Ascaris lumbricoides, the roundworm, and Trichuris trichiura, the whipworm, are human intestinal nematode parasites; both are soil-transmitted helminths, are often placed together in an epidemiological context and both remain neglected despite high prevalence. Our understanding of parasitic disease continues to be enhanced through animal models. Despite the similarities between whipworm and roundworm, there are key differences between the two species and these have influenced the application of their respective animal models. In the case of T. trichiura, the fact that a murine equivalent, T. muris completes its life cycle in a mouse model has greatly enhanced our knowledge of whipworm biology, pathogenicity and immunology. In contrast, A. lumbricoides and its porcine equivalent, Ascaris suum, lack a rodent model in which the life cycle is completed. However, evidence continues to accumulate demonstrating that mice represent useful models of early Ascaris infection, a key stage of the life cycle. The use of mouse models for both Ascaris and Trichuris has a long history with early pioneers discovering fundamental aspects of each parasite's biology. Novel technologies and perspectives, as outlined in this special issue, demonstrate how through the prism of mouse models, we can continue to explore the similarities and differences between roundworms and whipworms.