Because blocking GABAergic neurotransmission in control tissue generates seizures and because GABA boosters control epilepsy in many patients, studies on epilepsies have been dominated by the axiom that seizures are generated by a failure of GABA-mediated inhibition. However, GABAergic interneurons and synapses are heterogeneous and have many roles that go beyond the straightforward concept of "inhibition of the target". Operation of such a diversified system cannot be ascribed to a single mechanism. In epileptic tissue, GABAergic networks undergo complex rewiring at the anatomical, physiological and functional levels; GABAergic synapses are still operative but show unique features, including excitatory effects. Therefore, inhibition is not a uniform notion and the concept of "failure" of inhibition in epilepsies must be reassessed. Seizures are not generated in a normal circuit in which GABA-mediated inhibition is simply impaired, but in a profoundly rewired network in which several properties of GABA function are altered. This review is part of the TINS Interneuron Diversity series.