I Was Only Pretending To Be Retarded is a phrase used to show that a person was intentionally being inflammatory in order to troll someone. However, it is often mocked as a false defense after a person is criticized for their opinion. It is also used in greentext to call out retreating trolling techniques.
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The origin of the phrase may be attributed to the comic (picture below), originally posted somewhere in 2009, where a stick figure is acting like a "retard" in front of two others. One of them calls out the retard, but then he reveals that he was "only pretending." The earliest archived example of the comic can be traced back to November 29th, 2009, on 4chan"s /a/ (Anime and Manga) board<1>.
On 4chan, the phrase is most often used in greentext to make fun of people who use trolling as an excuse to back down from their opinion,<5> or call out opinions that could be identified as obvious troll bait<6>.
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Several derivative images had also been made, which do not fully follow the original comic"s format, but still convey its message.