Rho GTPases are molecular switches that act as key regulators of a many cellular processes, including cell movement, morphogenesis, host defense, cell division and gene expression. Rho GTPases are found in all eukaryotic kingdoms. Plants lack clear homologs to conventional Rho GTPases found in yeast and animals; instead, they have over time developed a unique subfamily, ROPs, also known as RAC. The origin of ROP-like proteins appears to precede the appearance of land plants. This review aims to discuss the evolution of ROP/RAC and to compare plant ROP and animal Rho GTPases, focusing on similarities and differences in regulation of the GTPases and their downstream effectors.