The phylogenetically ancient signaling molecule serotonin is found in all species that possess nervous systems and orchestrates diverse behavioral and physiological processes in the service of energy balance. In some instances, the manner in which serotonin signaling influences these processes appears comparable among invertebrate and vertebrate species. Within mammalian species, central nervous system serotonergic signaling influences both behavioral and physiological determinants of energy balance. Within the gastrointestinal tract, serotonin mediates diverse sensory, motor, and secretory functions. Further examinations of serotonergic influences on peripheral organ systems are likely to uncover novel functions consistent with an apparently pervasive association between serotonergic signaling and physiological substrates of energy balance.