- The first two series' title music is very reminiscent of Also sprach Zarathustra, and the sequence is in line with scenes from 2001: A Space Odyssey that use said music. The name Holly is a Shout-Out to 2001's HAL, too, as is the fact that Holly, or "Hol" as Lister sometimes calls him, refers to David Lister as "Dave." (In the radio sketch series Dave Hollins, Space Cadet on which the series is based, the computer was known as 'Hab'.) As is, eventually in series 7, Holly says: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
- The opening sequence of the first two series, in which the camera zooms out from Lister painting the Red Dwarf's hull to reveal the entire ship, most closely resembles the establishing shot of the Valley Forge in Silent Running.
- The "NORWEB" joke was actually lifted from the 1985 pilot of The Space Gypsy Adventures. It also happened to Dave Hollis in the show's radio precursor, Son of Cliché. Opinion is divided as to which came first.
- Speaking of music, Ace "What a guy!" Rimmer's theme in "Dimension Jump" could very well be a shout out to "Take My Breath Away" from Top Gun. A different theme was used in "Stoke Me A Clipper".
- There's a Shout-Out to Die Hard 2 in "DNA"; Lister exclaims "How can the same smeg happen to the same guy twice?" after he is attacked yet again by his favorite foods. The Cat responds "Last time it was hors d'oeuvres, this time it's lunch!" referencing the film poster tagline for Aliens.
- Queeg's name (and most of his episode's plot) is a shout out to The Caine Mutiny.
- The episode "Backwards" mentions a mysterious bankrobber named Michael Ellis.
- "Backwards", in which the space-future protagonists visit present-day Earth in a green spaceship modelled on an animal and equipped with a cloaking device, contains several nods to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, in which the space-future protagonists visit present-day Earth in a green spaceship modelled on an animal and equipped with a cloaking device.
- The in-universe TV show Androids has a theme song that sounds suspiciously like the long-running Australian soap drama, Neighbours. The android actors even have Australian accents, and one of the show's producers is named Kylie Gwenlan, as both a nod to former Neighbours star Kylie Minogue, and as an insult to one of the producers who rejected the series before it broke through."Androids, everybody needs good Androids...."
- In "The Last Day", Hudzen 10's name is likely a shout out to Hudson, the butler in the original Upstairs Downstairs.
- In Series X, the uniforms of the Space Corps are reminiscent of those seen in the later Star Trek series.
- In Series Four, the uniforms worn - especially by Rimmer - appear identical to the Spectrum uniforms worn in the Gerry Anderson puppet series, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. note When Rimmer famously becomes a munchkin puppet in a later show, is this a callback? Lampshaded when Lister and Rimmer swap bodies:Lister in Rimmer's body: This hat's smegging stupid. It makes me look like Captain Emerald
- Ace Rimmer takes on Those Wacky Nazis in an Action Prologue taken straight from a James Bond movie. The Big Bad even tells Ace "No, Mr. Rimmer, I expect you to die!"
- The Creator lives the Tyrell building from Blade Runner, which is now located in the centre of London. In fact, the Creator freely admits that most of Back to Earth is an homage to Blade Runner in one way or another.
- Bear in mind that at the end of the original Alien movie, the only two survivors on the ship are a human and a cat, and they end the movie by going into stasis. Sure, Cat in Red Dwarf is actually only a descendant of Lister's original cat, but still...
- A more recent one from series X: The other two members of Lister's love triangle in "Dear Dave" are named Roy and Hayley. This is a nod to the well-loved couple from Coronation Street, where Craig Charles played Lloyd Mullaney.
- Kryten is named after the title character from The Admirable Crichton, which revolves around a shipwreck and the day being saved by Crichton the butler.
- Starbug's cockpit strongly resembles that of the Millenium Falcon, albeit more spacious.
- Rimmer's death scene echoes the "Rosebud" scene from Citizen Kane, complete with the smashed snowglobe. Interestingly, in the same episode, Rimmer takes Lister's statement that he's watching Citizen Kane at face value, when it's blatantly a cartoon.
- One of the three skeletal female crewmembers on the Nova 5 is named Jane Air.
- Lister's cat being named Frankenstein is a reference to "Another Saturday Night" by Sam Cooke.
- In "Polymorph", a fear-drained Lister tells the rest of the crew, "It's clobberin' time!"
- Dangerous Dan McGrew, Rimmer's character in "Gunmen of the Apocalypse," is named for a poem by Robert Service.
- In "Back In The Red Part III" the claymation world section of the simulation is modeled after the setting of Pingu.
Shout Out / Red Dwarf