Individual BCL2 family members couple apoptosis regulation and cell cycle control in unique ways. Antiapoptotic BCL2 and BCL-x(L) are antiproliferative by facilitating G0. BAX is proapoptotic and accelerates S-phase progression. The dual functions in apoptosis and cell cycle are coordinately regulated by the multi-domain BCL2 family members (MCL-1) and suggest that survival is maintained at the expense of proliferation. The role of BH3-only molecules in cell cycle is more variable. BAD antagonizes both the cell cycle and antiapoptotic functions of BCL2 and BCL-x(L) through BH3 binding. BID has biochemically separable functions in apoptosis and S-phase checkpoint, determined by post-translational modification. p53-induced PUMA is known only to have apoptotic function. Inhibition of apoptosis is oncogenic, whereas promotion of cell cycle arrest is tumor suppressive. Paradoxically, selected BCL2 family members can be both oncogenic and tumor suppressive. Which of the dual functions predominates is lineage specific and context dependent.