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Lister was the son of himself and Kristine Kochanski as a result of a time paradox. When the future Lister realized this he placed the baby Lister under the pool table he was first found in.
He was created by Grant Naylor for the Red Dwarf sit-com.
After a Monopoly pub crawl round London, Lister woke up on one of Jupiter's moons with no money and no idea how he got there. He eventually found work on a mining ship named Red Dwarf were he was the lowest ranking crew member on board with Arnold Rimmer as his superior. He managed to smuggle on-board an cat without it being quarantined first and called it Frankenstein. When the captain of the Red Dwarf found out he demanded that Lister either got rid of the cat (which was being hidden in the cargo hold) or went into stasis without pay for the rest of the journey. Lister chose to go into stasis. While Lister was in stasis, a radiation leak killed everyone on board a part from Frankenstein who was kept safely away from the radiation.
After 3 million years, the ship's AI, Holly, deemed the radiation levels to be low enough for Lister to safely leave stasis. In order to keep Lister sane, Holly created a hologram of Arnold Rimmer that was programmed to act exactly as Rimmer would in every situation. They also found being called Cat who was the human-like descendant of Frankenstein after 3 million years of evolution. Lister decided that he would complete his dreams of returning to Earth and buying a farm on Fiji.