Jokes you don't/didn't get

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    i know there’s the thing of “the joke isn’t funny if you explain it” but were there ever gags in Red Dwarf you didn’t get? and if so, what?

    i never quite got what Cat’s “stan and ollie” line in White Hole was about, for example. nor did i get what “see you in ten minutes?” (repeat x10) from Pete was all about, and also Rimmer’s “steers and queers, which are you boy?” joke from Meltdown



    “I believe he’s just discovered what shirt-tails are for”.


    International Debris

    Stan and Ollie are Laurel and Hardy, comparing Kryten and Rimmer to a pair of buffoons.
    See you in ten minutes is Doug stumbling around trying to find a joke and failing.


    Pete Part Three

    “Steers and Queers” :

    (It’s either a specific reference to Full Metal Jacket, or an Officer and a Gentlemen. Probably both; bearing in mind it quickly became tropey dialogue for line-up inspections).

    Stan and Ollie are Laurel and Hardy. It’s the Cat taking the piss out of Kryten and Rimmer by referring to them as a comedy double act.

    “See You in 10 minutes” is how longs Hollister thinks it will be before Lister and Rimmer fuck up again and get sent to his office. This is the limit of the joke. It is shit.


    Pete Part Three

    Ben Saunders

    “See you in 10 minutes” is just a bad example of Doug’s “if I repeat something 10,000 times it will be funny” crutch which you see in Krysis and the like. It’s only a very slightly humorous way for the boys to mess with Hollister with the time wand, and the best aspect of the whole thing is watching Big Mac McDonald’s have to say the same line over and over and over again, with him becoming noticeably bored/almost corpsing.

    I think I’ve said this before but I’d never heard of Tales of the Riverbank as a child so I didn’t “get” the joke, and just thought it was made up for the show, and that having made-up TV shows in Dwarf was just really good worldbuilding.


    Ben Saunders

    Any reference to 80s culture and stuff like James Last etc also went right over my head. And the joke about not wanting Glenn Miller(?) back, I distinctly remember my reaction being utter silence



    Wasn’t “see you in 10 minutes” meant to be the original ending to the episode, back when it was a one-part story called “Captain’s Office”?



    i remember getting the Glen Miller joke when i was younger, but most of the James Last stuff i didn’t get- i still laughed at the “Oh my god there’s James Last” from Meltdown though because even without knowing who he is, it still works as a joke.

    >you see in Krysis

    was incredibly confused as to what this was for a second, then i remembered that “maaaaargh” shit



    >Wasn’t “see you in 10 minutes” meant to be the original ending to the episode, back when it was a one-part story called “Captain’s Office”?

    yeah, i think that’s what the VIII DVD booklet says.


    International Debris

    See you in 10 minutes would probably have worked a lot better as an episode-ending joke rather than yet another thing to slow down an already tedious story.

    “Maaargh” works for me because it’s something with a certain intrinsic humour (it’s a funny sound and there’s no noticeable difference between the versions), so the ‘repeating it until it stops being funny and then becomes funny again’ thing has the opportunity to work. “See you in 10 minutes” isn’t funny in the first place.


    Ben Saunders

    It happens a couple times in the Dave era but fuck me if I can remember any of them. For me maaargh is funny to begin with, stops being funny, then just becomes a bit irritating.

    “And save Planet Rimmer” is another example I think of a joke just being repeated 27 times


    International Debris

    “And save Planet Rimmer” is something that I really feel should be funny, but misses the mark for some inexplicable reason. Maybe Chris overplays it.



    he seems to overplay a lot of his lines in the Dave episodes though, doesn’t he?

    one that really stood out to me was his borderline cartoonish delivery of “I’ve got FLAWS?” in Officer Rimmer


    Ben Saunders

    Barrie is on absolute top form here and there in XI and XII but also overplays a few moments, like those ones. And “you’re a moron”



    Quite a lot of the 80s references missed me, even though I was alive at the time and first watched Dwarf as an adult. Think it’s mostly footballing stuff that passed me by, like Peter Beardsley.



    Good old is there for all your reference-getting needs (up to December 1997).

    Or you could just have googled “stan and ollie,” “steers and queers” etc.



    I remember not knowing who Paul Robeson was, or that Ishtar is considered to be one of the worst films ever made. Just maybe the Ishtar line was removed for Remastered because Doug saw the film and liked it.



    one other joke i didn’t get was in an episode of VII (i can’t remember which, they all sort of blend into one) where kochanski moans about how she hates being stuck with some “neurotic droid who’s completely obsessed with my pants drawer!” to which kryten responds “you mean I’m not alone?” what does this mean? is kryten being really self-deprecating or is there actually another android onboard going around perving over kochanski’s knickers?


    Ben Saunders

    The joke is him not noticing/recognising he is being called neurotic, surely?



    Kryten does say “Oh I see, you mean me” afterwards but it’s a bit hard to hear over the audience, who are laughing for some reason.


    International Debris

    For a long time, I thought “smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast” was just a bit of lolrandom nonsense. It took me a long time to work out that actually it means “even though I’m plunging into danger, I’m so good I’ll be back in time for breakfast, so make me some smoked kippers please”.


    Ben Saunders

    I think “stoke me a clipper” is something you can actually do, like stoking the flames of a lighter (?) And it took me until about last year to realise that

    It’s still a dumb line. But if it didn’t draw attention to itself by being the title of the episode it probably wouldn’t stick out as much.


    Pete Part Three

    I didn’t know what “rimming” was until Doug changed the title of “Natural Born Rimmers” because it sounded naughty. Oh, the irony.


    Pete Part Three

    Pretty sure “stoke me a clipper” is just nonsense, by the way.


    Ben Saunders

    It can mean add fuel to a lighter but whether it was intended to be sensical, probably not



    Yeah, my whole family smokes and we use that phrase about 20 times daily.



    With or without the Christmas bit?



    Since I read Clipper’s title as a nipper, I’ve associated it with the abstract concept of bicycle clips, because those were a thing I’d heard referenced disparagingly a couple of times in Dwarf (Dimension Jump, Only the Good). I’ve only just learned what they are.

    I didn’t know what a haggis was when I first watched Balance of Power, I thought it was probably a type of fish (haddock?) Even now I’ve lived in Scotland and eaten many haggi, I still imagine Rimmer’s counting up irradiated fish.

    I didn’t realise Blue Midget was a joke/pun until it was discussed here recently. I’d always known a red dwarf was a type of star because of my Weetabix space book, so I assumed blue midgets and white giants were probably legit star classifications too and never questioned it.



    I’ve always taken ‘stoke me a clipper’ as a malapropism. Nothing more complicated than Rimmer fucking up the line.



    “We got more chance of persuading a dentist to hang around an X ray machine.” Eh?


    Flap Jack

    “We got more chance of persuading a dentist to hang around an X ray machine.” Eh?

    I can’t imagine what caused you to remember this line in particular, clem. :P

    The joke (for want of a better term) is just that if you get your mouth X-rayed during a dentist appointment, the dentist will leave the room while it’s happening. That’s it.



    Right, thanks Flap Jack. I knew that but foolishly thought there had to be more to it. I dunno, maybe Cat’s saying dentists are hypocrites for subjecting their patients to X rays but not themselves. You know, the way the Cat’s always coming out with that kind of withering put-down about dentists.


    Ben Saunders

    Has Cat Ever Been To The Dentist

    I guess he went to the medi-bot in X maybe


    Flap Jack

    He might have gone as early as Future Echoes, given what happens to him in that episode.

    Though no virtual or robotic dentist would need to leave the room when the x-ray is being taken, so it still doesn’t make sense. The only explanation is that one of the others told him about it for some reason, or he saw it in a TV show or film. Maybe he binge-watched My Family.

    The real explanation, of course, is that Series VIII would just give random one-liners to whomever. Doesn’t really matter if it’s something the character might actually say.

    Also it was cut so does it really count?



    cat watches a lot of TV shows according to Back In The Red (he mentions it in the trial scene) so maybe he’s just picked it up from there



    idea- cat started watched the movie Blade Runner shortly before the events of Back To Earth, thus explaining all the references to it. TV shows no longer do it for him and he has moved on to films


    Pete Part Three

    Yes, he probably watched a shit sitcom episode where this unfunny observation was made.



    cat has been watching a lot of Red Dwarf



    >Good old is there for all your reference-getting needs (up to December 1997).

    It’s quite interesting reading through this. It’s astounding just how many general cultural references there are. It’s a wonder that foreign markets ‘get’ RD, considering how many jokes rely on having a minimal amount of UK knowledge.

    Maybe that’s why 8 is popular overseas, it has more accessible broad jokes, rather than quips about Felicity Kendal’s bottom.


    Taiwan Tony

    >Felicity Kendal’s bottom

    If you’ve got ANYTHING to say about Felicity Kendal’s bottom, you can just about blummin well say it to me, first!



    >Maybe that’s why 8 is popular overseas

    VIII is more popular overseas? not trying to be a dick or anything, i’m just wondering where you heard about that



    I don’t think you really need to know who Felicity Kendall is to get the basic meaning of the joke though. Same with most of the references.

    Speaking as an ignorant Canadian here.


    Flap Jack

    Seconded. I had no idea who Kevin Keegan was when I first saw Series 1 (other than having the vague feeling that he was a genuine famous person), but the idea that the worst book ever written as of hundreds of years in the future – as judged quasi-objectively by an AI – would be such an ordinary one is brilliant.

    It’s basically just a variation on the Hitchhiker’s joke that the worst poetry in the universe was just written by some random guy from Essex. In that case, the person named wasn’t really famous either, so it especially didn’t matter when later versions anonymised the name.

    Though the update to the Kevin Keegan gag did ruin it, but that was because (a) they tried to make the new name inherently funny rather funny because of how ordinary it is, and (b) they made the football reference deliberately Sci-Fi-ish; it’s not because the author was no longer real.



    I knew who Kevin Keegan was (he visited my school once), but I always took the gag to be a specific dig at a real and recent celebrity best-seller, generally perceived to be not especially well-written.

    But googling and using the Red Dwarf reference guide, it looks like they made it up. The bloody book doesn’t exist. Or it just hasn’t stood the test of time and is now only remembered as a Red Dwarf joke.



    there is a book called Football- It’s A Funny Old Game, its just not by kevin keegan


    International Debris

    I think knowing who Kevin Keegan is probably adds a layer to it – there’s something about him which invites a certain idea of naffness – but yeah, the main joke is that ‘Football – it’s a Funny Old Game’ is a bit of a crap title for probably a bit of a dull book, and it’s been concluded that it’s the worst book ever written.


    Pete Part Three

    Kev obviously don’t write it for another 5 years. It’s around the time Cliff Richard gets shot.


    Ben Saunders

    The name of the author never even registered to me honestly, the punchline of “football – it’s a funny old game” is funny enough to me and I probably laughed over the author


    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    there is a book called Football- It’s A Funny Old Game, its just not by kevin keegan

    I used to have it – it was by Saint and Greavsie.



    “I’m so gorgeous, there’s a 6-month waiting list for birds to suddenly appear every time I am near.”

    is Cat talking about legit birds here (feathery flying things) or is he referring to women using slang? Bottom Live 3 did this bird/bird confusion as a joke I think


    Plastic Percy

    It’s the lyrics to ‘Close to You’ by The Carpenters.

    Why do birds suddenly appear
    Every time you are near?
    Just like me, they long to be
    Close to you.



    ohhhh, i’ve heard that song before! no idea why i didn’t realise the connection


    International Debris

    I’d like to be an arse and point out that the Carpenters version, while the most famous recording of the song, came out seven years after the first recording of the song by Richard Chamberlain. It’s a Bacharach & David song. And a bloody great one at that.

    It’s also one of those jokes that’s utterly terrible and utterly brilliant at the same time.


    Taiwan Tony

    Why do birds!
    Why do
    Why do

    Well you get the idea.


    Pete Part Three

    Let’s just post it for Bloodteller.


    Flap Jack

    I’d like to formally thank the Simpsons episode “The Way We Was” for obliterating any possible barrier I could have had to understanding that Cat line.


    Ben Saunders

    Isn’t it in Austin Powers 1? But yes, I think the Simpsons episode was my first exposure to it.



    > It’s also one of those jokes that’s utterly terrible and utterly brilliant at the same time.

    That is basically the entire comedic potential of the Cat as a character in one sentence.




    You know, someone should really post that clip from I’m Alan Partridge where he sings it.


    Pete Part Three

    It’s not in Austin Powers, Ben. It’s a Burt Bacharach/Hal David collaboration though, and has a similar composition to their songs; “What the World Needs Now”. (featured in Austin Powers IMOM) and “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” (featured in TSWSM).

    It is in There’s Something About Mary though, just in case you were mixing up 1990’s Hollywood comedies.


    Ben Saunders

    Nah I was definitely mixing it up with What The World Needs Now, which to be fair has a very similar melodic structure, at least to begin with


    Ben Saunders

    “Rubber shares went up this morning” always went right over my head when i was young. Is it implying Ace uses a lot of condoms or is it about his jumpsuits or what? I felt it’s a very funny line delivered well even before i could begin to get it.


    Pete Part Three

    Condoms. Or “Rubber Johnnys” as we called them back in the day.


    Flap Jack

    Specifically, it’s that everyone is panic-buying condoms when they hear Ace Rimmer is back, just in case they have the opportunity to fuck him.

    It’s not about Ace’s personal prophylactic usage, because then it would be a joke about his libido, rather than a joke about how attractive he is.



    >Specifically, it’s that everyone is panic-buying condoms when they hear Ace Rimmer is back, just in case they have the opportunity to fuck him.

    are the condoms for Ace to wear or for the people buying them?



    The way the stock markets work, it’s not necessarily that extra purchases have been made so much as the market expects extra purchases to be made (or even – depending on how far you take it – that the market expects the market to expect extra purchases to be made, and so on). So the condom sales may only be theoretical/expected.

    I think the joke definitely warrants this level of analysis.


    Flap Jack

    That very much depends on the person, and the outcome of a discussion that they and Ace would have beforehand.



    What even more depressing to think about, is that the people speculating on rubber stocks will have their lives ruined within 24hours. After they have plunged all their investment savings in rubber/latex/condom companies, Ace buggers off on a one way trip to explore the multi-verse.

    Share prices would plummet on that news and everyone would lose out.

    Now I was a spin off showing the dystopian world left behind in the wake of Ace vanishing and the planet/solar system’s economy crashing over night.

    Also, something I’ve always wondered and will bring up now as it’s tangentially on subject. What the sodding hell is the point of test flying a dimension jumping ship if there is no way of knowing it succeeded? They lose their best pilot, they lose a massively expensive piece of prototype kit, and they basically lose the millions/billions spent on it because if they don’t know the success, or how to return it, they have no reason to carry on with the experiment. They certainly wouldn’t get any further funding after throwing it all way like that.

    Know one would test dive a submarine knowing you couldn’t resurface it again. If it doesn’t resurface then you know there is a problem, but there at least has to be the mechanism built in to get it back, then you know you’ve failed.

    By shooting Ace off into the multi-verse without a mechanism of retrieval, all they know is he has vanished.


    Ben Saunders

    Well if he vanishes i assume they assume he made it? They might have don’t support sciencey equipmemt to detect hawking radiation or tachyons or whatever they expect to be emitted from a successful jump

    The people who test space rockets in real life know they might not come back, and many don’t


    Ben Saunders

    I somehow managed to type “don’t support” instead of “some”, there



    Maybe as soon as their Ace shot out of their dimension, an alternative Ace from another dimension shot in.

    Thus saving rubber shares from freefalling.



    Space rocket pilots have a built in mechanism for return. They know they might die accidentally, but they’re not sent to space on a one way trip. We reserve that for animals.

    So that begs the question. If they have a process of testing whether it succeeded by some science technobabble … why not do the test jump remotely?

    Dave makes a good point. I’ve always considered there only being one Ace at any given moment, and he passes the baton when he dies to a new Ace. But that’d be impossible with the sheer number there have been that we see in Stoke. There’d have to be more than one traversing the multiverse at any given time.


    Pete Part Three

    Yes, it’s pretty daft. TBF, Rob Grant seems to have realised this as when the same mission is explored in Backwards (the novel), the ship has been designed to break the light-barrier. Another Wildfire then arrives (with a dead, char-grilled Ace Rimmer) 3 days before the intended launch date, and Tranter believes that the ship has also mastered time-travel. Later, Ace and Spanners realise that it’s actually the Wildfire from another dimension, and they argue this point.

    Um, HERE. (You can possibly cling onto the Tachyon message idea for the rationale in the TV show):

    Ace exhaled a thick, blue cloud of cheroot smoke. ‘No. ‘Fraid not, Admiral. As far as we can tell, dimension travel’s something of a one-way street. Look, if the infinite-dimensions theory is correct, every single second of every single day, millions of people are making key choices that affect the course of their existences, each decision spawning yet another reality. It would be impossible to map a way through. Frankly, even if we thought we could find a way back, it would be impossible to establish for absolute certain whether or not the reality we returned to was the one we left.’
    Tranter poured himself a glass of water from his unusually large carafe. ‘So the upshot is, Commander, you’re expecting me to give a green light to this trip, knowing that the best we can hope to achieve from it…’ he sipped, ‘… is flushing thirt billion dollarpounds of hardware and the best pilot we’ve ever had straight down the khazi?’ No doubt about it, he’d have to choke down his pride and send those bloody stars back as soon as they arrived. In fact, he might do well to check up on the second-hand value of the stars he was already wearing.
    ‘Uh, Admiral, we’re about ninety-seven per cent certain Wildfire One could fire off a tachyon message complete with digitalized video footage of the new universe, so long as he got it off inside, say, fifteen seconds of arrival, while his trail back was still warm, uh, as it were, ‘
    ‘Oh, much better. A blurry shot of some stars that are probably identical to the ones we’ve already got, and a soundbite for the News at Noon. That’s a fabulous return for an outlay of thirty billion. That’ll probably snag me the cover of Investor’s Chronicle. I mean, at least the original moon shots from Earth gave the world Teflon.’
    ‘Oh, come on, Bungo,’ Ace cooed, ‘You wouldn’t stop a girl going to a big dance like this, would you? Who knows where the technology could lead? “We’ve got to try it, now we know it’s there.”


    Nick R


    one other joke i didn’t get was in an episode of VII (i can’t remember which, they all sort of blend into one) where kochanski moans about how she hates being stuck with some “neurotic droid who’s completely obsessed with my pants drawer!” to which kryten responds “you mean I’m not alone?” what does this mean? is kryten being really self-deprecating or is there actually another android onboard going around perving over kochanski’s knickers?

    I always thought the joke was meant to be that because of the word “some”, he mishears “some neurotic droid” as “some neurotic droids”, so he thinks a different mechanoid is being referred to.

    Ben Saunders replied above saying that he doesn’t recognise Kochanski’s phrase as being a description of himself. I disagree; I think he does recognise that she’s referring to him, but he’s so accepting of own his neurosis and cleaning obsession that he doesn’t recognise that he’s being criticised, so he ignores that bit and focuses on the plural.

    However you interpret it, it’s a convoluted joke.


    Pete Part Three

    Pretty sure the intention is that Kryten initially believes that Kochanski is referring to someone else is obsessed with Kochanki’s pants drawer. Kryten momentarily believes he is not alone in his obsession, and then realises Kochanski is referring to him.

    I don’t think mishearing “droid” as “droids” changes that.

    But does it work? Nope. If Kochanski said “neurotic moron” rather than “neurotic droid”, then I could accept that Kryten thinks someone else is obsessed with Kochanski’s pants drawer (Lister, The Cat). But she says “droid”, so there’s no room for ambiguity there.

    And because Kryten’s initial reaction is to “So, I’m not alone?”, than that means he already accepts that *he’s* obsessed with Kochanski’s pants drawer…so there should be no confusion.



    International Debris

    Yeah, it’s a cheap gag but it would work better if there was a possibility that there *could* be someone else. As it is it’s just a cheap gag that doesn’t work.



    maybe the other droid obsessed with her pants is Frank, the washing machine mentioned in i think either Duct Soup or Blue


    Plastic Percy

    I think that’s one of the better jokes VII, naming a washing machine Frank as he works better with an identity.



    That very much depends on the person, and the outcome of a discussion that they and Ace would have beforehand.

    Well, he’s strictly butter side up so he would be the one using the condoms, not the people he has sexual encounters with.


    International Debris

    Unless he has sex with a pre-op trans woman with an STD.


    Ben Saunders

    I for a moment there thought he was using butter side up to mean he only tops



    I think Bongo would be cool with that.



    >“some neurotic droid who’s completely obsessed with my pants drawer!” to which kryten responds “you mean I’m not alone?” what does this mean?

    I’ve always taken the joke to be:
    – Kryten does not consider himself obsessed with her pants drawer
    – He thinks he’s ‘alone’ in being the only droid on the ship
    – “you mean I’m not alone” = ooh there’s another droid?!
    – shame face = oh, you’re calling me neurotic and obsessed with pants :(

    Question for the Americans though: how well does this translate that the whole issue is regarding underwear and not pants/trousers?



    oh okay, i think i get it now. cheers for explaining, that joke always confused the hell out of me.

    surely with americans the joke still works even if they think the conversation is about trousers- a droid obssessed with jeans and such is still as strange as a droid obssessed with underwear.


    International Debris

    Underwear is more pervy though.


    Taiwan Tony

    Or is it more – understandable?
    Who is the sick man? …In his suit and tie…?






    I’d always interpreted it as Kryten saying “you mean I’m not the only pants-obsessed droid?”


    Ben Saunders

    I can’t believe this is a debate hahaha Series XIII where are you


    Pete Part Three

    Ok, last pass at this:

    Kryten is obsessed with Kochanski’s pants drawer, and freely admits to this. However, he doesn’t believe himself to be a “neurotic droid”.

    Saying “alone”, in this sense is related specifically to believing that someone else shares his viewpoint. So, he believes that there is someone else on Starbug who’s obsessed with Kochanski’s pants drawer (like him)…who is a *neurotic droid*.

    Then he twigs that he is the “neurotic droid”, so the person who is obsessed with his pants drawer (like he is)…is him.


    Pete Part Three

    It’s still shit, though. There’s not enough ambiguity over who’s neurotic (it’s the droid…and there’s only one onboard), so the confusion Kryten momentarily has is…just… dumb.



    there’s a lot of weird jokes like that in VII, really. i was watching Epideme the other day and momentarily thought i’d somehow stumbled upon the deleted scenes or some weird bizarro version of the show- there’s a lot of moments in it that i don’t remember being there originally and they all feel really really odd.

    there’s one bit where lister and kryten make a crack about kochanski’s cold personality and then do a cheeky look and giggle at each other like naughty schoolboys. it was funny but also rather disorientating. is this red dwarf or grange hill?


    International Debris

    Having watched VI to death, I basically stuck to my VII off-airs for ages after it was first on, and going back to VI I actually remember feeling uncomfortable at how cold Lister and Kryten can be to each other – Lister telling Kryten not to sacrifice himself because “I’m not doing my own smegging ironing”. If that was VII, Lister would be far less flippant. VII is definitely more ‘chummy’ than the earlier series, and VIII even more so (Lister and Rimmer being pretty much mates at that point). I wonder whether some of the overly cunty behaviour in XI and XII is Doug still trying to accurately redress the balance after that.



    honestly i really like the “chummy” feel of VII and VIII, though that’s likely just me. it’s quite nice to see the main characters getting along, having a laugh and just generally being mates. you get the feeling that they’ve all bonded and become good friends with each other- even VIII Rimmer, who’s barely got to know them all, doesn’t even think twice about staying in the mirror universe and instantly heads back to save everyone. or in Pete, when everyone is just genuinely happy to see Rimmer and Lister have escaped from The Hole- it’s a nice break from how cruel the show can feel at times.

    i really didn’t like the nastiness between the four in X-XII. i mean, yes Cat was nasty to Rimmer in VI but there’s a more jokey feel to it. in the Dave era, it feels like pretty much everyone except Lister and Kryten despise each other. rimmer’s talk about how he’s annoyed kryten has been thinking for himself lately in Siliconia was rather unpleasant too.



    i get that conflict is important but it gets a little uncomfortable at times just seeing them all be so cold to one another



    watched Holoship last night, and there’s one line i really don’t get. after Rimmer complains that you’re defined by your job, Kryten starts listing great people who had mundane jobs- Albert Camus, Albert Einstein. he then goes on to say “And of course there’s the oft told tale of the simple carpenter’s son who went on to own the largest chain of pizza stores in history, Harry Bedelbau(?)”

    i’m sorry, who? i even tried googling this one and got nothing. what’s all that about.



    Not sure if you’re joking, but the implication is that he’s about to tell the story of Jesus – “a simple carpenter’s son who…” – but it then turns out to be somebody (fictional) who is a lot more mundane than you were led to expect.



    oh, that makes sense. i probably would’ve got it if there was a pause between “simple carpenter’s son” and the rest of the sentence, but since it’s one unbroken line i just assumed it was about a real person.



    I think it’s partly due to the fact that Red Dwarf makes reference to both real people and fictional ones in gags like this. If you didn’t know who Kevin Keegan was but then found out he was a real person, you might wonder if the same was true for Harry.


    Plastic Percy

    I presume it’s just the passing of time and changes in technology, but I just about don’t understand Blaize Falconburger’s comments about never being short of an ashtray in Lister’s house. Was it common practice to use record/cassette/CD cases as ashtrays?



    I think it might go back to vinyl records, which you could melt and turn into ashtrays.


    Plastic Percy

    Thanks, that makes sense.

    On the subject of the above Harry Beedlebaum, I always figured that it was a lawyer-friendly proxy for the Fatty Arbuckle chain of restaurants.

    I believe that Grant Naylor deliberately toned down references to fictional celebrities and pop culture from III onwards. The first series is filled with them – Rastabilly Skank, Mugs Murphy etc. But from III onwards they tend to keep it to the likes of Dustin Hoffman, The Flintstones etc.


    International Debris

    Kind of a shame, as I really like the world-building aspect of Rasta Billy, Mugs Murphy and so on. I think it was part of a general shift towards more sci-fi storytelling that focuses less on the characters’ past daily lives.



    Kind of a shame, as I really like the world-building aspect of Rasta Billy, Mugs Murphy and so on.

    Yeah, me too. I guess you don’t want that stuff to distract from or overwhelm the stories, but the likes of those things you mention – and stuff like zero gee football, dollarpounds and esperanto – gave the earlier series a slightly different feel almost as much as the sets did.


    Ben Paddon

    The WIlma Flintstone scene might’ve worked if they’ve changed the characters’ names to fictional ones, but it’d have been far less funny.



    The Flintstone scene only really works because we know exactly who they’re talking about, and we know they’re cartoons. Replace that dialogue with fictional names, we have no idea they’re talking about animated fictional children tv characters. You’d immediately just assume it’s some random future live action tv show they’re talking about.



    Yes, it doesn’t work otherwise.



    What if they cut away from a brief clip of the fictional animated show?



    I think without the recognition factor it’s not as funny in the same way that Joe Klumpp is not as funny as Kevin Keegan.



    What if they cut away from a brief clip of the fictional animated show?

    Like they did in Back in the Red?


    Ben Saunders

    They’re mad anyway, Betty is the superior choice.


    Pete Part Three

    >What if they cut away from a brief clip of the fictional animated show?

    They’re not even watching The Flintstones when they have the conversation in Backwards

    LISTER: Cat?
    CAT: Mmm?
    LISTER: Ya ever see The Flagstones?
    CAT: The animated TV show about a man called Frank and his wife Winifred?, sure,
    LISTER: D’ya think Winifred’s sexy?
    CAT: Wilnifred Flagstone? The animated character in the animated TV show you just mentioned. The one who’s married to a Frank?
    LISTER: Maybe we’ve been alone in deep space too long, but every time I see that body, it drives me crazy. Is it me?
    CAT: Well, I think in all probability, Winifred Flagstone is the most desirable woman that ever lived.
    LISTER: That’s good. I thought I was goin’ strange.
    CAT: She’s incredible!
    LISTER: What d’ya think of Britney?
    CAT: Britney Slagheap, the next door neighbour? (Pause) Well, I would go with Britney… but I’d be
    thinking of Winifred.
    LISTER: This is crazy. Why are we talking about going to bed with Winifred Flagstone?
    CAT: You’re right. We’re nuts. This is an insane conversation.
    LISTER: She’ll never leave Frank, her husband, and we know it.


    Pete Part Three

    Oh, the site I copied that extract from Backwards queried what Lister says here: “every time I see that [??] body it drives me crazy”

    I realise that I’ve no idea what Craig says here either. It sounds like “sharwood” (?!).






    Pete Part Three

    Oh, so it’s “every time I see that *show, her* body drives me crazy”

    Sometime it’s difficult to understand the Scouse…people.



    >world-building aspect of Rasta Billy, Mugs Murphy and so on

    For series 1 and 2 you could see they really were trying to say HEY LOOK ITS THE FUTURE WHERE EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT! but by 3 to at least 5 they settled more for verging on pop cultural references and influences.

    Modern Dwarf feels more futuristic social commentary on modern times.


    Ben Saunders

    I can’t work out if PPT edited that transcript to make it clunkier and less funny to make a point or if the Mandela effect is fucking with me or what



    > Yeah, me too. I guess you don’t want that stuff to distract from or overwhelm the stories, but the likes of those things you mention – and stuff like zero gee football, dollarpounds and esperanto – gave the earlier series a slightly different feel almost as much as the sets did.

    I agree all that stuff added to the richness of the show’s world in the early days. With things like “Wilfred Shakespeare” and Rimmer’s merging of Columbo and Columbus, do we think the intention was that he’s just ignorant, or was the joke meant to be that over time bits of history have gotten distorted and/or mixed up with popular culture? I’ve always thought it was the latter. Lister referring to Cliff Richard being shot could be another example.



    its like Rimmer’s line “why don’t you listen to something REALLY classical, like Mozart or Mendhelssen or Motorhead”. is the joke that in the future, Motorhead is considered classical? or is it meant to be Rimmer being stupid?



    Probably Rimmer pretending to be cultured (we know he really prefers the classics to be funked-up on Hammond) and ignorantly spouting a historical musical name he’s heard that starts with ‘Mo-‘. Though you can imagine a scene where Rimmer asks Holly to play some Motorhead and sits there pensively pretending to admire it while wincing.


    Ben Saunders

    I assumed it was a joke about Motorhead being considered Classical. Rimmer pretending to appreciate them in order to seem cultured is pretty funny.

    I just thought, Cliff Richard being shot could be a pretty convoluted mixup of remembering where you were when Elvis died and when JFK was shot



    You know, Grant Naylor predicted the rise of Otakus arguing about who is the “best girl” with the Wilma Flinestone gag.

    Wilma is Lister’s Waifu.


    International Debris

    I assumed the Rimmer remarks were a mix of culture being lost and Rimmer’s ignorance – i.e. these things have become more obscure by this point, especially from an idiot like Rimmer’s perspective. The ‘classical’ joke doesn’t work for me though (it’s used in Doctor Who a couple of times – Vicki calling The Beatles ‘classical music’ in The Chase, Orbital being described as a classical group in one of the novels, as a nod to their cover of the theme tune) because what is generally regarded as ‘classical music’ – i.e. orchestral and acoustic chamber music – is still popular and still composed right through to today, and still separate from popular / jazz / avant-garde / folk. I can’t fathom a point where there’s such a break in musical norms that suddenly pop/rock and classical seem similar.



    For me the joke isn’t exactly that they are all ‘classical’ music, just that they are all universally-recognised great composers who are generally seen as being on the same level by future society.

    I didn’t think it was a joke at Rimmer’s expense, I thought it was a joke about Lemmy & co. being seen as on a par with those musicians.



    I lump it in with the likes of Rimmer owning but not having read Shakespeare and pretending to recognise a Mugs Murphy cartoon as Citizen Kane and admiring its cartoon explosions.



    Rimmer can’t make his mind up on his opinion on Shakespeare or Jesus.


    Ben Paddon

    Wilma is Lister’s Waifu.

    Fucking Hell.


    Seb Patrick

    I confess I’ve never really understood why women would be banned from playing the cello.



    Hol Rock cellos would have to be made of a transparent material for that joke to work, at least as I understand it.



    >I confess I’ve never really understood why women would be banned from playing the cello.

    because everyone would see their vaginas



    Yeah, their clothes would have to be transparent too.



    I just assumed it was because it would be a particularly ungainly position for a woman to sit in, moreso than for a man. I don’t think it was intended to be any more graphic than that.


    Pete Part Three

    Oh, here’s a fucking stupid one. I was watching Legion the other day, and I recalled that on my first couple of watches, I completely misunderstood a joke.

    I’m going to have to paste the whole thing for context:


    RIMMER: Legion: may I be frank? It’s not often we meet an individual who we feel could improve our already pretty damn fine top-notch team. But in you, we feel we have. In all our travels, we have met precisely thirty-one individuals: three one. And we have never felt moved to invite a single one to join our crew. True, most of them wanted in some way to suck out our brains, or erase us from history altogether. Nevertheless, they still weren’t what we would consider The Right Stuff. We feel that you are different. We feel that you, like us, have the courage and the dignity it takes to make it as a Dwarfer.

    KRYTEN: Sir! Don’t cross the chopsticks!

    LEGION: Mr Rimmer, I am moved by the eloquence of your invitation, but it is quite impossible for me to leave the confines of the institute.

    RIMMER: It was Lister, wasn’t it? He put you off.

    KRYTEN: Is there nothing we can do to change your mind?

    LEGION: Absolutely.

    KRYTEN: Then I’m afraid we must bid you farewell. We have a long journey ahead of us.

    LEGION: Nonsense. You have no journey at all, my friends. I insist you stay here with me. You will be my honoured guests – from now until the day you die.

    RIMMER: Thirty-two.

    Right, so; the first few times i watched this, I thought Rimmer was saying “Thirty-two” to indicate the age he’d be when he died (in response to Legion mentioning the day they die) I knew that Rimmer was aged 31 from the novels, and he was dying of embarrassment from being pelted with all the Mamosian cuisine. So, due to the fact that his little speech is over a minute before the pay-off, I’d obviously already forgotten all about the “thirty one” individuals.

    Obviously, this is fucking stupid because:

    1) The “day you die” doesn’t invite someone to announce the age they’ll be when they die.
    2) Rimmer is already dead.

    Go on take the piss out of young me, you shits.



    I love that the human brain can go to such lengths to try and make sense of stuff it doesn’t understand.


    International Debris

    I always thought that was Rimmer saying the age he died too. It seems so obvious now you explain it…


    pi r squared

    It’s a nice touch that the thirty-one is emphasised by the reinforcement “three one”. There’s no real reason why you would do that (where you might for, say, thirty which may be confused with thirteen), so it just subtly places the number a little more prominently in your short-term memory, to be paid off quite delightfully by the thirty-two. All jokes are ruined when over-explained, but the construct of that whole gag is so nice that it is worth seeing it broken down.


    Ben Saunders

    >I confess I’ve never really understood why women would be banned from playing the cello.
    They’d have to open their legs really wide, that’s all I understand about it



    Not a joke, but I always found the description of Lister as “the ultimate atheist” unusual. It’s not like he bangs on about it all the time like a Richard Dawkings, isn’t he just a regular atheist?

    But it works in the “final” sense of the word, since he’s the last human and the guys he hangs around with all have some form of indoctrination that they go back and forth on (except maybe Holly, but he originally believed in Silicon Heaven in the books).



    Plus, he claims to be a pantheist in an earlier episode, suggesting he might believe in a vague something.



    I don’t know if Lister as the ultimate atheist was meant to be a path that the character should have followed but didn’t (and so we didn’t get to see it), like Rimmer being a secret special agent for the space corps.



    was re-reading Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers today. despite owning the book for almost 15 years, i’ve only just realised that the sentence “George McIntyre left the Salvador Dali Coffee Lounge of the Mimas Hilton, carrying his nose in a napkin” simply means the Mafia attacked him and he had to hold a napkin up to his nose to stop the bleeding.

    from the wording of the sentence i had always thought it meant the Mafia had actually cut off his entire nose with the bolt clippers, and George was just taking his severed nose out with him for some reason.



    I’ve always thought they cut his nose off. Otherwise that is very oddly worded. You’d say “holding” rather than “carrying”, surely.



    Huh … I had always assumed it meant his literal nose too



    i guess that one’s open to interpretation then, as it doesn’t seem to be mentioned in any of his other scenes in the book. at least for me though, it seems more sensible that they punched him really hard or jammed the bolt cutters up his nostrils or something. cutting his entire nose off seems a bit cartoon-like, doesn’t it?



    Who nose.



    > cutting his entire nose off seems a bit cartoon-like, doesn’t it?

    It seems very violent and gruesome, so I’m guessing Rob wrote that bit.



    Yep. 25 years a nice I first read the books, and it must have taken me about 8 years before I realised that his nose was actually still attached to his face.



    25 years a nice I first read the books

    That’s supposed to be “since”, obviously.


    International Debris

    Yeah, I always assumed it had been cut off.


    Pete Part Three

    Um, yeah. Always thought it had been (at least partially) removed by the bolt cutters. And, having just re-read that chapter, I’m sticking with that interpretation, actually.

    I’m not sure it’s a big betrayal of the way the novels are written, either. Bound to be Rob.


    Pete Part Three

    (Incidentally, not sure what damage you could do to a nose with a pair of bolt cutters that wouldn’t involve it being removed)


    Plastic Percy

    At the very least use them as a blunt object to break his nose. The thugs are articulate enough to make small talk about the traffic and the hotel’s irritating choices of decor and muzak, so they’re probably at least clever enough to use bolt cutters for, y’know, cutting.



    I’ve just read it and I still reckon they cut it off. From the way the bolt clippers are mentioned it really seems like the reader’s meant to infer they’re gonna do something really horrible to him, worse than just duffing him up. I wonder how much Doug used to rein in Rob’s penchant for this kind of grisliness when they were writing together.



    Rob Grant Bolt Cutters



    Knew I would get something wrong:

    Rob Grant Bolt Cutters



    I’m looking forward to Rob Grant’s Saw reboot.


    Ben Saunders

    ROB: …And then I think he should run out of the room with his nose in some tissues, holding it to his face with blood pouring out of him like a leaking waterbed before he faints from lack of blood, and wakes up again only to be pissed on by three rabid dogs and eaten alive by maggots.
    DOUG: Have another biscuit, mate.


    Seb Patrick

    I’ve always interpreted that as them cutting it off, yes.



    a joke i never got was in Holoship, Crane tells Rimmer he makes love like a Japanese meal- “small portions, but so many courses”. is this a joke that he has a small penis, or is it about how he’s very quick in bed?considering he only spent twelve minutes with Yvonne McGruder and such, i always thought it was the latter.



    Red Dwarf’s penis gags always seem to be the ones that have multiple interpretations, it seems. there’s the age-old debate of exactly what Rimmer saw in Lister’s trousers in Bodyswap etc.



    Presumably she was won over by his concise pacing.

    Speaking of, I just watched Pete Part Three’s Holoship Xtended edit, but didn’t want to bump that old forum thread with its still surviving dailymotion links. I always wondered what the complete episode would be like (there still might be a few lines lost to time, based on Smeg Ups glimpses), and I prefer it with the flab. Episodes like Holoship and Inquisitor have always felt a bit rapid and distractingly abridged to me, bit that might all be down to those couple of scenes that clearly cut off abruptly between lines.



    I remember a friend of mine at school somehow mishearing the Holoship/Japanese meal line as “you make love like a raw mule”, which changes the meaning considerably.



    Or a Japanese mule. Which raises a few more questions


    Ben Paddon

    I always interpreted that one as “You’ve got a small donger, but you didn’t arf make me come a bunch.”


    Ben Saunders

    I always interpreted it as Rimmer cumming quickly but going for several rounds.



    I agree with Ben.


    Pete Part Three

    Um, yeah, I don’t think it’s a reference to the size of his cock. It’s premature ejaculation, but quick recovery to go again.



    It’s almost a haiku, if you take out the “but.”

    And somewhat more elegant than the later Asian culinary simile, “The last human being alive and he’s got less brains than a macaque recus monkey after the first course of a Vietnamese is this sentence still droning on and there’s an aircraft up ahead isn’t there.”


    Seb Patrick

    I think you can take the Nirvanah line either way and it’s funny either way, but I definitely took it (given his past form) as over quickly but ready to go again soldier just as quickly.


    Plastic Percy

    Given the look on his face after she tells him, Rimmer is just as confused over the statement as well.

    I always figured it’s a little of column A, a little of column B. He’s hardly Charles Atlas in the trouser department, but he makes up for it with gusto and enthusiasm.



    I’ve always took it as finishing quickly, but being up for it again quickly and repeatedly.



    I always interpreted is as meaning he literally cooks her a Japanese meal instead of having sex with her, and she is describing the meal.



    you could be right there, in japan they have a thing called nyotaimori which is where they eat sushi off the body of a naked woman. so perhaps that’s what he did to her



    “it’s never been like THAT before…”


    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    You can serve it on a nudey lady if you like it rude.


    Plastic Percy

    Maybe he sellotaped a picture of Sue Carpenter over her face and tucked right in to the sushi. I know I would.


    Ben Saunders

    Demons & Angels is on Dave right now, and we’ve just been hit with the line “In less time than it takes a Norwegian to buy ski-boots!”

    Which is funny because… it… snows a lot in Norway?

    Also, Kryten says -he- threw the triplicator in reverse, but I’m pretty sure it was Lister. And I don’t know if the episode itself is rather hastily edited together, or if Dave removed some material because of time/decency restraints.


    Ben Saunders

    Should be noted that the ski-boots line gets absolutely no audience reaction whatsoever, but is quickly followed by the wonderful Awooga Waltz line, so all is well


    Pete Part Three

    >Which is funny because… it… snows a lot in Norway?

    That is the extent of the joke, yes.

    > I don’t know if the episode itself is rather hastily edited together, or if Dave removed some material because of time/decency restraints.

    If you watch the DVD Documentary for Series V, Demons and Angels is singled out as being notoriously difficult to make, and they have to do a shedload of pick-ups (with hangovers, it seems) as a result of Juliet May departing.


    Ben Saunders

    That’s interesting because honestly watching it on Dave there it all felt a bit… shit. The beginning feels pretty rushed, Robert looks bored and some of the camerawork looks shoddy, especially the handheld stuff. It sort of caught me off guard because I’ve watched this episode dozens of times, as recently as a couple of months ago, and none of this ever bothered me before. There was a level of “I’m watching actors on a set” to it that distanced me from it.

    Oh well, the poll ranks it as the worst of V so I can’t be alone.

    The audience laughing when Red Dwarf blows up is also pretty strange


    Ben Saunders

    Also it looks like Robert is reading from an idiot board in one shot but i think he’s actually just looking from Lister to Rimmer and back more than is natural and the camera angle makes it look like a typical “Bobby reads a board” performance



    the camera angle makes it look like a typical “Bobby reads a board” performance

    Demons and angles


    Ben Saunders

    I can be your angle or yuor demon



    another one i didn’t get- in Emohawk, Duane goes through his list of the supplies he’s prepared for Ace’s plan, finishing with “and one triple-thick condom!…you never know!” is the joke here-

    A. that Duane expects he might inexplicably meet and fuck some women in the airlock?

    B. a reference to the condom’s thickness- a regular condom might break and wind up getting somebody pregnant, so he’s got a triple-thick one just to make sure?

    C. that Duane expects he might seduce Ace and have sex with him?


    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin



    International Debris

    He’s not aware that he won’t be leaving the airlock alive, so he’s preparing for wherever his exciting scout mission is taking him.


    Pete Part Three

    Of course, the Patrick McGoohan style irony here is that the condom belongs to The Cat and he likely takes it everywhere too.



    I just figured it had been created out of thin air along with his extra teeth enamel, hair and other belongings that appeared nearby.

    As for B, Duane is an excitable virgin, so the thickness will help keep the wolf from the door, so to speak.


    Plastic Percy

    It’s a bit odd that he manages to find clothing identical to the fictional ones he wore in a hallucination, not to mention that he apparently finds them in the cockpit of Starbug.

    I’ve always rationalised that they’re from some of the storage cases and that they belong to Rimmer, the sort of dorky clothes his mother bought for him.



    tbh i found it kind of funny how he just suddenly has all these items seemingly out of nowhere. i never really thought about where the sandwiches and parka and such came from, i just put it down to the slightly cartoony feel of Emohawk. maybe Cat has them just in case looking like a total dork becomes fashionable



    They were sitting in the kitchen in case the crew ran out of food.



    There were two Emohawks, one of which was more intelligent than the first and impersonated Duane Dibbley for rest of the episode in order to avoid detection. After defeating its rival and freezing Lister, Rimmer, and Kryten, the actual Cat somehow manages to come back to defeat the Duane polymorph and save the day off screen.



    Either that or there was just one Emohawk that assumed the form of Duane and created the illusion of another polymorph in order to covertly freeze the rest of the crew when they let their guard down. After all, we have no idea if creating a detached extension of itself is beyond an Emohawk’s abilities.



    he found the clothes, thermos etc. in the same place the posse found the GELF costumes in Beyond A Joke and the mirror universe machine in Only The Good…maybe the crew just have a crate full of miscellaneous items with them just in case they need them?

    this “stuff appearing out of nowhere” discussion reminded me of something- in Dimension Jump, Ace punches Kryten out and then asks Rimmer to reroute his circuitry to get him back online. Rimmer obviously can’t because he’s a hologram and he even mentions this, yet in the next scene Kryten is fully functional again. did he just miraculously spring back to life?



    according to Krysis the Universe is sentient and such, so maybe all continuity errors can now be accounted for with “the Universe did it”



    Maybe Ace isn’t aware Kryten has self repairing nano-bots



    CAT- You’re gonna squeeze their rolls? That’s irritating, but in many ways they’ll be quite relieved!!!

    i really liked this gag when i first heard it, and my brain always just sort of assosciated it with Baxter wanking the two of them off. but in the “Only The Good…” Dwarfcast somebody explains it as the two of them not caring about their breadrolls in relation to their current predicament. what is it?



    Oh please, if we do shit Series VIII jokes we’re gonna be here all night.


    Pete Part Three

    What’s the general consensus on Series VIII?



    i think we’ve experienced this period of time before, sirs.



    “Squeeze your roll” isn’t a euphemism for wanking where I grew up (Earth), so I assumed the latter.

    I just mentally went through all the episode titles to see if there were any obvious puns I’ve never noticed, and realised ‘Epideme’ probably refers to ‘epidemic,’ not some completely random exotic future name.



    >What’s the general consensus on Series VIII?

    Despite what everyone else says about it, VIII is probably my second favourite series, after V.



    wasn’t that the general consensus on the series back when it first came out? there was a poll and i think VIII came second, just below V.



    >“Squeeze your roll” isn’t a euphemism for wanking where I grew up (Earth), so I assumed the latter.

    yeah, but if you were a bloke and a woman you liked came up to you and said “can i squeeze your roll?” you’d think ‘oh brilliant, she’s going to wank me off”, right? you wouldn’t think she actually wants to grasp your wheaty breakfast product.


    Ben Saunders

    Sounds more like giving somebody a massage, to me



    either way if someone says that to you, you’re probably in for something rather nice



    if you like massages and/or being wanked off, that is.



    The rest of Cat’s line after “squeeze their rolls?” isn’t really needed for the joke to work, but I think it works as Cat digging himself a hole, annoying Baxter even more without realising it. Only example I can think of where the VIII thing of over-explaining the gag kind of adds to it.

    Maybe if he’d said buns instead of rolls there could have been an extra joke where Baxter thinks Cat is saying he’s gonna squeeze their bum cheeks.


    Pete Part Three

    It’s a very long time since I saw this, but surely the “joke” is that destroying the roll is symbolising torturing somone, and The Cat takes it *at face value* and thinks destroying a snack is just a very peculiar way of punishing someone.

    If you start adding extra euphemisms, it kind of ruins it. Surprising they didn’t, actually,



    oh yeah, that makes much more sense.



    “are you 21 or under?”

    “well my haircut is, does that count?”



    Bargain Bin Holly

    I think that means his haircut is better suited for a 21 year old than a middle aged guy


    Ben Saunders

    “I’ve given pleasure to the world because I have such a beautiful ass”
    What world?


    Ben Saunders

    Now i think about it where the fuck are they when the Inquisitor inquisits them?


    Bargain Bin Holly

    >What world?

    Cat thinks the world of himself, therefor, he’s given pleasure to himself with his great ass



    Now i think about it where the fuck are they when the Inquisitor inquisits them?

    I always assumed it was some secret Inquisitor-palace in the far future or outside of regular spacetime entirely, equipped with tech to allow him to channel versions of the characters to judge themselves. It’s a bit metaphysical, I know.


    Ben Saunders

    >He’s given pleasure to himself with his great ass


    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    “are you 21 or under?”

    “well my haircut is, does that count?”


    I thought it meant that he got his haircut less than 21 years ago, but that seems less likely to be the intended meaning the more I think about it.



    maybe his haircut is under 21 inches long?


    Ben Saunders

    Maybe it’s a new style, or so he thinks?



    I presumed it was because hair is always growing, his hair is younger than 21.


    Flap Jack

    When Cat says “I’ve given pleasure to the world” he’s using the classical definition of world, “all of known existence”, rather than the modern definition, “planet”.


    Ben Saunders

    Thank you, i can sleep easy now


    Plastic Percy

    I took the haircut line is that, if nothing else, his hairstyle is young, fresh and happening.



    why in Lemons do they refer to penises as “stuffin’ snuffin’ shiderhausers” (?)

    is there some sort of joke there or are you just not allowed to say cock on Dave



    I think Lister is saying “Stuffin’ stuff up his schneiberhauser” or schneiderhauser or something. Schneiberhauser obviously being a hilarious euphemism for penis. Obviously.


    Pete Part Three

    When Kryten mutters “Cunt” under his breath in Duct Soup, is he talking about Lister or Kochanski?



    LISTER: Our nomination for JMC Crew Of The Year Award is starting to look unlikely…

    RIMMER: Those damn space monkey from the Omega 4 are gonna get it again!!

    eh? so…3 million years into deep space, the JMC still hosts award ceremonies? what are space monkeys? what the hell are they talking about?


    Pete Part Three

    I googled deeley boppers after watching Ouroborus the other day. Never been bothered before. The episode is 17 times more amusing to me now.


    Taiwan Tony

    Nice reference to deeley boppers in Blue Heaven. Eddie Nichols and his novelty cash-in single for the victims of famine “Don’t send food, send…”
    I loved Blue Heaven.



    Blue Heaven was great. I loved the ‘DIED’ anagram gag.



    > I loved the ‘DIED’ anagram gag.

    Refresh my memory please. I liked it but other than the night club where all the waiters are Frank Carson impersonators I don’t remember much of Blue Heaven. Shane, Frank Skinner’s other sitcom, is really good too. The ‘Do my share/Cher’ joke in that is one of my favourite jokes ever.



    Blue Heaven’s on All 4.

    Actually, Captain Butler’s on there, too. I won’t provide a link, I respect you too much.



    And the episode of Bunch of Fives that served as the pilot for Blue Heaven is here



    Vic and Bob’s “The Weekenders” was on Bunch Of Fives too, wasn’t it? That was a really funny show, I’ll never get why they didn’t pick it up for a full series.



    That’s right. Vic and Bob were told they could make a series of The Weekenders as long as they also made another series of Big Night Out, but they didn’t want to do more Big Night Out. Apparently that’s at least partly why they moved to the BBC.



    back on the topic of Jokes You Didn’t Get, i was watching Confidence and Paranoia the other day and this particular exchange stuck out to me-

    LISTER: I feel really ill…
    RIMMER: You ARE really ill.
    LISTER: No, I mean really ill…

    what is Rimmer on about?


    Taiwan Tony

    The DIED joke was stagehands carrying Eddie’s name in huge letters. They walked in the order D I E D. And Frank asked “Has he not been well?”
    Full of jokes. Shane is full of jokes, too. But the show was very ITV.



    That’s the one. A silly joke but the setup and delivery of it always made me chuckle.



    >back on the topic of Jokes You Didn’t Get, i was watching Confidence and Paranoia the other day and this particular exchange stuck out to me-

    LISTER: I feel really ill…
    RIMMER: You ARE really ill.
    LISTER: No, I mean really ill…

    what is Rimmer on about?

    I always took this to be Rimmer offhandedly having a jab at Lister’s generally unhealthy lifestyle. A foreshadowing of the comments he makes in Bodyswap, say.


    International Debris

    I always heard it as meaning mentally ill, as series 1 Rimmer’s general perspective of Lister being a complete imbecile.



    Is ‘Back in the Red’ supposed to be a (thematically irrelevant) riff on being ‘in the red’ with debt? A pun on ‘back from the dead’ (as per the DVD documentary) that’s not close enough to work? Or just a cool way of saying ‘we’re back on Red Dwarf’ with nothing more to it?



    I thought it was a pun on the debt-related phrase, but without any deeper meaning to it.


    Taiwan Tony

    And the horror that that entails.



    Makes more sense than Twentica.



    I always thought Back In The Red was just a cool and interesting way of saying “we’re back on Red Dwarf”. It never even occurred to me that it might have been a joke title based around the debt-related phrase. That’s ruined it a little tbh, debt isn’t nearly as cool as spaceships


    Ben Saunders

    They’re literally back in (the) Red (Dwarf), which is also a term to do with debt.
    I didn’t make the connection of a pun title until some advert in like 2008 talked about being in the red.



    This came out a year before series VIII, so the Red Dwarf title just made me think of that.


    Toxteth O-Grady

    >Makes more sense than Twentica.

    I was at one of the pre-screenings of that episode, which was followed by a very brief Q&A. My question was going to be “why the f*** was it called Twentica?”.

    I’ve since read that it’s supposed to be a portmanteau of Twenties America, or something. It’s still pretty baffling even with that explanation. Especially as it’s never mentioned in the episode itself.

    Sadly, I never got picked. The person who did get picked asked the much more pertinent and interesting question of “What’s your favorite episode of Red Dwarf?”.



    Sadly, I never got picked. The person who did get picked asked the much more pertinent and interesting question of “What’s your favorite episode of Red Dwarf?”.

    Don’t leave us hanging, what was the answer?


    Toxteth O-Grady

    I think Robert Llewellyn mentioned ‘Lemons’ and I immediately tuned out.



    Uh oh, not a man with taste, not around here



    The “couple of blanks” arse-cheek gag from The End. I didn’t even realise there was a gag there until I listened to the commentary.



    There’s a lot of early references went over my head…Moss Bros and Teasy-Weasy is one that instantly springs to mind. Reading through the above, a few of those too.



    >I thought it was a pun on the debt-related phrase, but without any deeper meaning to it.

    Well, it’s back on Red Dwarf and the episodes are bookended with the Dwarfers having to pay a debt to society.



    I was always confused by Cat boasting about his thrusts being as fast as a drill or jird, because aren’t good lovers stereotypically slow and measured?



    And would Cat really make a good lover tombow?



    No, but he seems to think he would based on speed. I guess…I was a confused kid when I saw it, so I kind of wondered if men were meant to be fast lovers, as I’d heard people on other sitcoms joking about men being too fast.


    Pete Part Three

    Cat is referring to the motion in the ocean, not the speed at which the ocean is traversed.


    Ben Saunders

    Cat has a high PPS (pumps per second)



    >aren’t good lovers stereotypically slow and measured?

    That’s all good and well, but sometimes you just want a good Black&Decker’ing.



    Obvious ones like not getting references when I was younger, especially in the earlier series “the poor goit you made look like Helen Shapiro!.”

    I think it was a while before I understood the implication of “Maybe Ace-hole” too…


    Taiwan Tony

    >That’s all good and well, but sometimes you just want a good Black&Decker’ing.

    Easily the sexiest thing I’ve read today.


    Plastic Percy

    I’ve only just bothered to learn that a Jird, more accurately named a Persian Jird, is in fact a real animal.



    From Backwards: “It’s exactly like I always imagined, only much shorter.”

    Maybe I’m mis-remembering things, but wasn’t there a deleted line/scene that explains why Kryten says this?


    Ben Saunders

    I assume the joke is he read up on Earth in books and, from the pictures, assumed that trees were absolutely enormous, so he looks at the extremely tall trees and remarks that they seem rather short.

    If there was a deleted scene to explain that joke and I’ve gotten it wrong I’d love to know.



    I think “…only much shorter” is just a funny nonsensical line which I’ve always loved. Earth could be bigger or smaller than Kryten imagined but it doesn’t make sense to comment on the Earth as being “tall” or “short”, especially when Kryten’s on the surface and can’t even see the whole thing. I think the look on Rimmer’s face is evidence that it’s supposed to be nonsensical.



    I always thought it was a play on the thing where people say that actors look shorter in real life than they do on tv/film.



    Yes, that too!



    If that was the joke then I never got it.


    Ben Saunders

    When the question was first asked I thought “only much shorter” wasn’t a particularly good joke, ie it was alright, but now I’m amazed that it works on all three levels and am convinced it’s genius



    In response to the discussion from a while ago, I re-read IWCD the other day, and it’s mentioned in a later chapter that “George McIntrye was force-fed his own nose”, so they definitely did cut it off. How gruesome



    “How come you need more memory? Over the years, you’ve had more RAM than a field of sheep.”

    ‘Had’ as in sex. Not: he’s got more RAM than the number of rams you get in a standard field of sheep.

    Which, being the son of a farmer, I knew was often just the one, on its own rather than mixed with the ewes, and thus a bit of an underwhelming comparison to make for Kryten’s supposedly impressive memory capacity, whatever units they’re using. It confused me slightly when watching the Xtended video repeatedly at 12.



    I guess if Rimmer doesn’t know the intimate details of sheep farming then it still works as something he’d say.



    (Or Cat or Lister, or whoever the fuck says it.)



    Also only recently realised that fan favourite character Dr Lucas McLaren is asking “your chair is screwed down?” because he’s worried Kryten’s going to attack him with the chair, not some oblique way of suggesting he’s got a screw loose.

    I haven’t watched VII or VIII much since I was about 14, so some of these youthful misconceptions go unchecked for decades.



    Also only recently realised that fan favourite character Dr Lucas McLaren is asking “your chair is screwed down?” because he’s worried Kryten’s going to attack him with the chair, not some oblique way of suggesting he’s got a screw loose.

    So THAT’S what that’s about. I’d always assumed it was the latter explaination.


    Paul Muller

    “Personally I prefer partnership Whist” – I understand the point of it, but it’s such an obscure activity to reference. They could have gone with backgammon or tiddlywinks, or elected for an obvious wanking gag and chosen Solitaire.

    I guess it’s because I watched most of Red Dwarf as a ten year old, so jokes based around 18th century card games were always going to fly over my head. For a long time, I thought it was some kind of dance.



    “If she ever ran into Tutankhamen, he wouldn’t stand a chance. She’d have his bandages off before you could say ‘silicone implants.'”

    Didn’t get the breast implant reference at the time. I suppose: as well as the obvious joke about a 3,000-year-old man being more attractive by her definition than an 83-year-old, a king’s considerable wealth also makes him more attractive to a presumed gold digger than an actor, and the first thing she’d spend it on is cosmetic surgery, because that’s what a materialistic floozy would do.

    Or maybe Lister just saw her photo and she had big breasts.



    >“Personally I prefer partnership Whist”

    up until now i thought he was saying “personally i prefer partnership waist” and it was some sort of health program like weightwatchers



    “Can someone take him outside and do something to him? Ideally involving ice cubes and any puckered body cavity.”

    And the callback line about the wooden mallet only confuses me further. Anyone?


    By Jove its holmes

    put an ice cube in his mouth then hit it with a mallet?



    My mind always goes to the mouth with these things, but consensus opinion on where Rimmer tried to insert the fridge and guitar lead me to conclude arse. Weird lines anyway.


    Ben Saunders

    Shove an ice cube up his arse? That’s a bit bizarre



    Rimmer isn’t exactly normal is he.



    Knowing Doug’s writing, maybe it’s a reference to a film he saw at the time.

    Don’t know what films would involve someone having ice cubes shoved up their arse and/or getting hit with a mallet but the 90s had some odd ones and Doug has eclectic taste I’m sure.

    Sounds a sexual to be honest, the ice cubes bit. All a bit weird haha



    Why does Cat call Rimmer Cinninatti at the start of Cured?


    Ben Saunders

    Isn’t it something to do with rimming?



    yeah, a Cinncinatti Truffle is where you fart in someone’s mouth during rimming. it”s a (surprisingly subtle) joke about Rimmer’s name/rimming. also i think the only joke about rimming in the entire show



    There’s also “brown-tongued his way up the ranks” in Dimension Jump.



    Cinncinatti is also a poker term, I believe.



    >Cinncinatti is also a poker term, I believe.

    yeah it is, but they’re evidently not playing cinncinatti poker (i haven’t watched Cured in ages, but they’re just playing regular 5-card poker iirc) so i think the intent is that it’s a rimming joke? even if that wasn’t the intent, surely it’s funnier if cat is making a snide remark about farting in someone’s mouth than him just inexplicably giving rimmer a poker-based nickname that’s totally unrelated to the variation of poker they’re actually playing



    Okay, but what’s more likely: It’s a reference to “Cincinnati Truffles” which doesn’t actually give the viewer enough information to work out that’s what it’s a reference to, or it’s a reference to a type of poker?



    It’s almost certainly a poker reference.

    It’s cards banter innit.



    >Okay, but what’s more likely: It’s a reference to “Cincinnati Truffles” which doesn’t actually give the viewer enough information to work out that’s what it’s a reference to, or it’s a reference to a type of poker?

    the first one



    Doug has form for this: the “female aardvark” is a well-known sexual position and “trout a la creme” is disgusting slang for a popular fetish.


    International Debris

    I honestly find the idea of Doug knowing what “Cincinnati truffles” means incredibly unlikely.



    Maybe Doug is into that kind of thing. Or late one night, he found himself going down a dark rabbit hole on Urban Dictionary.

    Or, just perhaps, the name cincinnati truffle has been co-opted by the fetish community and Doug is much more familiar with the origins of the name in the card game.



    >I honestly find the idea of Doug knowing what “Cincinnati truffles” means incredibly unlikely.


    I also doubt his light reading is Urban Dictionary, probably more of a New Scientist kinda guy. If it is a reference to being farted on while rimming someone, then that doesn’t have Doug’s fingerprints on it for my money, maybe a suggestion from elsewhere.



    >If it is a reference to being farted on while rimming someone, then that doesn’t have Doug’s fingerprints on it for my money, maybe a suggestion from elsewhere.

    maybe it was Andrew Ellard. he’s written some pretty unusual stuff for TOS (kill crazy murdering a 5 year old child, the london jets manager forcibly removing the teeth of a mexican child) so i wouldn’t put it past him to sneak a little reference to having someone fart in your mouth into a red dwarf episode



    Or … and I realise this may be a stretch … it could be a reference to the film The Cincinnati Kid with Steve McQueen about a poker player.

    But yeah, the farting during rimming thing is far more likely.



    Thank you Lily.

    Hope you’re around when someone decides that Smoke Me A Kipper is actually a reference to curling one out in someone’s arse crack and then resting your chap on it.



    Just when I thought this thread couldn’t get any weirder.



    Too weird for turds?




    “A Cincinnati truffle… like Martha used to make. Thanks, Rimmer.”



    I didn’t initially understand “Do as the Snamor do” in Backwards.

    Mostly because he says it quickly, I wasn’t familiar with that ‘When in Rome’ saying, and it sounded on VHS to my 10 year old ear like “Do the snamordoo”



    Quality username, Petrovich.

    More youthful VIII misunderstandings: since my main knowledge of alcohol at 13 came from TV adverts, I thought there was some product placement going on with Lister mentioning “Metz drinkers” and “Baxter’s Hooch” being a reference to the controversial alcopop, rather than these being more generic names.



    Ha thanks :) I’m no dealer though! Also I would have been 12 or 13 not 10. I think I remember thinking Francis Bacon probably wasn’t a real person and just a silly name, although of course that would be a weaker joke.



    Actually the biggest would be Kryten’s idea of going to “Dallas, 1963, stand on the grassy knoll and shout Duck!” I had to have that one explained to me at the time for sure.



    in Can’t Smeg Won’t Smeg, there’s this one line i never got:

    “RIMMER: What’s wrong with me?

    CAT: I’d give you the list, but by the time I was through I’d be cold!”

    what does being cold have to do with anything?


    Ben Saunders

    He will have been dead for so long his body will have gone cold



    Doesn’t Rimmer call Lister a ‘modo’ in a S1 or S2 episode?

    And… what is a modo?


    International Debris

    I always thought it was the opposite of “I’m hot” (ie I’m very attractive), although Ben’s suggestion makes far, far more sense.



    just had a rewatch and he actually says “coal”, not “cold”. which only makes it more confusing really, why is the cat becoming coal?



    I guess he would have died and the carbon in his body would have become compressed into coal.



    that’s a bit of an unusual joke though isn’t it?






    Modo’s future slang like gimboid, goit and the all-time number one, it just didn’t catch on in the same way.



    Modo is made up, think they talk about it in a documentary or something, coming up with smeg and other future words that got them around swearing.

    Cold or coal are perfectly reasonable to me, think coal is funnier because that’s millions of years rather than 60 or so.


    Pete Part Three

    I feel “Can’t Smeg, Won’t Smeg” should be excluded from this thread on the basis that it does not contain actual jokes; just deeply strange dialogue and improv.



    Are we excluding Series VIII on the same basis?



    Surely VII is the humour vacuum? If VIII didn’t have jokes, there’d be nothing to wreck through over-explanation. I can’t tell if the VIII hate has grown to eclipse it over the years or if VII’s been rehabilitated into society. Probably both.



    You’re right, VIII does have more traditional jokes, even if I find VII generally funnier.



    Though VIII certainly has its share of improv (“you haven’t heard the news?”, “I’m Nigel, Doug said I could be in the show”) and deeply strange dialogue (open script book at random and point).



    I always think VII is still Rob and Doug style Red Dwarf but a bit crap, VIII onwards is different in style, traditional gags that could be in any sitcom, less conversational/character based.



    I only got Chris Barrie’s ‘Vat 69’ smeg-up joke recently. I used to mishear the last mumble as “so I don’t have to pay tax,” which I figured was somehow funny if you knew who Lester Piggott was. Now I know he’s saying [19]69 was “the last year I paid tax” and it’s an actual joke about the drink’s name… and maybe funny if you know who Lester Piggott is.



    “It would be average for my height if I happened to be a pregnant hippo.”

    This never sounded right to me. Shouldn’t the comparison be something very tall, not something very fat? Hippos aren’t notably tall and a pregnant hippo isn’t average for its height, it’s fat even by hippo standards. Maybe the rhythm and imagery matters more than the logic.



    A hippo is roughly as tall as a human give or take a few inches, and they’re heavy, a pregnant one even more so, basically in as boring language as possible, it’s

    “I am 5’8″ but I am a human so this weight does not make sense, it would make sense if I were a pregnant hippo of similar height, as they are considerable denser”

    So it makes perfect sense.



    Your interpretation makes sense. I was expecting him to say a ludicrous height that would balance out to give him an average BMI, so I got stumped when they went in a different direction and then tried to dig myself out.

    The older series should really have Holly explaining all the jokes.



    “No bugger’ll drink it. So that’s why it lasts a really long time, you see, because no one will drink it, rather than due to any inherent properties of the milk itself.”



    “We are talking jape of the decade. We are talking April, May, June, July and August Fool. That’s right: I am Queeg. Queeg never existed; it was me all along.”



    If only Holly had over explained that joke, then we might know if it had only been a couple of weeks, or the several months the jokes suggests which some of us take as the case to make it feel all the more harrowing.


    Ben Saunders

    People think Queeg literally takes place from April to August? Surely you’re making a joke



    I always took it as reworking the April Fool / six months gag in Me², but the other interpretation fits in the timeline, if people want to think it. Thanks for the Memory takes place in early January (worked out via Me²), so Queeg could begin in April. I think the next date we have is Polymorph taking place over ‘Easter.’



    The jape is so big it’s covers more than just one month’s fool.

    If anyone seriously doesn’t understand that that’s the joke, then I don’t know what to say.

    If its literal then Lister would have died of malnourishment.

    Think the main things people wouldn’t get is references to Britain in the 70s and 80s which is fair enough, everything else is pretty straightforward.



    Well that’s what this thread’s for, clearing things up or realising you’ve held on to a bit of a strange idea from childhood viewings and never thought to question it before. Seems most of the forum has wanted clarifications on something or other.



    I know that the joke isi meant to be the Queeg con is so big it’s bigger than April Fools, but I love the idea he kept it going for 5 months, just to keep himself entertained.


    Plastic Percy

    It would explain what happned to Holly. He went off to take over from the Jigsaw Killer.


    By Jove its holmes

    Winnie-the-Pooh is a good example of when you have to decide between honey and trousers.



    I’ve just remembered an odd one from when I was a kid from Series II.

    RIMMER: They don’t do they? You say “keep an eye on that lamb” and they do. They sit there for three hours and watch it burn.

    I didn’t make the connection to him cooking a lamb and just imagined Rimmer asking the Skutters to take care of a live lamb and then returning to find it on fire.



    That makes the joke 200% funnier now.


    Plastic Percy

    As a boy of 11, I thought Lister’s story about his geography teacher not thinking men were better than machines was suggesting that Lister caught her being bummed by a robot.

    Now, as a boy of 30, I’ve realised its just hinting at her using a vibrator.

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