One of the hallmarks of stroke pathophysiology is the widespread death of many different types of brain cells. As our understanding of the complex disease that is stroke has grown, it is now generally accepted that various different mechanisms can result in cell damage and eventual death. A plethora of techniques is available to identify various pathological features of cell death in stroke; each has its own drawbacks and pitfalls, and most are unable to distinguish between different types of cell death, which partially explains the widespread misuse of many terms. The purpose of this review is to summarize the standard histopathological and immunohistochemical techniques used to identify various pathological features of stroke. We then discuss how these methods should be properly interpreted on the basis of what they are showing, as well as advantages and disadvantages that require consideration. As there is much interest in the visualization of stroke using noninvasive imaging strategies, we also specifically discuss how these techniques can be interpreted within the context of cell death.