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"If Lost, Return to Rita" is a phrase featured on the back of a t-shirt worn by a middle-aged man waiting in line at a cafeteria, with his partner wearing a matching t-shirt that reads "I am Rita," which went viral after a photograph of the couple surfaced on Reddit in October 2012. On Tumblr, DeviantART and other online shipping communities, the snowclone ("If Lost, Return to X" and "I am X") form of the phrase has spawned a series of ship art illustrations and wearable merchandises in tribute to various OTPs (One True Pairings) and other fictional couples.
While it is quite possible that the t-shirt design may have existed for years as a popular "boardwalk t-shirt" template for couples, the phrase didn't receive much online exposure until October 11th, 2012, when Redditor gurkamaal submitted a photograph of a couple wearing the matching t-shirts to the /r/funny subreddit, where it garnered more than 3,500 points prior to its archival.
In the following days, the image was picked up by WeKnowMemes and 9gag and towards the end of that same month, it began circulating on Tumblr and Facebook. On March 1st, 2013, the image was featured on Faado India, where it accumulated more than 211k Facebook likes and 96 shares. Meanwhile on Tumblr and Deviantart, some users began incorporating the matching t-shirt design into their ship art illustrations and fan merchandises.
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