The posttranscriptional addition of nontemplated nucleotides to the 3' ends of RNA molecules can have a significant impact on their stability and biological function. It has been recently discovered that nontemplated addition of uridine or adenosine to the 3' ends of RNAs occurs in different organisms ranging from algae to humans, and on different kinds of RNAs, such as histone mRNAs, mRNA fragments, U6 snRNA, mature small RNAs and their precursors etc. These modifications may lead to different outcomes, such as increasing RNA decay, promoting or inhibiting RNA processing, or changing RNA activity. Growing pieces of evidence have revealed that such modifications can be RNA sequence-specific and subjected to temporal or spatial regulation in development. RNA tailing and its outcomes have been associated with human diseases such as cancer. Here, we review recent developments in RNA uridylation and adenylation and discuss the future prospects in this research area.