B lymphocytes are often considered a homogenous population. However, B cells in both mouse and humans are comprised of distinct subpopulations that differ in development, phenotype, function, and microenvironmental niches. Much of our understanding about how these different B-cells populations mount antibody responses has been derived from experimental findings in mouse models and based on the use of model antigens. These reductionist studies performed over decades have been invaluable in defining the parameters of the B-cell antibody response to different types of antigens. However, these antigens also are now known to differ in a significant manner from bona fide physiological pathogens, and precisely how these different B-cell subsets divide labor in the primary humoral immune defense of pathogens is less well understood. While there are no absolutes in this area, there are recurring themes that divide the roles of B-cell subsets to different arms of the antibody response. This review provides an overview of rules that govern the B-cell labor roles, exceptions that break these rules, and models that have been used to define them.