The Mess Hall, also called the Refectory and the Commons Room, was a chamber aboard the JMC mining spaceship Red Dwarf, utilised for crew meetings or social functions. It was used mainly by the lowest ranking crewmembers, whilst the highest ranking officers had the Officer's Club.
In the pilot episode, Captain Hollister along with some senior officers held a token funeral for a recently deceased flight coordinator, George McIntyre. McIntyre's ashes were fired from a pneumatic tube in the Drive Room. Soon after, Captain Hollister gathered a random selection of the crew in the Mess Hall to hold a "welcome back" party for McIntyre's hologram (this served as the exposition scene for holograms). Lister was joined by his drinking buddies Olaf Petersen, Selby and Chen, where they mocked Rimmer incessantly. During the same party, Captain Hollister informed the present crewmembers that Holly had detected a non-human lifeform aboard, asking them to take extra care. Lister told the Captain it was Rimmer. ("The End")
In the deleted scenes of the pilot episode, Rimmer describes an embarrassing encounter with a female officer, Officer Lovell, that he once had in the Refectory. Rimmer deliberately brushed up against Lovell's breast, which earned him a punch, and the two exchanged various insults,
When first taken to the Tank, the regular characters were addressed here by Warden Ackerman for their induction process. Lister poured some of the Sexual Magnetism Virus over Rimmer, and the other prisoners began showing a little too much attention towards Rimmer. (Back in the Red)
The Mess Hall had some additional pre-accident appearances in the Red Dwarf Smegazine, where Lister, Petersen, Selby and Chen meet up for drinks. Rimmer skulks on the end of the table, writing notes on his body in an attempt to cheat at his exams. Planetoids and nebulae can be seen passing by the ship outside a window to the Mess Hall.