© 2014 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc. Th17 cells have emerged as important mediators of host defense and homeostasis at barrier sites, particularly the intestines, where the greatest number and diversity of the microbiota reside. A critical balance exists between protection of the host from its own microbiota and pathogens and the development of immune-mediated disease. Breaches of local innate immune defenses provide critical stimuli for the induction of Th17 cell development, and additional cues within these tissues promote Th17 cell survival and/or plasticity. Normally, this results in eradication of the microbial threat and restitution of homeostasis. When dysregulated, however, Th17 cells can cause a range of immunemediated diseases, whether directed against Ags derived from the microbiota, such as in inflammatory bowel disease, or against self-Ags in a range of autoimmune diseases. This review highlights recent discoveries that provide new insights into ways in which environmental signals impact Th17 cell development and function in the intestines.