The molecular chemistry of the f-elements is traditionally dominated by the use of carbon-, nitrogen-, oxygen-, or halide-ligands. However, the use of metal-based fragments as ligands is underdeveloped, which contrasts to the fields of d- and p-block metal–metal complexes that have developed extensively over the last fifty years. This perspective outlines the development of compounds, which possess polarised covalent or donor–acceptor f-element–metal bonds. For this review, the f-element is defined as (i) a group 3 or lanthanide metal: scandium, yttrium, lanthanum to lutetium, or (ii) an actinide metal: thorium, or uranium, and the metal is defined as a d-block transition metal, or a group 13 (aluminium or gallium), a group 14 (silicon, germanium, or tin), or a group 15 (antimony, or bismuth) metal. Silicon, germanium, and antimony are traditionally classified as metalloids but they are included for completeness. This review focuses mainly on complexes that have been structurally authenticated by single-crystal X-ray diffraction studies and we highlight novel aspects of their syntheses, properties, and reactivities.