
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: His worst fear is huge spiders, a fear he shares with Lister.

->'''Played by''': Danny John Jules

Cat (sometimes The Cat) is the last known member of ''felis sapiens'' (also spelt ''felix sapiens''), a race which evolved from the kittens of Lister's pet cat Frankenstein. Cat is known for his outlandish fashion sense, and gauges danger by how it will affect his looks.

* AcePilot: Thanks to his superior sense of smell.
* AgentPeacock: Extremely vain, fastidious and [[TheDandy fashion-orientated]], but quite obviously straight and there are subtle signs of how dangerous he could actually be in a fight. Even with Red Dwarf's tendency to play fights for laughs, he still is the first to tool up with the bazookoids and he's their favored pilot for the smaller vessels.
* BadassLongcoat: He'll often wear stylish long jackets with his outfits. In one instance, he even wears it ''over a disguise'', negating the disguise. Naturally, Lister calls him out on this.
* BerserkButton: Being corrected, apparently (though the only time this comes up is during "Quarantine", when all the characters were on edge).
** Being forced to wear unfashionable clothes, being forced to do the W-word for food, attempting to take his food or his shiny thing... basically anything that would annoy a cat annoys him.
* BlackAndNerdy: "Dwayne Dibley" - the persona was introduced as his worst nightmare, then brought back via a polymorph removing his "cool". Jules attributed Dibley's popularity to the lack of black nerds on TV at the time.
* BlindWithoutEm: In "Mechocracy", it turns out he needs reading glasses.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: The novels explain that many of The Cat's 'flaws' can't really be judged by human standards any more than the morals of an alien - he's ''not'' human; he's descended from cats and Lister and Rimmer are the first humans he has ever encountered.
* BuffySpeak: He'll often refer to spatial phenomena as a swirly thing (or a wiggly thing).
* CampStraight: Obsessed with colors, clothing styles, his hairstyle... and also [[TheLeisureSuitLarry so desperate for a girlfriend, and absurdly overconfident in his actual sexual attractiveness to women, that it becomes pitifully humorous]].
* CatchPhrase: "What is it?" often repeated to the point of an OverlyLongGag.
* CatsAreMean: Most of his comments, even the ones that are well-meaning, come across as this in early series.
-->'''Cat''': Hey, monkey, you're sick. Sick, helpless, and unconscious. If you weren't my friend, I'd steal your shoes
** Likewise, it takes until around Series 3 before his reaction to Lister or others being in mortal peril becomes anything more than "''So''?"
* [[ADogNamedDog A Cat Named Cat]]: It's established in the novel ''Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers'' that the Cat race don't actually name themselves; they're all such egocentric individualists that they can't imagine anyone ''not'' knowing who they are. Though the Cat does seem to eventually pick up on the fact that there are people out there who don't know him, he still sees no need for any other name than simply "Cat."
* CharacterDevelopment: Like Rimmer, it's subtle. The first two seasons have him as a sort of roving comic relief, who comes dancing and screaming into view a la Music/JamesBrown, checking himself out in mirrors every few seconds and scent marking everything in sight. As of season 3, he stops jiving around as much, hangs out with the rest of the crew and becomes far more useful. He joins the others in fighting off threats and becomes the lead pilot for Starbug, due to his enhanced senses and reactions. His BlueAndOrangeMorality is also eroded somewhat as he bonds with the rest of the crew; he becomes a lot less self-absorbed, although he is still obsessed with his appearance and has a tendency to say and do rather tactless things, mostly due to not fully understanding Human social niceties.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Initially - he becomes more of a BunnyEarsLawyer as time passes and the need for his skills increases. Imagine a wild cat becoming more domesticated or a kitten growing up.
** Entirely justified, given that before encountering Rimmer and Lister in the first episode he'd never met a human before. It only makes sense that it takes a while for him to adapt to how humans interact.
* CommanderContrarian: On the occasions Rimmer makes a valid point (which is far and few between), the Cat will still refuse to support him because of Rimmer's fashion-sense (that, and because he's Rimmer).
* CompletelyMissingThePoint: Frequently.
* CoolCat: His entire ''raison d'être''.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: He's not afraid to use a bazookoid when he needs to.
* CuteLittleFangs
* TheDandy: Even started out wearing zoot suits like 1930s Harlem dandies.
* DeadpanSnarker: From series 3 onwards. He seems to have picked it up from from his crewmates. Since ''Series/RedDwarf'' is a WorldOfSnark, this makes a lot of sense.
* DistractedByMyOwnSexy: More than once. For example, during "Kryten", he tells Lister to drag him away if he sees himself in a mirror, otherwise he'll be there all day. Sure enough, on the ''Nova 5'', he finds a mirror...
* TheDitz: "''Felis Sapiens'', bred from the domestic cat and about half as smart".
** GeniusDitz: Occasionally comes up with a workable plan. During ''Back To Earth'', the origami foil squids he keeps making are the first clue that [[spoiler: it's all an illusion]].
* FlatCharacter: Despite being one of the main characters, he's the one we know the ''least'' about.
** On the other hand, the Cat freely admits that he's incredibly shallow, so who-he-is is right there on the surface.
** Despite this he's the only character besides Lister to appear in every single episode.
* ForgotFlandersCouldDoThat: Cat's self-centred vanity and ignorance are played for laughs so much that folks tend to forget he's got excellent reflexes and senses; he manages to outrun and outsmart two heat-seeking bazookoid charges in ''Polymorph'' and the only time he ever gets hit during the series' run is when he willingly allows Kryten to knock him out in ''Legion''.
* GenderFlip: Was played by Terry Farrel in the second pilot for the American remake.
* HiddenDepths: He actually is pretty good at reading people, given his analysis of Rimmer's obsession with his father.
* HumanOutsideAlienInside: The Cat looks almost perfectly human, except for rather overly prominent upper canines. He has six nipples and, according to a medical analysis, color-coded internal organs and both a heartbeat and a pulse that are much "cooler" than those of a human's. The former is portrayed as a catchy rhythmic beating sound, the latter a full-blown tropicano-type musical number.
** According to the ''Backwards'' novel, male Felis Sapiens have not diverged from the reproductive model of their housecat ancestors. Meaning that their penis is covered in dozens of tiny, ''painful'' barbs. A pity the attractive hillbilly girl that Cat loses his virginity to (sort of) fails to see these barbs before they, uh, get put to work.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Takes out several polymorphs at close range with [[GunsAkimbo a pair of pistols]] in quick succession without so much as grazing his crewmates, who were in the very same confined space.
* InformedFlaw: During "DNA", Rimmer describes him as being a coward. Of all the Cat's flaws, being a coward isn't one of them.
* {{Jerkass}}: As mentioned in Rimmer's tropes, he gets happy when Rimmer appears to be close to death, and could care less about Lister's life as long as he does not have a snack. He also is totally vain, though he has gotten a ''little'' better as the show went on.
-->'''Kryten''': Sir, [the crew of the ''Enlightenment''] have taken Mr. Rimmer!\\
'''Cat''': Quick; let's get out of here before they bring him back!
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: From series 2 onward, at least, he's still lazy and selfish, but he's still buddies with Lister.
* LackOfEmpathy: ... ''cat''. This even applies to Lister. Despite the Cat calling him "bud", he freely admits he doesn't care about Lister's well-being. [[spoiler: In "Cured", it's revealed that he's clinically a psychopath.]]
* LargeHam: His actor described him as having the body of Music/JamesBrown, the voice of Music/LittleRichard, and the face of Creator/RichardPryor. ''Damn''.
* LastOfHisKind: In a sense. The Cat Species left Red Dwarf many years ago, leaving behind only the stupid, the sick and the crippled. After the death of the Blind Cat Priest in "Waiting for God", the Cat becomes the sole survivor of the Cats that remained aboard Red Dwarf.
** Hudzen-10 and the crew of the holoship ''Enlightenment'' recognize his species, implying that there's more of them in space and one of the settings for the tabletop game is a planet colonised by the cats who evacuated the Red Dwarf.
* MisterSeahorse: Gives birth to eight polymorphs in Series[=XI=].
* PassThePopcorn: Any time Rimmer's in trouble, or humiliated, the Cat grins gleefully and plans to celebrate. During "Thanks for the Memory", the Cat actually ''has'' popcorn on hand while watching the black box. In "Rimmerworld", his reaction to Rimmer being stuck on a planet on his own for six hundred years is just to lament there's no champagne around.
* RaceLift: Was white in the second pilot for the American remake.
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch: The religion of the Cats states that "It is a sin to be cool."
* TheNicknamer: Never refers to anybody by their actual names.
* TheNoseKnows: Can smell threats ''through the vacuum of space''.
* SharpDressedMan
* SkewedPriorities: His first instinct in any situation is to worry more about his appearance than any danger he's in. For example, in "Backwards", he complains that due to searching for Kryten and Rimmer that he hasn't permed his leg hairs in a week.
* TheSociopath: InUniverse. Series 12 establishes that he is clinically and realistically speaking a psychopath, albeit of the (mostly) non violent variety, as he suffers from a LackOfEmpathy (to the point he is ready to leave Rimmer to burn to death, and potentially abandon the rest of his friends to save his own skin with little qualm if given sufficient reason to), narcissism, egocentricity, a sense of entitlement, shallow emotions and other symptoms; he is so psychopathic in fact that he [[ComicallyMissingThePoint objects that one of the symptoms is not handsome]]. The crew accept that it is just his nature and since he isn't really dangerous as he is more amoral than downright malevolent.
* SuperGullible: Lister convinces him that he was trimming verucas in Starbug's cockpit, found a packet of peanuts in a dead guy's jacket, a mint in his mouth and that Starbug is made from the same stuff as [[EmpathyDollShot the doll that always survives plane crashes]].
* SuperReflexes: He can dodge bazookoid blasts, even when wearing an ImpracticallyFancyOutfit. He also quickly catches and returns a snowball to Lister in "Timeslides". These reflexes are why from series VI onwards that he's the first choice to pilot Starbug.
* SuperSenses: His senses of hearing and smell are greater than his crewmates and he can sense danger long before they can, though by Series XII, his eyesight has atrophied to the point that he needs reading glasses.
* ThoseTwoGuys: His dynamic with Lister in Series II. It falls by the wayside after Series III, with Lister becoming increasingly annoyed by the Cat's idiotic remarks in the face of danger.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Fish, being a cat and all. He even has a little song for whenever he eats fish. "[[EarWorm I'm going to eat you, little fishy....]]"
* TookALevelInBadass: Although he's played more for comedy, from seasons 3 and on he still is always quick to join a fight and he proves he's an expert pilot.
* UnlimitedWardrobe: He has so many suits, he tends not to wear the same one twice, even changing mid-episode. The one time he does wear the same suit a second time, he lampshades it.

->'''Played By''': Norman Lovett (1988, 1997-1999, 2017); Hattie Hayridge (1989-1992)

''Red Dwarf'''s computer, Holly starts off amazingly intelligent with a purported IQ of 6,000. However, he has become senile before Lister's return to non-stasis. After an encounter with his counterpart from an alternate universe, a blonde female named Hilly, Holly performed a sex change on himself.

* AIIsACrapshoot: Averted. Although Holly is regularly a menace to the crew, it's never intentional on his part. The crew soon learn not to rely on him.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: He's gone a bit senile with old age.
* DeadpanSnarker: Male Holly may well be the best example in the series.
* DumbBlonde: Holly's female incarnation suffers from this. She's noticeably a lot more stupid than her male incarnation from series I and II.
* FirstNameBasis: He/She is the only character to regularly call Lister and Rimmer by their first names (Dave and Arnold respectively.)
* GenderBender
** SpaceshipGirl
* GoMadFromTheIsolation: Downplayed. Three million years alone have made him eccentric and senile, but still well within the grounds of sanity.
* GoneHorriblyWrong: The nanites bringing the entire ''Red Dwarf'' crew back to life was his idea. Unfortunately, this resulted in the gang, and Holly himself, being put on trial and then imprisoned.
-->'''Holly:''' ''(as the crew are sentenced to two years in The Tank)'' I've buggered this up a bit.
* IdiotSavant: Holly suffers from severe computer senility, which has reduced his intellect considerably to the point where he often forgets words and can barely string a slightly complicated sentence together, but he can also design and build advanced technology that allows them to jump between dimensions and resurrect the crew and rebuild his old self. He can play a mean prank using his ObfuscatingStupidity.
* InsufferableGenius: Yes, Holly. We know you have an IQ of 6000.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: TheReveal from "Queeg" puts him firmly in this category. Likewise, "Back in the Red" has Holly mention he stages events to keep Lister distracted.
* ThePrankster: Occasionally tries to trick the crew, in a very deadpan manner, either to prove a point or just amuse himself.
* RippleEffectProofMemory: In "Timeslides", Holly is the only one to remember the changes to the timeline.
* ScatterbrainedSenior: Being three million years old will make even a computer a bit ga-ga.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Holly is said to be temporarily offline due to water damage in ''Back to Earth'', but something apparently happened between that episode and "Fathers and Suns" to the point where the crew were forced to find and install a completely new computer.
** Oddly, early episodes such as "White Hole" imply that Holly is ''essential'' to maintain the critical systems aboard ''Red Dwarf'' and when he went offline even briefly, the systems quickly began to fail. It's possible that because of those events, the crew might have bodged the essential systems to run automatically without Holly, although Rimmer implies in "Fathers and Suns" that the ship ''is'' slowly beginning to fall apart now Holly's gone.
* PutOnABus: Actor wise, at the end of series 2. But character wise, at the end of series 5. Although...
* TheBusCameBack: Holly's original actor returned for series 7 and 8 [[spoiler: and for a brief cameo in the series 12 finale]].
* SixthRanger: His return in series 8 generally saw him treated as much less of a focus than he was in series 2, only really playing a support role. And with the other 5 already established, and the show having changed so much since the second series, Holly was practically the new guy all over again.
* SnapBack: PlayedForLaughs in the series VII finale. Holly's intelligence had been restored by Kryten's nanobots, but after being left in the junk that was once ''Red Dwarf'' for hundreds of years, he's gone back to being his usually ditzy self.

[[folder:Kryten [=2X4B-523P=]]]
%%Described as a 2X4C mechanoid in series 7. This is what his full name is designated in series 3.
->'''Played By''': David Ross (1988); Robert Llewellyn (1989-present)

Kryten is a 4000 series mechanoid. He was encountered by the crew on the wreck of the starship ''Nova 5'', where he had obediently served his three female owners, not realising they had died on landing. Although, in the novels Kryten is actually the cause of the crash as he scrubs the computer's motherboard and guidance system out with hot soapy water as a nice surprise, causing it to malfunction and randomly spout French poetry. Kryten was helped to break his programming by Lister and eventually chose to oppose Rimmer, before leaving on Lister's space bike. He crashed and was rebuilt by Lister, giving him a new accent and new programming.

* AbsurdlyDedicatedWorker: He's first encountered obediently serving the three female crew members of the ''Nova 5'', completely oblivious to the fact that they were killed when the ''Nova'' crash-landed.
* AdaptationalEarlyAppearance: He was already on the Red Dwarf before it left Earth in the American pilot.
* ArtEvolution: The design of his head becomes squatter between series 3 and 4.
* AsymmetricDilemma
* BarbieDollAnatomy: First referenced in "The Last Day" when Lister describes him as being like Action Man. In series VIII, his lack of a penis gets him classified as a woman and he ends up as Kochanski's cellmate.
* BattleButler: While programmed not to kill, he will pick up a bazookoid to protect his crewmates.
* BerserkButton: If you blow off his dinner to play a VR game, he'll drag you out. With a tank.
** "You want ''ketchup''?! With ''lobster''?!" *YourHeadAsplode*
* CampStraight: Particularly in his first appearance, he's pretty campy, but his "ideal love interest" was the female equivalent of his model of mechanoids.
* CharacterDevelopment: Following his induction into the main cast, Kryten goes from being a guilt-ridden, neurotic wreck who thinks he's only good for cleaning to a self-confident source of scientific knowledge who isn't afraid to put his foot down. Rimmer distastefully lampshades this in "Quarantine", stating that he preferred Kryten the way he was before.
* [[ClingyJealousGirl Clingy Jealous Mechanoid]]: Happens in ''VII'' most prominently after Kochanski becomes a permanent crew member, thanks to his almost motherly attitude towards Lister. [[spoiler:Much less prevalent in ''Back To Earth'' as Kochanski has long since left ''Red Dwarf'' at that point.]]
* DamnedByFaintPraise: When asked by an amnesiac Lister to give a laudable trait of his, all Kryten can say is that sometimes Lister turns his underwear inside out. And that's after several seconds of thought.
* DeadpanSnarker: In later episodes, especially after gaining "lie mode."
** Hell, he even has a deadpan mode.
* TheDogBitesBack: "Out of Time" makes it clear that as much as he loves Lister, having to do Lister's laundry is another matter, and when the chance comes to get revenge, he takes it.
-->'''Kryten:''' I looked up to you. You inspired me to break my programming, but now I discover you're no better than I. But the worst thing, the most bitter pill, is that for ''four. Long. Years'' I had to ''hand-scrub'' the gussets of your long-johns!
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: 2X4B. He has always felt it's a little jerky.
** Though it's better than one poor sod he knew who had the middle name 2'''Q'''4B...
* EmergentHuman: Deconstructed; Lister encourages him to adapt human traits like lying and gratuitous violence. When Kryten becomes human in one episode (and in another when he mistakenly believes Lister is a lesser model of robot) [[FantasticRacism he becomes arrogant and bullying]].
* FirstNameBasis: When first introduced, he referred to Lister as "Mr. David". He retained this through series 3.
* FlippingTheBird: Is actually the first robot in fiction to do that to a human, though the Skutters beat him to the punch with the V-sign in series I.
* GagPenis: When he was temporarily turned human in "DNA", he apparently took pictures to see if everything was normal. In particular, why he got a "double-polaroid" from looking at ''[[CargoShip kitchen utensils]]''?!
** ''Polymorph'' introduced his Groinal Attachment, a power socket located in a place that should be obvious from its name to which he can attach various utensils including a vacuum cleaner hose and an electric egg-whisk. It makes the odd appearance in subsequent episodes.
** In ''Pete'' he makes himself a penis. That has its own personality. And which isn't physically attached to his body.
* {{Genius Bruiser}}: The physically strongest crew member, due to being an android. But, he's also the science expert and TheSmartGuy of the crew.
* InnocentlyInsensitive: He has a wavering grip of human emotions and pleasantries, so even when trying to be kind and complimentary, he often ends up insulting people with his matter-of-fact perception, particularly Rimmer.
* MoralityChip: His guilt chip maintains his behavious protocols. It tends to be overactive, which the Polymorph takes advantage of to drain his guilt. He becomes a [[{{Jerkass}} complete asshole]] without it. Spare Head Two has this happen as well when he gets Lister to disable his guilt chip, leading him to cook a dead man for Lister and The Cat's dinner.
* MrExposition: Became the primary means of delivering background information to the other characters, despite his nature as a domestic service robot. Beautifully spoofed after several seasons when the other characters appear to have gotten used to him knowing practically everything when he's asked how long a t-rex's bowel movements take and he mocks the idea that he'd know something so outlandish.
* {{Nanomachines}}: He has nanobots that repaired him until they escaped.
* NiceGuy: Though as Kryten points out to the Inquisitor, this is only because he's programmed that way. To truly become a nice person, Kryten would have to [[BecomeARealBoy break his programming]] and then develop his own ethics.
* NoWaterProofingInTheFuture: Ace Rimmer mentions that Kryten's model isn't waterproof.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: Normally, Kryten is utterly subservient to humans, and Lister specifically. Five days in quarantine with him and the Cat has Kryten so on edge he implicitly threatens to kill Lister for his disgusting habits.
* PinocchioSyndrome:
** Played with, in that the human traits he really wishes to acquire are all negative things, like being able to lie, and cheat and steal.
** Subverted in "DNA" where he becomes human, but is unable to figure it out and Lister eventually convinces him to change back.
* RagnarokProofing: Like most technology in ''Red Dwarf'', he's capable of lasting for millions of years.
* {{Robosexual}}: A sort of inversion in that he's a robot who has a relationship with a human man that can have a very romantic overtone (particularly during series VII and VIII, where he gets a lot of "{{Clingy Jealous Girl}}friend" type moments). The fact he's technically a physical asexual (which gets him classified as a woman in series VIII) doesn't help, nor does the fact that the official diagnosis of the rogue emotions he has developed includes "Affection, Possessiveness and Love".
* RobotBuddy: He talks to his spare heads and even the scutters could be counted.
* RobotReligion: All mechanoids are programmed to believe in the electronic afterlife of Silicon Heaven, where Humans will serve ''them'' for all eternity. It's something to look forward to after a lifetime of dedicated service.
-->'''Kryten''': For is it not written, "the Iron shall lay down with the Lamp?" Are you not a pantheist sir?\\
'''Lister''': Well yeah, I just don't believe it applies to kitchen utensils. I'm not a ''[[IncrediblyLamePun frying]]'' pantheist!
** As per ''Inquisitor'', his faith may be wavering.
* RoleReprisal: Robert Llewellyn was the only actor who came back to play themselves in the American remake.
* ServileSnarker: He is technically supposed to obey any human, regardless of how insane they might be. As time goes by, he does at least start snarking back at Rimmer.
-->'''Rimmer:''' I'm a competitive man, Kryten. It's what made me the man I am today.
-->'''Kryten:''' We're all perfectly well aware of what you are.
* StraightMan overlapping with TheSmartGuy: Kryten is typically the one coming up with a solution to the Dilemma of the Week, moreso after Holly stops being a regular character.
* SuperPoweredRobotMeterMaids: Being a general servant, most of his abilities make sense (with his groinal attachments being RuleOfFunny) but the [[{{Nanomachines}} nanobots]], whose only job is to repair him can create and destroy planets and bring the dead back to life.
* SwissArmyAppendage: His groinal socket, which he can apparently plug a variety of devices into, including vacuum hoses and egg whisks. He also has a hot air dryer in his arse, which seems to be perfect for drying cutlery.
* TechnicalPacifist: While he is programmed [[ThouShaltNotKill not to kill]], he has broken his programming enough to bestow violence upon those threatening his crewmates.
** His directives also allow him to incapacitate Cat and Lister in ''Legion'', as it is an act ultimately for the greater good of the crew.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: In the novels, he was the one that caused the Nova 5 to crash by washing the main and backup computers. According to "Beyond A Joke" and the Red Dwarf website Space Corps Database, he also retains this bit of history in the show.

[[folder:Kristine Kochanski]]
->'''Played By''': Clare Grogan (1988, 1993); Chloë Annett (1997-?)

Navigation Officer Kristine Kochanski was Lister's partner, who perished along with the other crew members. Shortly after Rimmer's departure from ''Starbug'', the crew encountered an alternate version of themselves where Kochanski had survived the leak instead of Lister. Kochanski was saved from falling into a dimensional vortex by Lister, but the vortex closed, preventing her from rejoining her crew.

* ActionGirl: Both Kochanskis definitely have their moments.
* AdaptationalJerkass: Her American counterpart is shown being incredibly cold towards Lister. [[WordOfGod Doug Naylor]] expressed disgust at this, wondering why Lister would ever fall for someone so awful.
* AlliterativeName
* AmicableExes: They're not stated to have had a relationship until later in the series, but Lister and the first Kochanski appeared to be this, judging by the brief scene they shared together in "The End."
* BigBrotherBully: Deleted dialogue from season 7 said she had one called Moose.
* BrainyBrunette: The second Kochanski definitely qualifies.
** The first one has to be fairly smart as well, given that she was an officer.
* CanonImmigrant: The idea of her being Lister's ex-girlfriend was used in the novels and the American remake before it was retconned into the main show.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: In her earliest appearances when played by Clare Grogan, she was quite friendly, flirty with Lister and had a Scottish accent. By the time she had joined the main cast (and Ms Grogan had been replaced by Chloë Annett) she was rather neurotic, very upper class and had an English accent ([[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent although still canonically from Scotland]]).
** On the other hand, the second Kochanski is from an ''alternate'' reality. Presumably alt!Kochanski experienced a slightly different upbringing, though she still ended up on Red Dwarf and dated Lister.
* DeadpanSnarker: The second Kochanski definitely had her moments.
* FormerTeenRebel: So she claims, after leaving virtual-reality school.
* HumanPopsicle: In her universe, she was frozen for three million years instead of Lister.
* TheLadette: In the ''Last Human'' novel, thanks to filling in the missing Lister's role in several of the scenes based on the TV series, she's this. As Last Human was written before series 7, it's based on Grogan's portrayal.
* TheLostLenore: Lister is devastated at her death in "The End". He hopes to one day resurrect her so that they can live together. When [[spoiler: he thinks]] she dies between "Only The Good" and "Back To Earth", he keeps a memorial to her and visits it regularly to read her classical fiction.
* LoveInterest: Not exactly, however Kryten thinks she's this for Lister...and occasionally so does Lister.
** In the novels, especially ''Last Human,'' where she has a fairly large role, she plays the trope straight.
* {{MacGuffin}}: Finding her replaces finding Earth as the ostensible MacGuffin for the characters, or at least Lister, in later series.
* MsFanservice: Most notably in the ShowerScene Kryten films in "Krytie TV" and at the end of "Ouroborous" where her medical gown is accidentally tucked into the back of her underwear.
* ObsessedAreTheListmakers: Lister accuses her of being one of these sorts of people at one point.
-->'''Lister:''' I bet even right now you can tell us the average rainfall of the rich coastal lowlands of Venezuela.\\
'''Kochanski:''' [[BlatantLies No I can't. I have no idea.]]
* OnlySaneMan: Of the crew in series 7. Unlike the rest of the boys, she's much saner and more sensible. Usually, at least.
* OtherDarrin : A strange example as they are technically two different characters. Originally the charcter was played by Clare Grogan from the same universe as the rest of the crew however in Series 7 a version of Kochanski joins the main crew from an alternate universe played by Chloë Annett. The reason this is strange is because although the Kochanski is treated as if she is identical to the original meaning that presumably the original has been retroactivly changed to being played by Chloë Annett.
* PutOnABus: Left the ship without explanation between Series VIII and ''Back to Earth''. Upon realizing she's probably still alive out there somewhere Lister vows to find her, but the show doesn't put much effort into it, for obvious reasons.
* {{Retcon}}: In the first few series she was Lister's friend whom he had a secret crush on, but never had the nerve to ask out. The tie-in novels make her his ex-girlfriend, something which was eventually retconned into the TV series even before she joined the main cast with their past relationship referenced as early as "DNA". (True, the Kochanski who ends up joining the crew is from an alternate reality, but it's clear from her conversations with this world's Lister that he now remembers them being in a relationship and her breaking up with him.)
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: At first the character was credited only as "Kochanski", but judging by the name written on her hologram box in Series 1 (which reads "KOCHANSKI C.Z.". The Z stands for Zoe.), Kochanski's first name was meant to be spelled "Christine". Then the first novel came out and spelled it "Kristine". Then the TV series [[ReWrite officially established the spelling as "Kristine"]].
* SixthRanger: A rather odd example, as she may be the sixth and final member to join the main cast, but she actually joins after two of the former main characters have left. Although one of them [[spoiler: (Rimmer)]] is still considered main cast even in his temporary absence, and the other [[spoiler: (Holly)]] returns at the end of the series Kochanski joins anyway [[spoiler:, and being an online computer, has no tangible presence, so in a way he qualifies as a fifth member by default, making Kochanski sixth automatically]]. Nevertheless, she's the sixth cast member.
* TraumaCongaLine: The second Kochanski gets separated from her much more intelligent, sophisticated Lister, stuck on the dilapidated garbage heap that is ''Starbug'', with a much more uncouth crew, along with the quarters with the pipes capable of driving anyone to dementia, followed by Kryten accidentally destroying her only clothes.
* ViolentGlaswegian: Usually inverted. Despite being from the Gorbals [[note]]An area of Glasgow notorious for being ''very'' rough in the past[[/note]], Kochanski's usually the more restrained and sophisticated of the crew. Though she does once punch Lister in the face for unwanted advances, and bashes Kryten over the head with a wrench after an incredibly stressful night.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: The second Kochanski got separated from her crew when some angry [=GELF=]s blew up the interdimensional corridor between both universes. When the crew found a way back, it collapsed, and thanks to Lister distracting her she wound up stuck with them permanently.

!Other Characters

[[folder:Ace Rimmer]]
->'''Played By''': Chris Barrie (1991, 1993, 1997)

Pandimensional super-hero, Ace Rimmer is Rimmer's counterpart from another dimension. Ace was held back at school, which spurred him on to succeed. Any non-Rimmer character may remark 'what a guy!' upon meeting Ace.

* TheAce: Turned up to eleven.
** AcePilot: Starts out as a test pilot for the Space Corps.
* AnotherDimension: Ace first left his dimension on an experimental Space Corps ship with a "dimension drive." Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any way for him to choose his target dimension - meaning he can't get home! Presumably, the Padre, "Spanners" Lister, Secretary Mellie and his commanding officer "Bongo" are all still hoping Ace pops back up sometime.
* BlackBestFriend: His best friends in his own universe are an alternate version of Lister and a priest played by the same actor as The Cat.
* BondOneLiner: Shown to have a fondness for these.
** When he kills a man mid-skydive with an alligator:
--->"See ya later alligator"
** After witnessing a Nazi driving into a brick wall and exploding:
---> "Bet he's a sour kraut."
* TheCasanova
* CatchPhrase: "Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast!"
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: He's able to knock out Kryten with a single punch like he was a human being.
* CharacterTics: Tends to flick his hair back like he's in a shampoo commercial.
* ChickMagnet: The ladies throw themselves at Ace. But so do the men.
* CommandingCoolness: The original Ace is a Commander in the Space Corps.
* CoolShades: His Aviator shades.
* CursedWithAwesome: The divergence point between his universe and the main Red Dwarf one was that he was held back a year in school when the main Rimmer wasn't. This caused Ace to work harder and stand up for himself which made him successful.
* DimensionalTraveler: He makes his debut after the engineers in his dimension make a dimension surfing spaceship.
* EightiesHair: Has a magnificent bouffant compared to Rimmer's regulation cut.
* EvenTheGuysWantHim: To the point happily married men try to proposition him.
* {{Expy}}: Chris Barrie's portrayal of Ace is reminiscent of Creator/SeanConnery's depiction of ''Film/JamesBond'' combined with Errol Flynn and the AcePilot trope. Ace even gets a Bondesque ActionPrologue where he fights the Nazis.
* ForWantOfANail: Rimmer believes Ace is a version of him that got all the lucky breaks in life. However Ace reveals that the difference between their lives was a decision to hold him back a year in school, rather than just let him move on. It was actually ''Rimmer'' who got the break. When this happened, it was the moment Ace realised he'd been underachieving and from that moment onward dedicated himself to being a better person. (Though Ace notes that maybe getting that spur was the real break.)
** Furthermore, with the reveal in Series X that [[spoiler: his father was really the family gardener, one can surmise that after Ace became an officer and learned the truth, this is the reason he has such amazing self-confidence and can act without hearing his "father's" [[WellDoneSonGuy disapproving voice]] in his head]].
* FriendToAllChildren: Spent most of his spare time in his own universe at the bedside of a sick child.
* GeniusBruiser: Ace is tough enough to punch an android enough (with a broken arm), but it's also clear unlike Rimmer, Ace ''does'' know about engineering, navigation and physics.
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: Is an occasional cigarillo smoker, with none of the usual connotations.
* HardLight: Is a hard light hologram in his second appearance.
* HumbleHero: Despite a well-earned reputation as an [[TheAce all-around Ace]] and being incredibly popular with his personnel and officers, he is modest, and surprisingly down-to-earth (in social situations, he has a tendency to be blase about danger).
* HeldBackInSchool: As it turns out, this was the deciding factor in [[TookALevelInBadass turning Ace into the man he becomes]]. Being held down meant that Ace decided he was tired of making excuses and decided to fight back.
* HesBack: "Well, I said I'd be back for breakfast! How're those kippers doin', fellas?"
* ImplacableMan: Helped fix Starbug with a broken arm in his debut, then proceeded to perform surgery on Cat ''and'' teach Kryten how to play the piano before tending to his own wounds (and even then, only after he'd been up for over 36 hours).
** Gets shot and simply laments that his best top is ruined. [[spoiler: Justified in that he's a HardLight hologram at that point. Though it still counts as it's an ultimately lethal shot]].
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Able to shoot the chains off a hostage from a distance ''while riding a motorbike''.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Kills the BigBad he is up against with a crocodile. Said crocodile later falls on two {{Mook}}s just as they mention how [[TemptingFate lucky they are]] to have survived an encounter with him.
* InterdimensionalTravelDevice: His spaceship.
* LegacyCharacter: [[spoiler:And ''how''. There have been enough Ace Rimmers for their little gold coffin beacons to form the rings of a planet.]]
* MesACrowd: He and Arnold Rimmer can't stand each other.
* MisterSeahorse: Inverted in one of the comics where he visits the universe inhabited by female dwarfers and impregnates the female Lister in a world where women usually get men pregnant.
* MyFavoriteShirt: Upon being [[MajorInjuryUnderreaction shot]].
-->'''Ace:''' "This is my best top, dammit!"
* NamedByTheAdaptation: The fourth novel calls his ship ''The Wildfire'', which wasn't named in the series.
* NiceGuy: The only person in the series not to take an instant dislike to Rimmer. Not that it takes him long to come around.
* TheNicknamer: Regards nicknames as honorific titles and bestows them on people he thinks deserve them.
* OneManArmy: Takes on an entire army of [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] to save the girl.
* OtherMeAnnoysMe: Though he makes an effort to be polite to normal Rimmer, he admits to Lister before he leaves that he can't stand him.
-->'''Ace:''' There's a billion other realities to explore. A billion other Arnold Rimmers to meet. Maybe somewhere there's one who's more of a pain in the butt than him. But I doubt it.
** Meanwhile, the Ace in "Smoke Me a Kipper" averts this, being one of, if not the only person, to ever have faith in Rimmer's ability to become something more than what he is.
* PercussivePrevention: Punches Kryten out when he tries to stop Ace fixing Starbug's engineswhen his arm's broken.
* PhraseCatcher: ''"What a guy!"''
* ProjectedMan: Is a hologram in his second appearance.
* RefugeInAudacity: Ace Rimmer's MO. If it's crazy, insane and downright impossible for any normal man to do it, He manages it. Every time. [[spoiler: Helps that he's a hologram who has deliberately hidden the telltale signs...]]
* TheSleepless: Lister mentions that Ace has been awake for 36 hours and is still laughing and joking.
* SpaceshipGirl: His spaceship has a female computer that's in love with him.
* TakeUpMySword: [[spoiler:In "Stoke Me a Clipper", Ace Rimmer tells the hologram of Arnold J. Rimmer to become the next Ace, and even briefly trains him to do so with what little life he has left.]]
* VirtualGhost: Ends up becoming a hologram like Rimmer.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: The dimension jump drive on his ship is stated to be a one way trip with no hope of going back. This is further elaborated in ''Backwards'' (the book, not the TV episode) when it's stated that new dimensions are created constantly due to choices made by people every day. Ace doesn't seem to mind, though.
** Though in his second appearance [[spoiler: it seems that every Ace is able to visit one particular dimension at least once. The "graveyard" system where they intern their predecessors.]]

[[folder:Captain Frank Hollister[=/=][[spoiler:Denis The Doughnut Boy]]]]
->'''Played By''': Mac [=McDonald=] (1988, 1999, 2017)

The overweight captain of ''Red Dwarf'' who is killed off (along with the rest of the crew bar Lister) halfway through the first episode. Hasn't stopped him being the most frequently recurring non-main cast member.
* AdaptationNameChange: [[GenderFlip Her]] last name is Kirk in the novels and Tau in the American pilot.
* AllMenArePerverts: When Rimmer lies and claims that he lost the Sexual Magnetism Virus, Hollister exclaims "[[SuddenlyShouting GODDAMMIT, RIMMER! I WANTED THAT!]] I mean [[BlatantLies the lab boys wanted it, to, uh, test it]]."
* AscendedExtra: The writers came very close to reviving him or Olaf Petersen to replace Rimmer but thought they were more likely to get a movie made if they had a female main character, which was why they used Kristine Kochanski.
* {{Blackmail}}: How he achieved his commission.
* BackFromTheDead: Was resurrected by the nanobots in season 8.
* BreakTheHaughty: Series 8 two-parter "Pete" is one long BreakTheHaughty for Captain Hollister.
* DaChief: In series VIII. Especially in "Pete".
* DirtyCoward: His alternate universe counterpart is seen attempting to flee in an escape pod in "Skipper" while the rest of the crew is caught up in the radiation leak. [[spoiler: The pod jams and he dies anyway.]]
* FatBastard: Not all that much of a bastard, but he does get a ''lot'' of fat jokes, and Rimmer once describes him using this exact phrase.
* {{Flanderization}}: In the first episode he seems a competent, strict-but-fair Captain. In series 8 he has become a tough, unfair PointyHairedBoss who, as previously mentioned, is subject to a lot of fat jokes -- and in the character interview page on the Red Dwarf site, he's pretty much become a walking fat joke, constantly hungry and eating, demanding so much toast that even Talkie Toaster capitulates.
** Seems to have de-Flanderized in "Only The Good..." where Rimmer tells him his dreams of being a captain, and Hollister calmly tells him that he doesn't see Rimmer as officer material and he should focus on another, more suitable goal. Of course Rimmer doesn't listen.
* GenderFlip: In the novel ''Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers'', he's a she -- the Captain here is a woman with the unfortunate surname [[Franchise/StarTrek Kirk]], but apart from the gender and name it's essentially the same character.
** Is also a woman in the U.S. pilot.
* HumiliationConga: "Pete" was ''written specifically'' to be an episode-long one for him. All the crap he goes through makes you feel like his {{Flanderization}} was justified.
* HypocriticalHumor: Denounces Rimmer's use of confidential files as sickening and unforgivable, but acknowledges that's how he became captain in the same log.
* PointyHairedBoss In series 8, it's revealed that Hollister bribed and blackmailed his way up to Captain Rank.
-->'''Hollister''': If the crew find out I'm really just "Dennis the Doughnut Boy", I'm finished.
* RaceLift: Is black in the American remake.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Seemed actually rather understanding and competent in the first two seasons, with him even showing significant magnanimity towards Rimmer after the latter insulted him. Unfortunately it seemed resurrection had the effect of removing his patience and reasonableness.

[[folder:Talkie Toaster]]
->'''Played By''': John Lenahan (1988); David Ross (1991, 2017)

A very minor, but very well-remembered, character, Talkie Toaster belongs to Lister, is equipped with artificial intelligence and, to the annoyance of everyone, completely obsessed with making toast. Was destroyed off-screen by Lister sometime during the first two series and rebuilt (with a completely different voice and appearance) by Kryten in Series IV.

* AscendedExtra: Talkie Toaster appears in only three episodes in the TV show, but plays an important and major part in the novel ''Better Than Life,'' and later went to do character interviews (complete with offers of toast) on the official Red Dwarf web page.
* TheBusCameBack: Returns in both "White Hole" and "Mechocracy".
* CatchPhrase: "Would you like some toast?" and endless variations thereof.
** Becomes a PreAssKickingOneLiner, of all things, in the books.
** "Howdy-doodly-doo!" becomes another one for whenever he's switched back on.
* DeadpanSnarker: In series one.
-->'''Lister:''' [The Cats]'re just using religion as an excuse to be extremely crappy towards each other.\\
'''Talkie Toaster:''' So, what else is new?
* ExactWords: If told not to ask about making toast, or anything even related to toast, the toaster can still find something else it can make.
-->'''Lister:''' Look, I don't want any toast, and he doesn't want any toast. In fact, no one around here wants any toast. Not now, not ever. No toast.
-->'''Toaster:''' How 'bout a muffin?
-->'''Lister:''' Or muffins. Or muffins. We don't like muffins around here. We want no muffins, no toast, no teacakes, no buns, baps, baguettes or bagels, no croissants, no crumpets, no pancakes, no potato cakes and no hot-cross buns and definitely no smegging flapjacks.
-->'''Toaster:''' Aah, so you're a waffle man.
* {{Flanderization}}: In his first appearance, he wanted a new career, saying being a toaster "is making me into a guy I don't like". In season 4, he's become a complete monomaniac who cares about toast and nothing else (except other toasted breakfast products). A possible explanation for this is the fact that Lister took a hammer to him and fed him into the waste disposal unit.
* HiddenDepths: From the sound of it, its Series I incarnation could sing pretty well.
* InsufferableGenius: To Lister's dismay.
* SkewedPriorities: When Holly becomes a certified genius who knows everything about everything, the toaster wastes her time asking her if she, a computer, wants some toast. It persists even when she figures out she's dying.
* TheresNoKillLikeOverkill: At some point between Series I and Series IV, Lister hit it with a lump hammer, and fed it into the waste disposal unit, reducing the toaster to several thousand pieces.

[[folder:Mr. Flibble]]
->'''Played By''': Chris Barrie (1992)

Another minor character who has achieved surprising fame despite his lack of screen time, Mr Flibble is a penguin hand puppet used by Rimmer when under the influence of a holovirus. Is known for his capacity to become very cross.

* AscendedExtra: Like the Toaster, he does interviews on the series' website.
* ConsultingMisterPuppet: He's the [[FormerTropeNamers Former Trope Namer]].
* RedEyesTakeWarning: When his eyes glow, he's about to use his hex vision.
* TalkingToHimself: In-universe as well as in reality.

[[folder:Kill Crazy]]
->'''Played By''': Jake Wood (1999)

A prisoner in ''Red Dwarf'''s brig who volunteers for the Canaries and accompanies the main characters on several suicide missions. He's quite unstable and longs for some action.

* AllThereInTheManual: His real name, according to the official website, is Oswald Blenkinsop. Even his Canaries uniform [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep lists him as Kill Crazy]].
* AxeCrazy: It's even in his name. Being cooped up in the Tank has done no favours for his sanity.
* BloodKnight: He and Baxter deliberately sabotage Lister and Rimmer's efforts to use the time wand so they can fight the T-Rex.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: Kill Crazy and Baxter both get turned into gorillas by the Time Wand. No-one's terribly concerned for them, but they eventually turn back to humans somehow.
* FieryRedhead: His red hair matches his violent temperament.
* HiddenDepths: He's able to reprogram Kryten, which is impressive considering that Kryten was built over a century after he originally died.
* LeeroyJenkins: Knocks himself out on a mission with the Canaries before he even leaves the diving bell.

[[folder:Hogey The Roguey]]
->'''Played By''': Richard O'Callaghan (2012)

A rogue droid appearing in Series X episode "The Beginning", though unlike other insane robots he doesn't seem overly bothered about actually killing the Dwarfers. He's more interested in trying to convince them to take part in [[RunningGag duels across time and space]].

* AffablyEvil: The main reason he seems to be trailing the Dwarfers is because of sheer ''boredom'', and the Dwarfers themselves are not threatened by his presence whatsoever.
* CanonImmigrant: Of sorts. He was originally meant to be a character in the ill-fated movie, and ended up in ''The Beginning'' thanks to it being partially based on an early draft of the film script.
* CatchPhrase: "Joo keeledz my bruzzer!"
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:Quite literally; his gun proves pivotal to the plot.]]
* FriendlyEnemy: The main reason he's challenging them to duels across time and space is because they're both really bored and they serve as a distraction to the tedium. The sad thing is, even these death-defying duels have become routine.
* SciFiWritersHave/NoSenseOfDistance: He offers the dwarfers a cloth map that apparently shows every planet, derelict and wormhole in the galaxy, despite being smaller than a sheet of A4 paper.
* RememberTheNewGuy: The Dwarfers have met him before but he's never appeared or been mentioned in any earlier episodes.
* YouKilledMyFather: Hogey claims Lister killed his brother (Lister denies it), and uses it regularly as an excuse to initiate his requests for duels.


[[folder: The Inquisitor]]
->'''Played By:''' Jack Docherty (1992)

An extremely powerful simulant who, according to legend, survived to the end of time itself. Concluding that there was no God or afterlife, and that the only purpose of existence is to lead a worthwhile life, he embarks on a mission to judge everyone who has ever lived. Those he deems to have wasted the gift of life are erased from existence, and replaced with people who weren't fortunate enough to be conceived. Unsurprisingly, this includes numerous members of the ''Red Dwarf'' crew.

* AxCrazy: By virtue of being a [[RoboticPsychopath simulant]].
* DemonicPossession: He communicates through Lister when the crew are on ''Starbug''.
* {{The Dreaded}}: Kryten is terrified of him. Rimmer and Cat soon follow.
* FrickinLaserBeams: One of his time gaunlet's abilities is a disintegrator ray which fries people.
* TheFundamentalist: To the point of believing that what he does is "glorious work".
* GutturalGrowler: Originally, his actor went with NoIndoorVoice, but this didn't really work so he tried a growling voice instead.
* HealingFactor: As a self-repairing simulant, he can regenerate hands with no problem.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:"The old backfirin' Time Gauntlet trick!"]]
* ImplacableMan: Gets his hand chopped off with a [[LaserBlade laser]] [[ChainsawGood chainsaw]]. Stops him for approximately two seconds. See HealingFactor.
* JudgeJuryAndExecutioner: He's appointed himself as this to everyone in existence. He puts them on trial and deletes the ones he finds unworthy.
* {{Knight of Cerebus}}: He has no comical traits and is treated very seriously. And from his debut episode onward, the show get progressively {{Darker and Edgier}}.
* KnightTemplar: Firmly believes that he is doing the universe a favor, and that anyone who opposes him is getting in the way of a righteous mission.
* PhysicalGod: Has an array of quasi-supernatural powers to go with his self-appointed role.
** RealityWarper: Able to create chains out of thin air.
* RapidAging: He ages Lister to an old man after turning him into a child.
* RetGone: The fate of anyone he deems unworthy of living, [[spoiler: and ultimately himself, retgonning his retgones]].
* RuleOfSymbolism: He appears with a blinding light, judges people from a throne, and delivers "judgement" with his left hand.
* ShapeShifting: Everyone is judged by him/herself to ensure a fair trial.
* SuperStrength: By the time he's finished with him, Kryten's head is about a quarter of the width it should be...
* TimeStandsStill: During the judgements, he freezes the rest of the gang.
* [[TrickedOutGloves Tricked Out Glove]]: The Time Gauntlet.
* {{Violent Glaswegian}}: Speaks with a slight Scottish accent.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: His goal is to give those who are most worthy of life a chance to live.

[[folder: Hudzen 10]]
->'''Played By:''' Gordon Kennedy (1989)

An android who arrives as Kryten's replacement. Unfortunately, the time spent alone on his journey have taken their toll on his sanity.

* {{Ax Crazy}}: After thousands of years alone, Hudzen is homicidal and relentless.
* DissonantSerenity: He begins singing a lullaby while advancing menacingly towards the crew while pumping his shotgun.
* FamousLastWords: "Calculators... just... die?"
* GoMadFromTheIsolation: Three million years alone have worn out his sanity chip.
* GroinAttack: Inverted. In the informercial advertising him, Hudzen uses his groinal socket to ''break a brick in half''.
* GutturalGrowler: He speaks in a low growl. Justified in that the actor wanted to cover up his Scottish accent.
* {{Implacable Man}}: {{No Sell}}s a shotgun blast at point blank range.
* LogicBomb: Kryten defeats him by telling him that Silicon Heaven doesn't exist.
* LoopholeAbuse: Hudzen is programmed not to attack humans. Rimmer is a hologram of a human, and Lister, in Hudzen's eyes barely counts as human, so "what the hell".
* NoSell: Takes a blast at point blank range from Lister's shotgun. He doesn't even flinch.
* ShotgunsAreJustBetter: Carries a shotgun with one hand as he arrives on the Dwarf.

[[folder: Epideme]]
->'''Played By:''' Gary Martin (1997)

A virus that Lister becomes infected with. A rival to the nicotine patch, it instead kills its victims. It's actually sentient and the crew patch in the universal translator to try and reason with it.

* AffablyEvil: Sure, he's a virus, but he is willing to communicate with the crew, even filling in gaps in Kryten's knowledge.
-->'''Epideme:''' C'mon, you've caught a virus. It's fatal, it happens. Doesn't mean we can't be friends.
* GoneHorriblyWrong: He was created as a rival to the nicotine patch. In theory, the virus was supposed to block the body's craving for nicotine. In practice, the need for blood and oxygen is blocked instead.
* GrandTheftMe: After he kills his victim, he hijacks the corpse and uses it to infect his next victim. When he can't find anyone, he freezes the body until someone comes along.
* LargeHam: Since one of the fields of knowledge he's absorbed is tv theme tunes, he's obsessed with acting like a television announcer and acts like he's introducing a long running show.
* LaughablyEvil: He constantly makes jokes and talks like an overenthusiastic gameshow host.
* PopCulturedBadass: Thanks to absorbing so much knowledge, Kryten asks him to fill him in on the fourth Marx Brother.
* PowerCopying: He absorbs knowledge from every person he infects. Quantum mechanics, sub-molecular biology and tv theme tunes are just some of his fields of expertise. He notes that killing Lister isn't exactly a career highlight, since the only thing he picks up from Lister is the knowledge on how to open a lager bottle with his anus.

[[folder: Legion]]
->'''Played By:''' Nigel Williams (1993)

A gestalt entity that imprisons the Dwarfers on his station. Made up of their combined intellects, he requires company to be anything but a mindless essence.

* AffablyEvil: While he is the main antagonist of the episode he appears in, it can't be said that he's not a great host. He gives Rimmer a HardLight drive, removes Lister's appendix to cure his peritonitis and gives each of the crew [[GildedCage quarters suited to their personalities]] as well as feeding them top notch food. Lister notes that when he writes his "Good Psycho Guide" that he is going to give Legion raves with a rating of four-and-a-half chainsaws.
* AllYourPowersCombined: When several people are around him and conscious, he gains all their memories, personalities and abilities. Every one of these is magnified, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. When a group is reduced to one conscious person, he simply becomes that person, something Kryten uses to defeat him.
* CompositeCharacter: In universe. He is a combination of everyone who is on board his research station. When he started out, he was composed of the most brilliant minds of the 23rd century. As a result, he created artistic masterpieces and technological wonders, such as the HardLight drive. When they died, he became nothing until the Dwarfers arrived.
* {{Mask of Sanity}}: Legion initially is calm and pleasant. After the truth comes out, he also admits he's got the gang's malice and neuroses, "magnified many times". Fittingly, this reveal comes after his mask is knocked off.
* PowerCopying: He gains the combined personalities and memories of everyone on board his research station.
* ShareTheMalePain: He threatens a GroinAttack with a scalpel after displaying his power to hurt the Dwarfers by stabbing himself in the hand.

[[folder: Dwayne Dibbley]]
->'''Played By:''' Danny John-Jules (1992, 1993, 1998, 1999)

The Cat's dorky alter ego, he first appeared in "Back To Reality" and then showed up in various ways over the years, including the ''Can't Smeg, Won't Smeg'' special.

* AscendedExtra: He started out as The Cat's polar opposite for "Back To Reality" who had played the AR simulation game as The Cat to play someone cool. He was so popular with fans that he was brought back as The Cat minus his cool in "Emohawk: Polymorph II", a disguise he wears in "Back In The Red" and as Rimmer's cooking partner in the "Can't Smeg, Won't Smeg" special after Cat himself refused to team up with Rimmer.
* AlliterativeName: '''D'''wayne '''D'''ibbley. Even the sound of it is dorky.
* BlackAndNerdy: He's this way partly as a counterpoint to the cool of The Cat and partly because ''Red Dwarf'''s creative team felt that this trope wasn't common enough.
* BritishTeeth: According to The Cat, they could be used by druids as a place of worship.
* EvenNerdsHaveStandards: Described as being so nerdy he wouldn't be allowed at a science-fiction convention.
* TheKlutz: When the Cat becomes him in "Emohawk: Polymorph II", he keeps knocking things over and inadvertently freezes his crewmates after they defeat the Emohawk.
* NiceGuy: To the point [[TheAce Ace Rimmer]] can't bring himself to do a MercyKill on him.

[[folder: Warden Ackerman]]
-> '''Played By:''' Graham [=MacTavish=] (1999)

The sadistic warden of the Tank, he sets out to make life hell for the Dwarfers during their two year stint.

* BaldOfEvil: He's bald and is the closest the series has ever had to a recurring antagonist.
* ButtMonkey: He's been the victim of several pranks by inmates, such as having his glass eye stolen, being [[SlippingAMickey dosed]] with TruthSerum and [[RagingStiffie anti impotence drugs]] and having his quarters vandalised. To stress how much this trope applies, in most of these cases ''Rimmer'' was involved.
* CampStraight: His GirlyRun and generally camp way of speaking belie his status as a ChickMagnet. This was a ThrowItIn by his actor that somehow makes him seem even more disturbing.
* ChickMagnet: At least two women offscreen have been involved with him, one of whom was married to the science officer.
* ColdHam: He's quite dramatic, if calm when giving his intake speech to new prisoners.
* CoolShades: He wears them in "Krytie TV" to disguise the fact that his glass eye has been stolen.
* IronicNickname: His nickname of "Nicey" [[{{Jerkass}} is a misnomer]] and quite possibly self-applied.
* {{Jerkass}}: He deliberately makes life hell for the inmates and is described by Lister as "horrible".
* RagingStiffie: Thanks to the Dwarfers [[SlippingAMickey spiking the halftime juice of the guards]] during a basketball game, he and his thugs are forced to play the second half with erections.
* WhatBeautifulEyes: His date describes his eyes as being his loveliest feature. He rants that if he goes missing an eyes "THEN I'M ONLY HALF LOVELY!"

[[folder: Pree]]
-> '''Played By:''' Rebecca Blackstone (2012)

A computer salvaged by the crew from a derelict, which they install aboard ''Red Dwarf'' to replace Holly. She has predictive functionality, which allows her to predict what the crew would do and perform that task without needing to consult them.

* AIIsACrapshoot: Her predictive function allows her to anticipate what her ship's crew would do in any given situation and perform the task as such. Unfortunately, since the crew are so incompetent, she basically screws up jobs for them before they get the chance to do it themselves. [[spoiler: Lister manages to exploit this and gets her to delete herself.]]
* BuxomIsBetter: We don't get to see, since she appears as a head and shoulders onscreen, but Rimmer orders Kryten to install large breasts on her.
* MissionControlIsOffItsMeds: She basically takes over the ship and runs it as incompetently as the regular crew but with far more efficient incompetence than they could possibly manage on their own. She also evicts Lister into the vacuum of space when he resigns from the crew and loses his oxygen privileges as a result and then sets Red Dwarf on a collision course with the nearest star in a mission she calls "Operation Sizzle".
* MotorMouth: Combined with CreepyMonotone, she speaks in a rather fast manner that's quite unsettling.


[[folder: Adolf Hitler]]
-> '''Played By:''' [[CharacterAsHimself Adolf Hitler]] (1989), Kenneth Hadley (1991), Ryan Gage (2017)

The leader of the runners-up of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, Adolf Hitler has racked up enough appearances on the show to qualify as a recurring character in various forms.

* AdolfHitlarious: This being ''Red Dwarf'', his appearances are PlayedForLaughs in such situations as Lister stealing his briefcase or playing guitar with him.
* BigBad: He's the leader of the evil faction on Waxworld in "Meltdown". [[GeneralRipper Not that Rimmer ends up being much better]].
* {{Camp}}: In "Cured", he's hilariously campy.
* CharacterAsHimself: In "Timeslides", he appears in the form of stock footage with Lister appearing at his Nuremburg speech to denounce him. He's even credited as "Tonight's Guest Star" in the opening titles.
* EvilIsHammy: Hitler in real life was well known for being over the top and the droid incarnations are no different. The evil part is subverted in "Cured", where he's {{Camp}}, but not actually evil [[spoiler: because he's just a pawn of [[MadScientist Professor Telford]].]]
* RoboticReveal: In "Meltdown" and "Cured", he's actually a droid.
* NotSoDifferent: In "Cured", he notes that he's a failed art college student and plays guitar, just like Lister.
* YouDontLookLikeYou: Lampshaded in "Cured" by [[MadScientist Professor Telford]], who asks the Dwarfers how they didn't realise that Hitler doesn't look much like Hitler.