The translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) is highly conserved among animal species. It is widely expressed in many different tissues. It is involved in regulating many fundamental processes, such as cell proliferation and growth, apoptosis, pluripotency, and the cell cycle. Hence, it is not surprising that it is essential for normal development and, if misregulated, can lead to cancer. Provided herein is an overview of the diverse functions of TCTP, with a focus on development. Furthermore, we discuss possible ways by which TCTP misregulation or mutation could result in cancer.