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In Ouroboros it's shown that Lister was abandoned

By himself and Kochanski

under a pool table to be adopted.

However in Better than Life he talks about his dad dying (and how he continued to read the football results down the toilet to him). In BtL and numerous other episodes there are references to his gran.

Should we assume that these are his adopted family or is this simply fluid writing?

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    I would put this down to very fluid writing. After all you are talking about a character who had his appendix removed twice. – Nigel Ellis Apr 2 '15 at 7:43
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    Red Dwarf and solid continuity, never the twain shall meet :D – System Down Apr 2 '15 at 19:15
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I have pieced this together before.
Obviously Red Dwarf is not huge on continuity, but it makes sense if you think about the timeline this way:
Lister was found under the pool table by a couple whose names we don't know (or maybe their names are mentioned in Ouroboros but I forget). Let's call them Bob and Sue. They raised him and he considered them his parents.
When Lister was 6 years old, Bob died, and then Sue remarried (let's call her new husband "Charlie") and Dave considered Charlie to be his stepfather (as mentioned in Marooned).
At some point after that, for circumstances that are unclear, Sue and Charlie were no longer able to raise Dave, and left him with his grandmother (either Sue or Charlie's mother). Or possibly he went to live with Sue's mother while Sue dealt with Bob's death, and then when Sue remarried they took him back into their lives. Or something.

(If you want to see my entire "dissertation" on Lister's family line (with a few more crazy theories), you can look at my blog post here: http://blog.tornsignpost.com/2012/10/red-dwarf-x-fathers-and-suns-and-whimsy.html )

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To give another example of the fluid internal history of Red Dwarf - In "Thanks for the Memory" Lister copies the memory of an old girlfriend and gives it to Rimmer. When Rimmer finds out he realizes why some things didn't make sense, including why he had his appendix removed for a second time.

It also means Rimmer had his appendix removed whilst fairly young and then, with 8 months of Listers memory inserted, remembers Listers appendicitis whilst going out with the girl.

In "Legion" the titular character removes Listers appendix (again), saying it was about to turn septic.

We can either explain it as fluid writing or (my favorite) with all the time and dimension jumping over the years, it's no wonder the crew's personal history is confused.

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