The cell cycle and cell fate decisions are interlinked in a broad range of developmental contexts in many organisms. Coordination of stem cell proliferation and differentiation is essential for normal development, organ homeostasis, and tissue repair through a direct interplay between cell cycle progression and differentiation in somatic stem cells in the skin, brain, gut, and hematopoietic system. The connection between cell cycle and cell fate decisions is present across the whole evolutionary tree. Human embryonic stem cells have an interconnection between cell cycle, self-renewal, and differentiation, while they exert a metastable state with heterogeneity at the single cell level. The cell cycle is tightly intertwined with cell fate decisions in diverse species ranging from yeast to human. Particularly important insight to the processes coordinating cell fate and the cell cycle has been derived from pluripotent stem cells.