Tongue Tied

Artwork by Squirminator2k

The Rimmer Salute was a type of salute developed by Arnold Rimmer for use by the Space Corps.


Arnold Rimmer considered the Space Corps' existing salute to be sloppy and unimaginative, so he spent a lot of time inventing a new salute to replace it.

His salute, known as the Full Rimmer, brought the right arm out in front of the body, with the palm flat. The hand then twirled round at the wrist five times, to represent the five arms of the Space Corps, following which the arm was bent at the elbow and the hand snapped into place against the forehead. The arm straightened after this to come to rest against the side at attention. (Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers)

There were variations on this, such as:

  • The Informal or Half-Rimmer - For emergency situations when the Full Rimmer was impractical. Only three hand loops were required, making the salute quicker to perform. (Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers)
  • The Double Rimmer - Used for ceremonial purposes, performed with both arms simultaneously. (Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers)
  • The Extra long salute - Reserved for especially important people. This salute contained extra twirls, loops and flourishes, taking an extremely long time to perform. ("Back in the Red II")

Rimmer drew diagrams of his salutes and sent them to the Space Corps for their approval (Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers). He also tried to enlist the support of officers from Red Dwarf to assist with his proposal. He met with little success ("Ouroboros").


Rimmer used his own salute almost exclusively, even though everyone else aboard Red Dwarf used a standard salute (or no salute at all). The number of loops that he performed differed from time to time, making a mockery of his own diagrams. The salute was lampooned by several of his colleagues, who performed it in an overly elaborate fashion to annoy him. ("Balance of Power", "Waiting for God", "Thanks for the Memory", Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers)

Occasionally, others would adopt the Rimmer Salute seriously. In both Rimmer's Better Than Life fantasy and at his own memorial service, the Full Rimmer was performed without any ridicule. ("Better Than Life", "Stoke Me a Clipper")

Behind the scenes

  • Rob Grant and Doug Naylor developed Rimmer's salute because they assumed that a character like Rimmer would not salute normally, but in a more ridiculous fashion without realising how stupid he looked.
  • The extra long salute from "Back in the Red II" was scripted, but got longer and longer in rehearsals. By the night of filming, the salute had reached epic length.