Tongue Tied

"To the memory of the memory of Lise Yates"
-Tomb Stone (Thanks for the Memory)

Lise Yates was an ex-girlfriend of David Lister from his younger years in Liverpool, and is mentioned as a key plot point in the Series II episode "Thanks for the Memory".



Nothing is ever revealed about Lise's childhood, though given her temperament and location it was likely similar in many ways to Lister's. She seems to have been born in Liverpool or at least moved there in either her teen or adult life.

During her adult life, Lise met David Lister and became romantically involved with him. Her insistence that Lister get a career and become more respectable caused the end of the relationship, though Lister is later shown to have regretted this.

As a Memory

Lister later used the Hologram Simulation Suite to transfer his memories of the affair into the hologrammic mind of the deeply lonely Arnold Rimmer as a deathday present in order to allow him to experience a love affair. At first Rimmer is overjoyed when he "remembers" the experience but soon starts to experience Lister's regrets. Things turn even worse when Rimmer discovers evidence, lover letters, of Lister's actual relationship with her.

He at first misinterprets this as a sign that she was cheating on him with Lister, and going to the exact same places and doing the exact same things, to the point that she had sex with Rimmer and Lister six times each in the same night at the same hotel. He fails to catch on even given various continuity errors, such as having his appendix out twice, being an orphan with living parents, and suddenly moving to Liverpool.

Lister then explains the truth to the horrified Rimmer who feels embarrassed and violated, unable to cope with the fact that the only woman he remembers loving actually loved Lister instead. He demands that Lister wipe his memories of the event, and that they wipe Lister's, the Cat's and Holly's memories of the event, and even get rid of the black box recording all the events. After seeking agreement from the others the deed is done and the black box is buried on a forgotten planet with a tomb stone marker reading "To the memory of the memory of Lise Yates."

Waking up the next day in confusion after their memory wipe they immediately attempt to unravel the events they have just hidden. Key concern is the completion of Lister's Red Dwarf jigsaw puzzle, the missing black box, and the fact that the Cat and Lister's legs are broken and in cast. Using the tracking signal of the black box they, brushing off Holly's recorded warning, re-witness the whole event again (including the Cat and Lister breaking both their feet while carrying the tomb stone). Only this time Rimmer learns to deal with it.


She is rather light-hearted and fun, thus endearing herself to Lister. She did however wish him to get a career and become more committed, which strained their relationship. Based on his implanted memories and love letters to Lister, Rimmer decides that she must be sex mad given that she slept with him six times only to go and have sex with Lister an additional six times.


  • Being able to stick her tongue romantically down one's ear.
  • Being able to make love six times in a row.

Likes and Dislikes


  • Dave Lister
  • Arnold Rimmer (when memories altered)


  • "I love you Lister, I love you so much"
  • "I love you Rimmer, I love you so much"


  • A deleted scene for the episode Thanks for the Memory reveals that Lister once pawned his Gran's false teeth for money to take Lise Yates out on a date. He justified this to himself by saying that she didn't use them, except to open bottle tops and chew tobacco. Three months later, he got Gran some more, only they didn't fit and she looked like Ed the Talking Horse.
  • Rimmer mentions that when he had Lister's memories of Lise that he believed he had somehow had his appendix out twice. This is odd given that this would mean Lister does not have an appendix even though Legion removes one on the verge of disease in the Series VI episode "Legion". This caused a joke about growing new appendix if you are Lister appearing on the offical Red Dwarf website's Space Corps Database, and a reference in the novel Last Human of Lister possessing two appendixes due to a genetic fluke. The issue is explainable based on the idea that the appendix was re-fitted by Lister's encounters with the DNA Ship. Writer Doug Naylor would later explain this away at a Dimension Jump convention by saying that Lister had two appendixes.