In Red Dwarf (season one episode one), Lister doesn't know what an iguana is when Rimmer mentions the word:

RIMMER: The bright side? What bright side? I'm dead, I'm composed entirely of light, and I'm alone in space with a man who'd lose a battle of wits with a stuffed iguana. Where's the bright side?

LISTER: What's an iguana? And look, look, you're not dead, are ya? I mean, you're dead! But you're not dead dead, because you're still here, aren't you?

Is there any canon saying that iguanas are extinct in Red Dwarf? Or did Lister just never hear about or see one in his life?


1 Answer 1


The books (Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers and Better than life) don't address the status of the iguanas during Listers time on Earth. But, ever the under achiever, it is likely Lister missed out on the iguana lecture during his less than stellar pre-Dwarf schooling and wouldn't know what an iguana was, let alone if they were extinct. As third-class technician, Lister was the lowest ranking crewman on Red Dwarf for good reason. According to the Dave Lister wikipedia entry:

Lister is very lazy, and more importantly, unmotivated. He is a slob, his best shirt is a one with only two curry stains on the front, and prior to going into stasis he saved money by never buying soap, deodorant or socks.

So, even though there is no answer to your question in the books that make up the canon behind the TV series (canon that has been tweaked, adjusted and ignored) I would say iguanas were not on undereducated, bleary eyed Dave's "need to know" list.

  • ...and yet he is fluent in Esperanto.
    – Foole
    Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 9:36
  • 4
    Obviously, learning Esperanto is far more important than learning about obscure life forms than will never play a role in Lister's life.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 15:08
  • 1
    Esperanto was on his need to know list :) Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 16:09
  • he can seduce women in Esperanto, so Lister has some motivation to learn it...
    – SteveED
    Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 16:25
  • 10
    He learned esperanto from being stuck in a room with Rimmer as he persistently tried (and failed) to learn basic esoeranto from tapes. To the best of my knowledge there's no indication that he knows more than a few words and phrases.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 14:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.