Repair of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) is critical for the maintenance of genome integrity. DNA DSBs can be repaired by either homologous recombination (HR) or nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ). Whilst HR requires sequences homologous to the damaged DNA template in order to facilitate repair, NHEJ occurs through recognition of DNA DSBs by a variety of proteins that process and rejoin DNA termini by direct ligation. Here we review two recent reports that NHEJ is conserved in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. Certain components of the mammalian NHEJ pathway that are absent in genetically tractable organisms such as yeast are present in Dictyostelium and we discuss potential directions for future research, in addition to considering this organism as a genetic model system for the study of NHEJ in vivo.