Much has been learned about how cells enter lymphoid tissues. But how do they leave? Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) has emerged over the past decade as a central mediator of lymphocyte egress. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of how S1P promotes exit from the secondary lymphoid organs and thymus. We review what is known about additional requirements for emigration and summarize the mostly distinct requirements for exit from the bone marrow. Egress from lymphoid organs is limited during immune responses, and we examine how this regulation works. There is accumulating evidence for roles of S1P in directing immune cell behavior within lymphoid tissues. How such actions can fit together with the egress-promoting role of S1P is discussed. Finally, we examine current understanding of how FTY720, a drug that targets S1P receptors and is approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, causes immune suppression.