The past 25 years have seen significant advances in understanding the diversity and functions of glycoprotein glycans in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetic screens have captured mutations that reveal important biological activities modulated by glycans, including protein folding and trafficking, as well as cell signaling, tissue morphogenesis, fertility, and viability. Many of these glycan functions have parallels in vertebrate development and disease, providing increasing opportunities to dissect pathologic mechanisms using Drosophila genetics. Advances in the sensitivity of structural analytic techniques have allowed the glycan profiles of wild-type and mutant tissues to be assessed, revealing novel glycan structures that may be functionally analogous to vertebrate glycans. This review describes a selected set of recent advances in understanding the functions of N-linked and O-linked (non-glycosaminoglycan) glycoprotein glycans in Drosophila with emphasis on their relatedness to vertebrate organisms.