Full Name: Arnold Judas Rimmer
Although he tells everyone his middle name is Jonathan.
Nicknames: Rimmer,Smeghead, Smeg for Brains, Bone Head,Acehole, Trans-Am Wheel Arch Nostrils, Grand Canyon Nostrils, Laundry Chute Nostrils, Captain Sadness, Captain Boring, Captain Yawn, Molecule Mind, Goal-Post Head, Alphabet Head, Mr. Gazpacho, and Smeghead
He claims to have nicknames such as: Ace, Arnie J, Big Man, Duke, Old Ironbutt, and Old Ironballs.
Advancement Prospects: Comical
Personality Traits: Anal-retentive, Over-adherence to protocol, inflated ego, self-loathing,unpopular, cowardly, self-centered,and socially impaired.
Role Models: Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, and George Patton.
Supposed Reincarnations: Alexander the Great's chief eunuch and various warriors and war masterminds.
Hobbies and Interests:Risk, Militarism, Hammond Organ Music,fishing, authority, and 20th century telegraph poles.
Arnold suffered a rough childhood. He grew up in the shadow of his 3 older brothers Frank, Howard, and John. They tormented and excluded Arnie through all of his childhood. His father was a horrible man who refused to accept Arnold as his child. He claims he had an alibi for his sperm on the night of Arnold's conception. Arnold's fanther was rejected from the Space Corps for being an inch below regulation height, and therefore pressured Arnold and his brothers to acheive his dream of being a high-flier in the Space Corps. His father was so obessed with his sons acheiving this dream that he wouldn't feed them unless they could answer complicated astronavigation questions. His father also stretched all of his sons on a rack to ensure that they would be tall enough to be in the Space Corps. If he took them off and they hadn't grown he would put them back until they did. His mother was no better. She hated Arnold for all his short-comings, and she made sure he knew it. Religion in his family was also abnormal. They were "Seventh Day Advent Hoppists." Due to a misprint in their Bible they spent each Sunday hopping, thanks to a passage reading, "Faith, hop, and charity, and the greatest of these is hop." School life was also hard for Arnold. His one and only friend Porky Roebuck spearheaded a plan to eat Arnold on one of their Space Corps survival courses. His so called friend also through Arnold's favorite shoes into the sewer. They had little animal prints on the bottom of them. He cried for weeks over the loss of his shoes.
When Arnold was 14 his parents got a divorce. Despite his loathing for his father Arnold made it his goal in life to carry out his father's dream for him. He dreamed of becoming an officer.He also makes reference to his swimming certificates on bronze and one silver (BSS and SSS). He adds these after his signature on all his letters because he lacks any real qualifications or title. It is also alluded to later in the series that he cannot swim. This makes these certificates one of many mysteries of this series. Another highlight of his adolesence is that he volunteered for the Samaritans which was a suicide-prevention helpline. This did not work out for him so well. He had to resign after one day on the job because five people committed suicide after talking to him — one of whom had dialled the wrong number and only wanted the cricket results. A local newspaper called the event "Lemming Sunday."
When he was of age Arnold joined the Space Corps at a low-entry level as a third technician, and devoted his life to his career. He engaged in very few activities outside of work. In the 14 years he has spent on Red Dwarf he has only moved from Third Technician (the lowest rank on the ship) to Second Technician (the second lowest rank on the ship) despite his many attempts to further himself. He has taken the astronavigation test no less than 13 times and has failed each time. The captain describes him as constantly failing his exams. In one instance he wrote, "I am a fish." 400 times them did a funny little dance and fainted. Capitan Hollister describes his advancement prospects as "comical." He is invited to the captain's table once in his entire career, only to humiliate himself when served cold gazpacho, which he demanded be taken away and brought back hot,only to be made fun of by everyone present. He blames this faux pas for the stagnation of his career (he says they should have mentioned it in cadet school) and never forgives himself — his last words before he dies are "gazpacho soup".
He also leads a campaign to replace the standard Space Corps salute with an extremely elaborate one of his own design, which fails when absolutely no officers display any interest at all. Another campaign he leads is to have the regulation hair legenth shortened by 1/8 inch. The reasoning behind this is he says the people with the shortest hair always win battles. As should be obvious this campaign is also rejected.
During his service on Red Dwarf, he is assigned to both work with and share quarters with his only inferior in rank on the ship, Dave Lister for whom he instantly develops a warm and reciprocated loathing. The two are notably different in personality — unlike the uptight and pompous Rimmer, Lister is unmotivated, slovenly, relaxed and well-liked — and they clash often.
He is also rather unsuccessful with women, managing to have a sexual relationship with only one woman, Yvonne McGruder, the ship's female boxing champion (who was apparently concussed at the time). His relations with McGruder lasted all of 12 minutes and this includes the time it took him to eat a large pizza. It is said later in the series that he has had relations with another woman, Sandra, whom he lost his virginity to in the back of his brother's Bentley. This is a blurry area of his life.
Life As a Hologram
Rimmer died in the radiation leak,which was his fault because he did not properly secure the drive plate. It wiped out the entire crew of Red Dwarf, with the exception of Lister, who was in stasis at the time, and Lister's pregnant cat, Frankenstein, who was safe in the ship's hold. Three million years later, when Lister was brought out of stasis, Rimmer was chosen by Holly to be reactivated as a hologram in order to keep Lister company and prevent him from being driven insane with loneliness. The simple reason for Holly's selection of Rimmer was because Dave had spoken more words to Rimmer than anyone else on the ship.
The series contradicts itself on how Rimmer died, and, consequently, how the radiation leak came about. In Series I, Rimmer is alleged to have failed to repair the drive plate properly, and blames Lister for his death because it was "a two man job". A video of Rimmer's death seen in "Me²" supports this version of events, showing the captain of Red Dwarf berating Rimmer for doing sloppy work on the drive plate at the time of the explosion. In later series and in the Red Dwarf novels, however, some fans question the fact that Rimmer's rank was too low and his abilities too lacking for him to have been plausibly assigned the responsibility of repairing the drive plate; consequently, in Series IV Episode 3, "Justice", the story suggests that Rimmer's sense of responsibility for the disaster is due to his zealous egomania and that he could not possibly have been responsible for the accident. A possible reconciliation of the various TV show versions is that Rimmer did, indeed, misrepair the drive plate, but that the "Justice" computer held the command staff ultimately responsible for assigning a job with such potential for devastation to a technician with a record as tarnished as Rimmer's.
Rimmer is a soft light hologram which means he retains all of his personality and characteristics of his living self, but he is unable to touch anything. Strangely enough he can still sit or lay down on things. Rimmer makes it very apparent that he misses his body. Despite his feelings of sadness towards his current state he refuses to be turned off for any reason including to save the lives of other crew members.At one point, after attempting to use time-travel in order to establish himself as the multi-millionaire creator of "tension sheets", he is briefly returned to life — however, he accidentally triggers an explosion that sees him quickly restored to being a hologram once again. Sadly this seems to be the story of his life. After being furnished a hologramatic copy of the manual of space corps he develops a pompous tendency to quote Space Corps regulations at any possible opportunity; he usually gets them wrong, however, and the regulation he has quoted is frequently comical and one that has no relevance whatsoever to the situation at hand.
When Red Dwarf encounters a holo-ship in Enlightenment, with an all-hologram crew composed of the "best and brightest", Rimmer can interact as if he were alive again, so he cheats on a test to become a member of the crew. A female officer aboard the ship, Nirvanah Crane, explains that because they were all holograms and had zero chance of pregnancy or transmitting sexual disease, the holo-crew's R&R hours consists of near-constant casual sex, with as many partners as you wanted over time with no emotional strings attached. Rimmer and Crane fall in love, and Crane sacrifices her place on the ship for Rimmer, only for Rimmer to do the same in return. This act of nobility surprises even Rimmer himself. Also, in the final episode, Rimmer is in a mirror universe where he is captain, a dream of his come true. However, rather than stay, Rimmer returns to his universe in an attempt to rescue the others. In his case, this is also a noble act.
In season VI after losing Red Dwarf they run into a being known as Legion who converts Rimmer from a soft-light hologram to a hard-light hologram giving him a physical form and the ability to interact directly with the world, in addition to making him virtually indestructible. This return to tangibility appears to improve Rimmer's personality; although still cowardly, pompous and neurotic, he is shown to be more capable of acts of bravery and nobility (such as in "Out of Time", when he agrees with his crewmates that should they fight their corrupted future selves who have a highly improved JMC Starbug rather than backing down, saying "Better dead than smeg.").
Soon after he is converted to hard-light he is confronted with an dying alternate version of himself called Ace Rimmer. He is a hero and tries to convice Rimmmer to become the new Ace Rimmer after he dies. Although initially hesitant, Rimmer finds himself rising to the challenge, and after a moving send-off from his crewmates (in which he is retroactively promoted by Lister for managing to keep him sane), Rimmer leaves to start his new life. At first Lister is convinced that he misses Rimmer but after "The Rimmer Experience" (explained below) he realizes that he really doesn't miss him at all.
In Series VIII the whole crew of Red Dwarf is reincarnated, including Rimmer. However this is the Rimmer who died in the radiation leak and therefore has not gone through any of the character developement that the hologram Rimmer did.
Along with Lister, Kryten, the Cat, and Kristine Kochanski, he is sentenced to two years in the ship's brig for misuse of confidential information. Once in prison he seems to loosen up a bit. This version of Rimmer is not as dedicated to the Space Corps as the hologram Rimmer was. Although he still dreams of being an officer he seems to be less concerned with protocol. He does seem to still worry about getting in trouble however. This version of Rimmer seems to get along with the crew better and even indulges in pulling a few pranks. He also seems to start taking responsibility for his actions without making excuses. He also seems to be willing to listen to others rather than always putting himself in charge.
At the end of Series VIII, when a chameleonic microbe destroys Red Dwarf and everyone else evacuates to a mirror universe, Rimmer is trapped on the disintegrating ship. His fate is currently unknown, but at the end of the episode he encounters the Grim Reaper and knees him in the groin, saying, "Only the good die young," indicating that he may very well survive.
Ace Rimmer- This form of Rimmer is first seen in Series IV Episode 5 "Dimension Jump." He is the Hero version of Rimmer. He is the version of Rimmer that got held back a year in school. The way the other children teased him made him buckle down and take school seriously, unlike our Rimmer. In Series VII as explained above our Rimmer is persuaded to take over Ace's job as a multi-dimensional hero.
Hex-Vision Rimmer- This form of Rimmer appears in Series V Episode 4 "Quarantine." This version of Rimmer has been transmitted a holovirus through an intercom system while the others were trying to rescue a survivor off a derilict ship. This Rimmer has hex-vision as well as telepathic and telekenetic capabilities. He is accompanied by a puppet of a penguin called Mr. Flibble. He puts the crew into quarantine after they get off the derelict ship so he does not aquire the holovirus. Strangely enough he is the only one who gets it and he comes to the crew in a red and white gingham dress and tells them that the king of the potatoe people will not let him free them. Then he sentances the to 2 hours of WOO(with out air). The crew escapes and Arnold chases them and round the ship threatening to "fry them alive with his hex-vision." He even hits Kryten in the back with a fire ax.He is finally defeated by using a combination of Lister's luck and Kryten's brains.
Low Rimmer- This form of Rimmer appears in Series V Episode 5 "Demons and Angels." He is Rimmer's likeness if all the positive aspects were removed. He is decidely gay and tells Lister he is going to "have him." He along with the low forms of the other crew members take over Lister's body and try to kill the other regular crew members.
Brother Rimmer- This form of Rimmer also appears in "Demons and Angels." He is Rimmer's likeness if all the bad aspects were removed. He seeks enlightenment and wears special herbs to protect himself. He also does an interpretive dance for the crew members.
Rimmer without Anger- This form of Rimmer appears in Series III Episode 2 "Polymorph." He has had his anger sucked out by an Emohawk and is calmy trying to facilitate a converstation about how to get rid of the Emohoawk with Cat without vanity, Lister without fear, and Kryten without guilt.
"Wrong, wrong. Absolutely brimming over with wrongability."
"Oh, good. Switch me on, switch me off, like some battery-powered sex aid!"
"Well, if you have any more problems with nothing or things that don't matter, just scream out my name hysterically and I'll come pelting down the corridor!" (RD: Future Echoes)
"It was the way she said it ... Rimmer, Rimmer. To rhyme with scum."
"Every time I take a test, I tell her I passed. It's getting embarrassing. I should be commander-in-chief of the whole universe by now." (RD: Better Than Life)
"I'm organised, I'm dedicated to my career, I've always got a pen. Result? Total smeghead despised by everyone except the ship's parrot. And that's only because we haven't got one." (RD: Thanks for the Memory)
"Everyone leaves me. Girls, parents.... I had a pet lemming once."
"She accused me of wiggling my bottom in a provocative way. I was just walking! Can I help it if I'm sexy?" (RD: Parallel Universe)
"Unpack Rachel and get out the puncture repair kit! I'm alive!!" (RD: Timeslides)
"At least he gets 24 hours; that's more than most of us get. Most of us get 'Mind-that-bus-what-bus?-splat.'" (RD: The Last Day)
"You think I'm a petty minded, bureaucratic nincompoop who delights in enforcing persnickity regulations 'cause he gets some sort of perverse pleasure out of it. And in many ways, you're absolutely damned right. That doesn't alter the fact that the only way we're gonna track down Red Dwarf and get through this in one piece is with a sense of discipline, a sense of purpose, and wherever possible, a sensible haircut."
"I just want to say: over the years, I have come to regard you as ... people I met." (RD: Holoship)
"Yes, but Rimmer Directive 271 states just as clearly, 'No chance, you metal bastard.'" (RD: White Hole)
"All right, I admit I'm nothing; but with what I started with ... nothing is up." (RD: The Inquisitor)
"We're not getting out of here in one piece, or if we do, it'll be one big flat piece." (RD: Gunmen of the Apocalypse)
"Look, I think we've all got something to bring to this conversation, but I think that from now on what you should bring is silence." (RD: Gunmen of the Apocalypse)
"Kryten, kindly get to the point before I jam your nose between your cheeks and make it the filling of a buttocks sandwich." (RD: Rimmerworld)
"The world loves a bastard." (RD: Back in the Red I)
"He was never proud of me. What other father would claim to have an alibi for his sperm on the night of conception?" (RD: Back in the Red II)
"Me? Not make it? What does he know? The big, stupid, yellow idiot. He doesn't see my good side, my guile, my weasel cunning. When the going gets tough, my ability to find good hiding places." (RD: Only the Good. . .)
"The point I'm trying to make, you dirty son of a fetid whoremonger's bitch, is that we're friends!" (Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers)
"Oh, great. Not only am I dead, I don't exist, either! Thanks a lot, God!" (Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers)
"Spaghettification. Let me guess. I can see only two options: one -- due to the bizarre effects of the intense gravitational pull, and because we're entering a region of time and space where the laws of physics no longer apply, we all of us inexplicably develop an irresistible urge to consume vast amounts of a certain wheat-based Italian noodle conventionally served with Parmesan cheese; or two -- we, the crew, get turned into spaghetti. I have a feeling we can eliminate option one." (Better Than Life)
"...If [Ace] once again refers to me as a fruit or a vegetable, I'll take that welding torch and set his poufy fringe on fire." (RD: Backwards)
The Rimmer Experience Song
This song is from the Series VII Episode 5 "Blue". After Rimmer leaves to become Ace Rimmer Lister begins to miss him. In an effort to remind Lister of how annoying Rimmer was Kryten makes an AR ride. This is the song that plays during the ride:
If you're in trouble he will save the day
He's brave and he's fearless, come what may
Without him the mission would go astray
He's Arnold, Arnold, Arnold Rimmer
Without him life would be much grimmer
He's handsome trim, and no-one slimmer
He will never need a zimmer.
He's Arnold, Arnold, Arnold Rimmer
More reliable than a garden strimmer
He's never been mistaken for Yul Brynner
He's not bald and his head doesn't glimmer.
Master of the wit and the repartee
His command of Space Directives is uncanny
How come he's such a genius? Don't ask me.
Ask Arnold, Arnold, Arnold Rimmer
He's also a fantastic swimmer
And if you play your cards right then-he-just-might
Come round for dinner.
He's Arnold Arnold Arnold Rimmer,
No rhymes left now apart from Qwimmer.
I hope they fade out before we get to shimmer
Fade out you stupid Rimmer