IAPs were named as inhibitors of apoptosis, programmed cell death, but it has become apparent that they are regulators of other types of cell death too. Because they inhibit cell death in cancer cells there has been an intense interest in developing inhibitors of these proteins to induce or sensitise cancer cells to death. In this article, we will discuss the involvement of IAPs in the apoptosis, necroptosis and pyroptosis programmed cell death paradigms. All these types of cell death are intimately involved with causing or repressing inflammation and it should perhaps therefore come as no surprise that IAPs are also involved in regulating inflammation directly. To come full circle, the IAP antagonist drugs that were developed to sensitise cancer cells to apoptosis have led to some of these insights.