Regulated exocytosis and endocytosis are critical to the function of many intercellular networks, particularly the complex neural circuits underlying mammalian behavior. Kiss-and-run (KR) is an unconventional fusion between secretory vesicles and a target membrane that releases intravesicular content through a transient, nanometer-sized fusion pore. The fusing vesicle retains its gross shape, precluding full integration into the planar membrane, and enough molecular components for rapid retrieval, reacidification, and reuse. KR makes judicious use of finite presynaptic resources, and mounting evidence suggests that it influences synaptic information transfer. Here we detail emerging perspectives on KR and its role in neurotransmission. We additionally formulate a restraining force hypothesis as a plausible mechanistic basis for KR and its physiological modulation in small nerve terminals. Clarification of the mechanism and function of KR has bearing on understanding the kinetic transitions underlying SNARE-mediated fusion, interactions between vesicles and their local environment, and the influence of release dynamics on neural information processing.