Studies using Drosophila as a model system have contributed enormously to our knowledge of caspase function and regulation. Caspases are best known as central executioners of apoptosis but also control essential physiological processes in a non-apoptotic manner. The Drosophila genome codes for seven caspases and in this review we provide an overview of current knowledge about caspase function in the nervous system. Caspases regulate neuronal death at all developmental stages and in various neuronal populations. In contrast, non-apoptotic roles are less well understood. The development of new genetically encoded sensors for caspase activity provides unprecedented opportunities to study caspase function in the nervous system in more detail. In light of these new tools we discuss the potential of Drosophila as a model to discover new apoptotic and non-apoptotic neuronal roles of caspases.