Earth was the birth place of Dave Lister, who was born in the city of Liverpool, in the Earth nation / country of England. Earth was also and the evolutionary homeworld of his species, humans, of which Lister would become the last.
Red Dwarf left the orbit of Earth for the last time at some point in the late 22nd century. Although the future history of Earth is unknown, it is known that the planet had been subject to a "War against War" instigated by United America in the late 23rd century ("Cured"), and by the 26th century was under the global corporate rule of M-Corp ("M-Corp").
The Space Corps had originated on Earth, as did various artificial intelligences and GELFs, which had spread out into the Galaxy. The hologram Arnold Rimmer was quick to point out to Lister that, even if Earth still existed, it was extremely likely that Lister was the last human alive, three million years into the future. (Pilot episode)
Earth was also the homeworld of the domesticated house cat, who later in space evolved into Felis sapiens. The catfolk revered Lister as a god, though unbeknownst to them he was still in stasis aboard Red Dwarf at the time, and as per Lister's plan they set off in the Cat Arks to search for their holy land, "Fuchal", which was actually Fiji on Earth. One of them crashed into an asteroid, and it is unknown whether the other actually found Earth (although the events of "Identity Within" would seem to suggest they set up a colony elsewhere).
- RD: Backwards
- RD: Timeslides
- RD: Back to Reality
- RD: Tikka to Ride
- RD: Ouroboros
- RD: Earth (This was the original, unproduced finale to Series VIII, which was eventually replaced with "Only the Good". The episode would have had Red Dwarf smashing through Earth's major landmarks.)
- Back to Earth
- RD: Lemons
- RD: Twentica
- RD: Skipper (The planet Earth seen from orbit for the first and only time)
- The "backwards Universe" Earth, or htraE. ("Backwards")
- Fascist Earth, a Despair Squid-induced hallucination. (Back to Reality)
- The fake Earth seen in Back to Earth, also Despair Squid-induced hallucination. (Back to Earth)
- Twentica, an alternate version of Earth resembling Prohibition-era America, created by the time-traveling Expanoids. ("Twentica")
In the novel Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, it is revealed that a giant toupee was installed over the Earth to cover the hole in the ozone layer, (also referred to in the original version of the Series III episode "Marooned").
In the novel Better than Life it is revealed to have been voted for by humanity as the dumping place for all of interstellar civilization's garbage, and came to be colloquially known as "Garbage World". This was also used to remove the large number of captured GELF prisoners of war from the GELF revolt, as they were trapped on the planet. Due to a methane buildup, the planet quite literally farted out of the solar system and into Deep Space, where it entered a long, dark ice age. When Dave Lister saved the ship and crew of the Red Dwarf by shooting a planet out of the crash path of the ship, the whole star system was reshuffled. This led to the troubled planet's gravity knocking Dave Lister and Arnold Rimmer onto the Earth inside of Starbug. Rimmer eventually lost his remote connection and reappeared on Red Dwarf, but Lister was trapped on the planet alone with no food.
Due to the Earth being moved near the system's sun, its ice age melted in a single night - which led to Lister being the only human ever to sleep through a melting ice age. After nearly being corroded to death by acid rain, Lister finds himself in a landscape made up of green glass bottles - the remains of humanity's garbage. Lister finds himself in Mount Rushmore in the American state of South Dakota. Lister is continually "attacked" by the Earth in the forms of earthquakes, oil rain, and lighting, and the paranoid part of his mind begins to suspect that the planet is desperate to keep humans - the ones who so hurt it - off its surface. Lister is spared after he swears to try and make it all right again and, with the help of giant cockroaches, start rehabilitating the planet for the next thirty-four years. He is rescued by the crew. After his death from a heart attack, he is transported to a universe where time moves backwards and comes back to life. He is destined to spend thirty six years on a backwards version of Earth with Kochanski.
Although Earth does not make a feature in the following novels, Backwards describes Lister's time on the backwards Earth. He spent eight years in prison for a murder he had no idea whether he committed or not. He had a relationship with Kochanski, but ended when they first met each other, due to Kochanski having a backwards memory. The crew eventually leave after missing their time slot.