The Wnt signaling network regulates chondrocyte differentiation, proliferation, and maturation during embryonic limb development. In this review, we summarize studies of Wnt signaling during the chondrocyte life cycle in avian and mammalian systems, both before and after birth. Recent reports that implicate abnormal Wnt signaling as a contributing factor to pathogenic joint conditions are also discussed. In addition, we show new data that suggests Wnt signaling is active in adult cartilage. Overall, it appears that the Wnt network has dual roles in cartilage, as has been described in other tissues: it is an important regulator of chondrocyte development, but deregulated signaling is detrimental to mature tissues and may lead to disease.