Brassinosteroids (BRs) are a group of polyhydroxylated plant steroid hormones that are crucial for many aspects of a plant’s life. BRs were originally characterized for their function in cell elongation, but it is becoming clear that they play major roles in plant growth, development, and responses to several stresses such as extreme temperatures and drought. A BR signaling pathway from cell surface receptors to central transcription factors has been well characterized. Here, we summarize recent progress toward understanding the BR pathway, including BR perception and the molecular mechanisms of BR signaling. Next, we discuss the roles of BRs in development and stress responses. Finally, we show how knowledge of the BR pathway is being applied to manipulate the growth and stress responses of crops. These studies highlight the complex regulation of BR signaling, multiple points of crosstalk between BRs and other hormones or stress responses, and the finely tuned spatiotemporal regulation of BR signaling.