Metastasis is a critical event in the progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). To identify microRNAs associated with HNSCC metastasis, six paired HNSCC cell lines with different metastatic potential were examined. Using microarrays, a panel of differentially expressed microRNAs was identified, including reduction of miR-138 in highly metastatic cells. Ectopic transfection of miR-138 suppressed cell invasion and led to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Knockdown of miR-138 enhanced cell invasion and suppressed apoptosis. Thus, our results suggested miR-138 acts as a tumor suppresser and may serve as a therapeutic target for HNSCC patients at risk of metastasis.