T cell-based immunotherapy has demonstrated great therapeutic potential in recent decades, on the one hand, by using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and, on the other hand, by engineering T cells to obtain anti-tumor specificities through the introduction of either engineered T cell receptors (TCRs) or chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). Given the distinct design of both receptors and the type of antigen that is encountered, the requirements for proper antigen engagement and downstream signal transduction by TCRs and CARs differ. Synapse formation and signal transduction of CAR T cells, despite further refinement of CAR T cell designs, still do not fully recapitulate that of TCR T cells and might limit CAR T cell persistence and functionality. Thus, deep knowledge about the molecular differences in CAR and TCR T cell signaling would greatly advance the further optimization of CAR designs and elucidate under which circumstances a combination of both receptors would improve the functionality of T cells for cancer treatment. Herein, we provide a comprehensive review about similarities and differences by directly comparing the architecture, synapse formation and signaling of TCRs and CARs, highlighting the knowns and unknowns. In the second part of the review, we discuss the current status of combining CAR and TCR technologies, encouraging a change in perspective from "TCR versus CAR" to "TCR and CAR".