Bacterial infections are continuing to pose a significant threat to human health. Coatings with inherent antibacterial properties are becoming increasingly common as an infection preventative measure. The aim of this review is to highlight recent progress in development of "smart" and responsive antibacterial surfaces. The review describes various strategies utilized for generation of such surfaces and the specific stimuli that are used to trigger antibacterial action. It also provides a critical discussion of the advantages and drawbacks of different approaches. The review concludes with a perspective about the future of the field and outlines the challenges and obstacles that need to be overcome in order to make future advances.