The mitotic checkpoint is a major cell cycle control mechanism that guards against chromosome missegregation and the subsequent production of aneuploid daughter cells. Most cancer cells are aneuploid and frequently missegregate chromosomes during mitosis. Indeed, aneuploidy is a common characteristic of tumours, and, for over 100 years, it has been proposed to drive tumour progression. However, recent evidence has revealed that although aneuploidy can increase the potential for cellular transformation, it also acts to antagonize tumorigenesis in certain genetic contexts. A clearer understanding of the tumour suppressive function of aneuploidy might reveal new avenues for anticancer therapy.