Rips of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) are an uncommon complication of RPE detachment. We suspect that RPE rips are the result of tractional forces acting along the margin of the detached RPE, and that the risk of tearing is greatly enhanced by laser photocoagulation. Rips of the RPE have a characteristic clinical and angiographic appearance. There is a slight tendency for rips to occur bilaterally. Rips may be difficult to recognize because of healing of the RPE defect. This unusual clinical entity may, in fact, be more common than was previously appreciated.