For successful mitosis, Cyclin B1 and Securin must be degraded efficiently before anaphase. Destruction of these mitotic regulators by the 26S proteasome is the result of their poly-ubiquitination by a multi-subunit E3 ligase: the Anaphase-Promoting Complex or Cyclosome (APC/C). Clearly, the APC/C is not just important for mitosis. Destruction of APC/C substrates such as Cdc20, Plk1, Aurora A and Skp2 directs events in G1. Strikingly, the APC/C needs to stay active even in quiescent cells to keep them out of the cell cycle and forms an intriguing link with pRb. An inactive APC/C stabilizes Geminin, Cyclin A and Cyclin B1, thereby securing completion of DNA synthesis and progression through G2-phase. In prometaphase the APC/C becomes active again, but is controlled by the spindle assembly checkpoint. Here we discuss how the APC/C is either held in check or released. We argue that shedding more light on the APC/C is also important to understand cancer and could help the design of treatment.