Inflammation is a hallmark of many airway diseases. Improved understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of airway disease will facilitate the transition in our understanding from phenotypes to endotypes, thereby improving our ability to target treatments based on pathophysiologic characteristics. For example, allergic asthma has long been considered to be driven by an allergen-specific T helper 2 response. However, clinical and mechanistic studies have begun to shed light on the role of other cell subsets in the pathogenesis and regulation of lung inflammation. In this review, we discuss the importance of different lymphocyte subsets to asthma and other airway diseases, while highlighting the growing evidence that asthma is a syndrome that incorporates many immune phenotypes.