After their endosymbiotic acquisition, plastids become intimately connected with the biology of their host. For example, genes essential for plastid function may be relocated from the genomes of plastids to the host nucleus, and pathways may evolve within the host to support the plastid. In this review, we consider the different degrees of integration observed in dinoflagellates and their associated plastids, which have been acquired through multiple different endosymbiotic events. Most dinoflagellate species possess plastids that contain the pigment peridinin and show extreme reduction and integration with the host biology. In some species, these plastids have been replaced through serial endosymbiosis with plastids derived from a different phylogenetic derivation, of which some have become intimately connected with the biology of the host whereas others have not. We discuss in particular the evolution of the fucoxanthin-containing dinoflagellates, which have adapted pathways retained from the ancestral peridinin plastid symbiosis for transcript processing in their current, serially acquired plastids. Finally, we consider why such a diversity of different degrees of integration between host and plastid is observed in different dinoflagellates and how dinoflagellates may thus inform our broader understanding of plastid evolution and function.