Recent genome-wide interrogations of transcribed RNA have yielded compelling evidence for pervasive and complex transcription throughout a large majority of the human genome. Tens of thousands of noncoding RNA transcripts have been identified, most of which have yet to be functionally characterized. Along with the revelation that noncoding RNAs in the human genome are surprisingly abundant, there has been a surge in molecular and genetic data showing important and diverse regulatory roles for noncoding RNA. In this report, we summarize the potential roles that noncoding RNAs may play in the molecular pathogenesis of different mental retardation disorders. We suspect that these findings are just the tip of the iceberg, with noncoding RNAs possibly being involved in disease pathogenesis at different levels and through multiple distinct mechanisms.