Every hero needs a love interest. In Lister's case, it's wicked strength lager. But running a very close second to that is Kristine Kochanski, Scottish space goddess and the object of his hopeless, unrequited adoration. Actually, that whole "unrequited" thing is a bit of a thorny issue in Red Dwarf continuity. You see, back when the show started, it was clear that Kochanski had about as much interest in Lister as Lister did in 19th Century Russian literature. In fact, as Holly rather succinctly put it, Lister had actually shared more words with a rubber plant than he had with her. Not that this small detail stopped Lister from dreaming of some perfect future with just him and Kochanski on a farm in Fiji.
It was a dream that was just a bit scuppered when a terrible disaster on Red Dwarf transformed Kochanski into something altogether too granular to make for a serviceable life companion for Lister. Yet, oddly enough, it was only after Kochanski's death that things began looking up for our cute couple. Their backstory was tweaked (by which we mean, shamelessly reinvented by the writers) to make it that Kochanski HAD been Lister's one-time girlfriend. Yes, she'd then dumped him and it didn't mean all that much to her, but hey – at least Lister had now actually gone a few steps beyond just ogling her from afar like some sexually inept schoolboy.
When Kochanski next turned up, she was a slighly posher and even more glamorous lass from a parallel universe – a universe where she, rather than Lister, had been locked in stasis when the Dwarf went belly up, and Lister himself was a mature, cultured hologram. So you can imagine how horrified she was to find herself trapped in our universe, with a Lister whose idea of refinement presumably stretches about as far as ensuring he uses multi-seeded bread in his Sugar Puff sarnies. Lister, meanwhile, was delighted – and he wasn't even put off her by the knowledge that Kochanski was actually his own mother (that's what you get when you mix sperm samples with time travel).
As if being trapped on Starbug with our universe's Lister wasn't bad enough, Kochanski also had to contend with a now-psychotically-jealous Kryten, who couldn't bear the idea of Kochanski taking Lister away from him. The fact that Kochanski had no intention whatsoever of taking Lister ANYWHERE didn't really help stop Kryten from becoming dangerously unhinged by her very presence (and her habit of not putting certain condiments in the fridge). It could have all gone very Shining had they not been distracted by the sudden reappearance of Red Dwarf, complete with her entire resurrected crew.
Kochanski ended up locked in the Tank with Kryten (whose Ken-esque crotch area had him classified as a woman), and the two did actually bond at last, if only due to their mutual annoyance over Lister. Of course, further indignities did await poor Krissy, including suddenly wanting to jump Rimmer (blame the sexual magnetism virus for that) and having to dress as one of the Dibbley family in a bid to escape. Cut to nine years later and we all found ourselves blubbing into our jalfrezis when it was revealed that Kochanski had died. Why, Lister even had a memorial to her on Red Dwarf, and made a point of reading one of those soft flappy pagey-things – books, we think they're called – to her departed spirit. Except, it turned out she wasn't dead at all. She'd merely got so fed up with the Dwarfers (and Lister in particular) that she high-tailed it into deep space. Which is where she is now, presumably. Can Lister ever find her again? And can he make her finally accept that they're meant to be together? Let's just hope he has some of that wicked strength lager left over, just in case.