The endocytosis of membrane receptors is a complex and tightly controlled process that is essential for maintaining cellular homoeostasis. The removal of receptors from the cell surface can be constitutive or ligand-induced, and occurs in a clathrin-dependent or -independent manner. The recruitment of receptors into specialized membrane domains, the formation of vesicles and the trafficking of receptors together with their ligands within endocytic compartments are regulated by reversible protein modifications, and multiple protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions. Recent reports describe a variety of multidomain molecules that facilitate receptor endocytosis and function as platforms for the assembly of protein complexes. These scaffold proteins typically act in a cargo-specific manner, recognizing one or more receptor types, or function at the level of endocytic cellular microcompartments by controlling the movement of cargo molecules and linking endocytic machineries to signalling pathways. In the present review we summarize present knowledge on endocytic scaffold molecules and discuss their functions.