During Drosophila development, the steroid hormone ecdysone plays a key role in the transition from embryo into larva and then into pupa. It is during larval-pupal metamorphosis that extensive programmed cell death occurs to remove large obsolete larval tissues. During this transition, ecdysone pulses control the expression of specific transcription factors which drive the expression of key genes involved in cell death, thus spatially and temporally controlling programmed cell death. Ecdysone also controls cell death in specific larval and adult tissues. This review focuses on the current knowledge of ecdysone-mediated cell death in Drosophila.