Since the discovery of L-thyroxine, the main secretory product of the thyroid gland, and its major metabolite T3, which exerts the majority of thyroid hormone action via ligand-dependent modulation of the function of T3 receptors in nuclei, mitochondria, and other subcellular compartments, various other T4-derived endogenous metabolites have been identified in blood and tissues of humans, animals, and early protochordates. This review addresses major historical milestones and experimental findings resulting in the discovery of the key enzymes of thyroid hormone metabolism, the three selenoprotein deiodinases, as well as the decarboxylases and amine oxidases involved in formation and degradation of recently identified endogenous thyroid hormone metabolites, i.e. 3-iodothyronamine and 3-thyroacetic acid. The concerted action of deiodinases 2 and 3 in regulation of local T3 availability is discussed. Special attention is given to the role of the thyromimetic hot metabolite 3,5-T2 and the cool 3-iodothyronamine, especially after administration of pharmacological doses of these endogenous thyroid hormone metabolites in various animal experimental models. In addition, available information on the biological roles of the two major acetic acid derivatives of thyroid hormones, i.e. Tetrac and Triac, as well as sulfated metabolites of thyroid hormones is reviewed. This review addresses the consequences of the existence of this broad spectrum of endogenous thyroid hormone metabolites, the thyronome, beyond the classical thyroid hormone profile comprising T4, T3, and rT3 for appropriate analytical coverage and clinical diagnostics using mass spectrometry versus immunoassays for determination of total and free concentrations of thyroid hormone metabolites in blood and tissues.