Nodal status is a significant predictor for survival of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy, step sectioning of SLNs, and immunohistochemistry have changed the detection of tumor deposits in lymph nodes (LNs). The extent of LN metastasis is a major determinant for the staging and the prognosis of most human malignancies and often guides therapeutic decisions. Metastasis to regional lymph node (RLN) is a complex process. It is often associated with several clinical and pathological characteristics. The involvement of RLN is often, a harbinger for increased risk of metastasis. New knowledge in this area can enable the clinicians and pathologists to study and treat tumors in a more directed fashion. A molecular approach to factors that predicts the likelihood of RLN metastasis could eliminate the reoccurrence of the tumor in the form of "micrometastasis" and "skip" metastasis. The aim of this review is to discuss different modes of spread of metastasis in SCC.