As a testament to the importance of CD24, researchers with diverse interests, including adaptive immunity, inflammation, autoimmune diseases and cancer, have encountered CD24. CD24 is overexpressed in many cancers and appears oncogenic. In the adaptive immune response, CD24 is a redundant costimulatory molecule in costimulation-rich lymphoid organs but is essential in selected target organs tested, such as brain and skin. More recent studies suggest it may have a role in discriminating danger and pathogen-associated molecular patterns by dendritic cells. The biology of CD24 is intriguing but poorly understood. Here we summarize the major findings associated with CD24 to stimulate new ideas for further research that may reveal the underlying link among the diverse processes mediated by CD24.