Second messenger molecules relay, amplify, and diversify cell surface receptor signals. Two important examples are phosphorylated D-myo-inositol derivatives, such as phosphoinositide lipids within cellular membranes, and soluble inositol phosphates. Here, we review how phosphoinositide metabolism generates multiple second messengers with important roles in T-cell development and function. They include soluble inositol(1,4,5)trisphosphate, long known for its Ca(2+)-mobilizing function, and phosphatidylinositol(3,4,5)trisphosphate, whose generation by phosphoinositide 3-kinase and turnover by the phosphatases PTEN and SHIP control a key "hub" of TCR signaling. More recent studies unveiled important second messenger functions for diacylglycerol, phosphatidic acid, and soluble inositol(1,3,4,5)tetrakisphosphate (IP(4)) in immune cells. Inositol(1,3,4,5)tetrakisphosphate acts as a soluble phosphatidylinositol(3,4,5)trisphosphate analog to control protein membrane recruitment. We propose that phosphoinositide lipids and soluble inositol phosphates (IPs) can act as complementary partners whose interplay could have broadly important roles in cellular signaling.