Functional neural circuits of mature animals are shaped during postnatal development by eliminating early-formed redundant synapses and strengthening of necessary connections. In the nervous system of newborn animals, redundant synapses are only transient features of the circuit. During subsequent postnatal development, some synapses are strengthened whereas other redundant connections are weakened and eventually eliminated. In this review, we introduce recent studies on the mechanisms of developmental remodeling of climbing fiber–to–Purkinje cell synapses in the cerebellum and synapses from the retina to neurons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of the visual thalamus (retinogeniculate synapses). These are the two representative models of developmental synapse remodeling in the brain and they share basic principles, including dependency on neural activity. However, recent studies have disclosed that, in several respects, the two models use different molecules and strategies to establish mature synaptic connectivity. We describe similarities and differences between the two models and discuss remaining issues to be tackled in the future in order to understand the general schemes of developmental synapse remodeling.