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Recap / Red Dwarf Season II Thanks For The Memory

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Airdate: 20 September 1988

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It is Saturday night and Rimmer's death-day, and a party is arranged for him on a planetoid they encountered with a breathable atmosphere. Back on Red Dwarf, Rimmer drunkenly confides to Lister about his one single solitary sexual encounter with Yvonne McGruder, the ship's female boxing champion, and tells Lister that, although it is entirely his own fault for deciding to put his career over his personal life: "I would trade it all in. All of it — my pips, my long-service medals, my swimming certificates, my telescope, my shoe-trees. I would trade everything in to be loved, and to have been in love."

The following morning, Lister and Cat both wake up with a broken leg each. Lister's jigsaw puzzle has been magically solved, the star charts Holly has been mapping have been messed with, the clocks all show the day as Thursday rather than Sunday, four pages have been torn out of Lister's diary, and the ship's black box is missing. Rimmer suspects aliens, which is regarded with skepticism by Lister and Cat. They trace the black box's signal to a barren airless moon, where they first find what appears to be a giant footprint and then come across a gravestone reading "To the memory of the memory of Lise Yates" - Lister reveals that Lise Yates was one of his ex-girlfriends back on Earth. The black box is buried in the shallow grave marked by the headstone — the rest of the episode consists of them watching the videos of what happened over the missing days.

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"Thanks For The Memory" contains examples of:

  • ...But He Sounds Handsome: Holly appears on a recording Holly doesn't remember making (the crew's memories were erased). Initially, he comments, "Nice-looking bloke," and then when the recorded Holly tells them to pause the recording, he does so, because he "Knows what he's talking about, that dude."
  • Early Installment Weirdness: For Rimmer to go outside he needs to be projected in a 'hologram cage' but he doesn't need to do this later on.
  • Fake Shemp: Production manager Mike Agnew played Lister in the location footage, as Craig Charles had to attend the birth of his son. Thankfully, he's wearing a spacesuit, though the plaster cast couldn't fit Agnew's foot as he had bigger feet than Craig's — a close look at the episode would reveal that there are several frames in the episode where neither the Cat nor Lister (stood in by Agnew) had casts.
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  • Heel Realization: Rimmer's bewilderment about why "he" dumped Lise Yates makes Lister realize what an idiot he was for doing so.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Rimmer's deduction that the mysterious injuries are an alien greeting goes like this. Getting your leg hurts like hell, it happens belo the knee, it happens to two people... and the finished puzzle must mean "you." Hello to you!
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: 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.
  • Masochist's Meal: Lister's hangover meal: a triple-fried egg sandwich with chili sauce and chutneynote , which has to be eaten before the bread dissolves and came from a book on bacteriological warfare.
  • Memory Gambit: Lister gives Rimmer a memory of an ex-girlfriend as a gift after Rimmer reveals he only had sex once. It doesn't take long for it to unravel.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Trying to give Rimmer a happy memory results in Rimmer being more miserable than ever before.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Lister looks in on what Rimmer is dreaming. Rimmer is doing a tap dance in a top hat and tails, but no trousers.
  • Pass the Popcorn: The crew are watching a surveillance recording of the four days erased from their memories. When Rimmer learns what Lister did during those four days, he is aghast:
    Rimmer: How could you do this to me?! It's the most heartbreakingly tragic thing it's ever been my misfortune to witness!
    Cat: Popcorn?
  • Plot Hole: Lister's attempt to make a "gift" of the memories of one his love affairs to Rimmer introduces several of these into Rimmer's life.
    Rimmer: That's why I was an orphan when both my parents were still alive. That's why I had my appendix out twice.
    • Ironically, this in turn creates a plot hole in a later episode, Legion, where Lister has his appendix removed again, by the titular character. The writers Hand Waved this by explaining that Lister, being a freak of nature, was born with two appendixes. Fridge Brilliance suggests that the appendix was probably restored when Lister was transformed from human to chicken to hamster and back again in the episode D.N.A.
  • Spotting the Thread: The broken legs and the completed jigsaws lead the Dwarfers to the realisation something is missing.
  • Take That!: According to Holly, there's a perfectly logical explanation for everything - with the possible exception of little Jimmy Osmond.
  • Tastes Better Than It Looks: Rimmer's ultimate summation of the fried egg-chili sauce-chutney sandwich; despite it being a "cross between food and bowel surgery", it's actually surprisingly yummy and he honestly enjoys it, even saying that the sandwich symbolises how, despite his many individual annoying elements, Lister is still a really likable guy.
    • Hardcore fans who've replicated the sandwich in reality have reported that it genuinely does taste much nicer than it sounds.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: A sober variety, of Rimmer waking up and doing his morning exercise while humming the Reveille. First flashback is him getting smashed, nothing too big, it was the anniversary of his death, after all. The second flashback is him eating that sandwich Lister recommended. Yeah, fair enough, it wasn't that bad. The third, however, is him telling his one time having had sex to Lister of all people. Oh, noooooo. Note that Rimmer being fully sober is the first sign of things being different.
  • You Do NOT Want to Know: Holly leaves a warning on the black box to not look at it under any circumstances, because they'll only regret it. (They do it anyway.)

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