|“||"Commander Rimmer!" I ask you. "Ace!" Barf city. I bet you anything he wears women's underwear. They're all the same, this type, you know, hurly-burly, rough-n-tumble macho marines in public, and behind closed doors he'll be parading up and down in taffeta ballgowns, drinking mint juleps, whipping the houseboy.||„|
|~ Rimmer insulting Ace Rimmer.|
|“||The world loves a bastard!||„|
|~ Rimmer after using the sexual magnetism virus.|
|“||Full speed ahead, Mr Kryten, I see no ships!||„|
|~ Rimmer leaving the rest of the crew in space|
Arnold Judas Rimmer, also simply known as Rimmer, is the deuteragonist of the BBC science fiction comedy franchise Red Dwarf.
Acting as the main antagonist in seasons one, two and four, the main protagonist in seasons five and ten, a minor hero in season seven, the tritagonist in the 2020 film Red Dwarf: The Promised Land and the deuteragonist in all of his other appearances.
Although there are also some rare moments when Rimmer acts like a hero, helps his friends or even saves the situation, he is mostly a mean, greedy, selfish, arrogant, duplicitous, egotistical, misogynistic, fallacious, cowardly, and deceitful weasel who only cares about himself and flees every time he can. Despite his sick obsession with rules and order, he has no problem cheating anytime he has a chance to. His bad behavior is caused by permanent failures in his life.
He was portrayed by Chris Barrie, who also played Low Rimmer, Rimmerworld Inhabitants, Rimmer's Duplicate Unspeakable One and Mr. Flibble all from the same series, as well as Gordon Brittas in The Brittas Empire.
As the youngest of four sons, Rimmer was often bullied by his brothers. Failures in his life began in school and Space Scouts, where he was almost eaten by his mates, and continued also in his career. To make his father happy, he joined the Space Corps to become the officer on Red Dwarf. However, he became only a third technician, the lowest rank on the ship. During his fourteen-year-service he failed astro-navigation exam thirteen times. When David Lister joined the Space Corps, he got Rimmer's place and Rimmer became the second technician and Lister's superior. They had to share the same room and couldn't get along with each other.
Rimmer died in the radiation leak which wiped out the entire crew of Red Dwarf, except Lister who was in stasis at the time, and his pregnant cat, Frankenstein, who was safe in the ship's hold. Three million years later, when Lister was brought out of stasis, the ship's computer Holly revived Rimmer as a hologram to keep Lister company and prevent him from being driven insane with loneliness.
- Rimmer often insults his crewmates and never hesitates to say exactly what he thinks about them. Many of his swear words are long, original, memorable and completely offensive.
- Examples: rectum-faced pygmy, baboon's rump, filthy piece of distended rectum, giant half-chewed rubber-tipped pencil, simple-minded gimboid, annoying little smeggy smegging smegger.
- In The End, Rimmer isn't able to study for the officer exam (again). He decides to cheat and rewrites the entire textbook on his arms and legs, not caring at all how many people see it (he is writing even in the lunch room which is full of officers). It is also mentioned he is using illegal learning drugs, too. However, he eventually doesn't pass the exam due to a muscular spasm.
- Also in The End, and in Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers Rimmer kills the crew of the Red Dwarf, whilst this is originally stated as being accidental, by Justice this is implied to have been at least partially on purpose. The number of crew killed varies, being (excluding himself) 167 in The End, 1167 in Justice and 11167 in Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers. In Back in the Red it is revealed that there was a top-secret prison facility on Floor 13 with an inmate population of 400 that was also killed, though it is impossible for Rimmer to have known about this.
- In Future Echoes, Rimmer sees a future echo which shows Lister getting killed by an explosion in the future, but he doesn't seem to be very concerned about it in front of Lister. He keeps smiling and watches his friend's desperate attempts to avoid death, telling him maliciously there is no way to change future. When Lister eventually decides to face his own death, Rimmer waits with a big smile on his face and fingers in his ears. Luckily, the expected explosion doesn't come.
- In Series I, Rimmer commonly hides things Lister wants. It starts with hiding all packs of cigarettes and ends with hologram disks, so Lister can't turn on hologram of deceased Kochanski to see the girl he secretly loves once again. The problem with disks then passes through several episodes.
- In Balance of Power, Rimmer turns himself into Kochanski and comes to Lister. Pretending to be her, Rimmer starts insulting Lister, saying things like "she" isn't interested in him and wants a real man. Lister is hurt, but later detects Rimmer's trick.
- In Confidence and Paranoia, Lister finally finds out where the disks are hidden. Obviously angry Rimmer lets him to get Kochanski's one and even wishes him good luck. However, when Lister loads it, he discovers Rimmer tricked him again, as it is the second Rimmer who appears in front of him.
- Also in Confidence and Paranoia it is heavily implied that he lost his virginity to Yvonne McGruder while she was suffering from concussion and thought he was someone called Norman.
- The novel Last Human portrays an alternate account where McGruder was only mildly concussed and knew who Rimmer was; however because she wasn't sure if it had actually happened and he wasn't sure if she remembered it, neither one spoke to the other about it and they drifted apart.
- In Balance of Power, Rimmer claims that the most "hilarious" experience he and Lister had is when Lister’s safety harness snapped and he fell into the cargo bay. As said later, Lister broke his spine in three places and Rimmer was the only one laughing.
- In the novel Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, two Rimmers order Kryten to renovate Lister's room in his absence: color all walls pink, wash all his clothes, bring a pink tablecloth, clean up the aquarium and throw away his cup with mold. Rimmers claim to Kryten Lister would like it what isn't truth at all when Lister enters his new room. (Something similar happens also in the episode Kryten).
- In Me², Rimmer can't get along even with his own duplicate. They soon start bullying each other and the second Rimmer insults and taunts the first so hard the original Rimmer almost cries.
- Again in Me², Lister mentions Rimmer once tied his hair to the bedpost while Lister was sleeping. Rimmer then sounded the fire alarm, causing Lister to jump and attempt to run away. Due his hair being tied to the bed, Lister nearly needed brain surgery after all.
- In Bodyswap, Rimmer convinces Lister to "body swap" for two weeks. While in Lister's body, Rimmer would get him fitter using the health plan and diet. However, as soon as being in Lister's body, Rimmer loses control over himself, starts overeating with unhealthy food and smoking too many cigars. When Lister discovers it, he wants his body back. Rimmer agrees and they body swap back. However, that night he forces Kryten to knock out Lister and swap their bodies again. He then flees in Starbug and when the crew chases him, he threatens them to kill Lister's body. He suddenly crashes the craft. When Lister goes abroad Starbug, Rimmer pretends to lose his left arm, only to scare Lister to death. They eventually "body swap" back for once and all.
- In morbid desire to have a real body again, Rimmer forces Kryten to knock out the Cat and do "body swapping" between them. When the Cat wakes up, Rimmer promised him to return his body tomorrow... or in Thursday... and he continues with overeating.
- In Dimension Jump, Rimmer meets his alternate reality version, Ace Rimmer. In opposite of his friends, he immediately starts hating heroic, handsome and popular Ace. Jealous Rimmer insults Ace all the time and when he is leaving, Rimmer decides to teach him a lesson. He rigs up a net full of kippers to drop on Ace’s head, but it doesn't work.
- In Meltdown, Rimmer end sup on the planet where the Hero Waxdroids fight the Villain ones. He sees a perfect chance to be someone and declares himself leader of the Heroes. However, he train his soldiers so much three of them melt from exhaustion. He then creates a great plan that ends the war for once and all... literally, as Rimmer manages to kill every Waxdroid on the planet. Shortly, he wipes out the entire population in one day.
- In Holoship, Rimmer has to join the crew on the space ship Enlightenment, but he has to defeat one of the current crew in a challenge of wits. Since everyone abroad Enlightenment is genius, Rimmer forces Kryten to do him Mind Patch – an illegal procedure which would increase intelligence of anyone. Rimmer ends up with IQ 400 and uses it to cheat on the test.
- His rival, Nirvanah Crane, falls in love with Rimmer and sacrifices her place on the ship for Rimmer, only for him to do the same in return. This act of nobility completely disgusts Rimmer.
- In Quarantine, Rimmer makes probably his most famous villanious act. At first, he cowardly escapes and leaves his friends in hands of homicidal Hildegard Lanstrom. When they return to Red Dwarf, Rimmer forces them to stay in Quarantine area for 12 weeks as they can be infected a holo-virus. He uses Space Corps Directives to embitter their lives: they have only one bed and nothing to do. Five days pass and the isolated crew gets heavy submarine disease. They ask for re-screening, only to discover Rimmer succumbed the holo-virus and is now completely insane. He is wearing a gingham dress, has two ponytails and has a penguin glove puppet called Mr. Flibble. At first, he switches off the oxygen in the Quarantine area. When the crew manages to escape, mad Rimmer tries to burn them with his hex vision. Luckily, his friends eventually purge the holo-virus from his body.
- In Demons & Angels, Red Dwarf blows up and the crew must escape in Starbug. They have to fly to the nearest asteroid with an S3 atmosphere which is six hours away. However, they have only five hours worth of fuel and seven minutes worth of oxygen, much to Rimmer's happiness,because he doesn't need to breathe. He immediately tells Kryten his plans to eject Lister's and the Cat's corpses into outer space in order to reach the asteroid. He then turns back to his two friends who heard the whole conversation, and gives them a big smile, much to their anger. However, Rimmer then discovers he will expire in four minutes, as they don't have any spare batteries for him. This makes him to change mind and finally starts helping his friends.
- In the Back in the Red trilogy, Rimmer promises to help Lister and his friends to avoid prison in exchange for copies of the crew's personal and confidential files from the Starbug’s wreck. Rimmer finds the files and two viruses which contain luck and sexual magnetism. Rimmer immediately uses them. Suddenly, he is loved by all women abroad. However, his popularity turn his head and Rimmer refuses to help Lister. When he discovers his friends are in artificial reality where their actions are being monitored, he blackmails the guard to tell his secret he know from the disk, enters the suite and deletes everything related to himself from the simulation. I tis later revealed he is in artificial reality, too, and is sentenced to prison along with his friends who are still angry for his betrayal.
- In Cassandra, the computer Cassandra reveals Rimmer he will die. In order to save his life, he convinces Warden Knot to swap their jackets, so when they come to Cassandra again, it is Knot who has Rimmer‘s name tag on his jacket. Knot really dies and Rimmer celebrates till Cassandra tells him he will die, too.
- When Cassandra tells Rimmer he will be killed by Lister after finding him in bed with Kochanski, much to Rimmer's excitement. However, Kochanski disagrees to have sex with him. At first, he attempts to make her drunk. When it fails, he turns on the water valve, soaking her with water. This eventually forces Kochanski to lie in the bed while being naked. Lickerish Rimmer is just about to do it when they are suddenly interrupted by Lister who, however, doesn't kill Rimmer.
- In Pete I, Rimmer and his friends are forced to play a game of basketball against the guards in The Tank. After being defeated in the first half-time, Rimmer and Lister steal and give Boing, a virility enhancement drug, into their opponents' drinks. This causes the guards to become stimulated in their trouser area and they are easily defeated by Rimmer's team.
- In the alternate ending of Only the Good..., the entire Red Dwarf crew leaves the ship, except Rimmer and his friends, as the microbe is slowly eating the ship. They eventually manage to kill the microbe and celebrate. When Kryten asks Rimmer if they should slow down Red Dwarf, so that the rest of the crew can dock in the hangar bay and come aboard. Rimmer just stands up near to window, says "Full speed ahead, Mr Kryten, I see no ships!" and with a big smile salutes to Captain Hollister who sadly watches leaving Red Dwarf from his life-craft.
- In Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (Part Two) , Rimmer is justly threatened to be turned off by Katerina Bartokovsky, because he failed in his care about Lister. At first, he orders Kryten to dig up dirt on her, only to find she is "absolutely flawless". When the crew meets her on Earth next time, she continues with her threat, only for Rimmer to simply push her in front of a bus, obviously killing her.
- In Trojan, Rimmer pretends to be the captain of the ship Trojan to fool his more successful brother Howard who is an officer. The trick works so much Howard becomes jealous, much to Rimmer’s pleasure. Howard then confesses to him he is just a vending machine repairman. He feels much better when he is honest about himself, but Rimmer doesn't take the lesson to heart; even when Howard later sacrifices his life to save his brother, Rimmer doesn't reveal the truth about himself (although he does claim to have lied about how many Lamborghinis he owns) and lets his brother die believing Rimmer is better than him.
- In Officer Rimmer, Rimmer segregates the ship into a class-based system of "Officers" and "Grunts" after Rimmer is promoted for saving a Space Corps ship from colliding with an asteroid storm; which in reality was an unsuccessful attempt by Rimmer at destroying the ship so as to prevent Starbug being harmed from the possible explosion of the Space Corps ship. Rimmer proceeds to use the Space Corps ship's bio-printer to produce several copies of himself to fill the Officer's Club with. However, during an attempt to produce modified Rimmers to act as bodyguards, Rimmer jams the bio-printer creating a psychopathic gestalt of several bio-printed Rimmers which proceeds to absorb all of the other normal bio-printed Rimmers and chase down the original Rimmer. Lister, Kryten, and Cat then have to save Rimmer from being absorbed by the gestalt entity by blowing it up using bazookoids, but not before getting Rimmer to resign back to his rank of Second Technician.
- In Mechocracy, the ship receives a yellow alert, which Rimmer claims is his favourite alert colour as "It means someone's in trouble, but it's not you" and then says he wants to sit back and enjoy it with a bag of popcorn.
- Also in Mechocracy, Rimmer blackmails Cat into becoming his running mate in the machine election after finding out that he needs glasses to read, which would make him seem less cool. In order to win the machine election, Rimmer lied about being a statesman and war hero during his political party broadcast and ran a smear campaign against Kryten and Lister to stop them from winning, as he would control the machines and consequently the ship if he won.
- In the episode Stoke Me a Clipper, Rimmer definitely turns to a good side when re replaces his alter-ego Ace Rimmer and becomes the protector of innocents.
- He is alive again in Series 8 when Kryten's nanobots rebuild him, as well as the whole Red Dwarf and its entire crew. In this series, Rimmer is traitorous and greedy coward again. In Back to the Earth miniseries and Series 10, he is a hologram again.
- In the novel The Last Human, Rimmer has an illegitimate son named Michael McGruder. Also, his holo-bee is completely destroyed by Lister's evil alter-ego following an uncharacteristically heroic sacrifice by Rimmer.