Developing neuronal circuits often undergo a period of refinement to eliminate aberrant synaptic connections. Inappropriate connections can also form among surviving neurons during neuronal degeneration. The laminar organization of the vertebrate retina enables synaptic reorganization to be readily identified. Synaptic rearrangements are shown to help sculpt developing retinal circuits, although the mechanisms involved remain debated. Structural changes in retinal diseases can also lead to functional rewiring. This poses a major challenge to retinal repair because it may be necessary to untangle the miswired connections before reconnecting with proper synaptic partners. Here, we review our current understanding of the mechanisms that underlie circuit remodeling during retinal development, and discuss how alterations in connectivity during damage could impede circuit repair.