Phosphorylated phosphatidylinositol lipids, or phosphoinositides, critically regulate diverse cellular processes, including signalling transduction, cytoskeletal reorganisation, membrane dynamics and cellular trafficking. However, phosphoinositides have been inadequately investigated in the context of cell death, where they are mainly regarded as signalling secondary messengers. However, recent studies have begun to highlight the importance of phosphoinositides in facilitating cell death execution. Here, we cover the latest phosphoinositide research with a particular focus on phosphoinositides in the mechanisms of cell death. This progress article also raises key questions regarding the poorly defined role of phosphoinositides, particularly during membrane-associated events in cell death such as apoptosis and secondary necrosis. The review then further discusses important future directions for the phosphoinositide field, including therapeutically targeting phosphoinositides to modulate cell death.