The transcription factors TBX2 and TBX3 are overexpressed in various human cancers. Here, we investigated the effect of overexpressing the orthologous Tbx genes Drosophila optomotor-blind (omb) and human TBX2 in the epithelium of the Drosophila wing imaginal disc and observed two types of cell motility. Omb/TBX2 overexpressing cells could move within the plane of the epithelium. Invasive cells migrated long-distance as single cells retaining or regaining normal cell shape and apico-basal polarity in spite of attenuated apical DE-cadherin concentration. Inappropriate levels of DE-cadherin were sufficient to drive cell migration in the wing disc epithelium. Omb/TBX2 overexpression and reduced DE-cadherin-dependent adhesion caused the formation of actin-rich lateral cell protrusions. Omb/TBX2 overexpressing cells could also delaminate basally, penetrating the basal lamina, however, without degradation of extracellular matrix. Expression of Timp, an inhibitor of matrix metalloproteases, blocked neither intraepithelial motility nor basal extrusion. Our results reveal an MMP-independent mechanism of cell invasion and suggest a conserved role of Tbx2-related proteins in cell invasion and metastasis-related processes.