Nonlinear wave equations are ubiquitous in physics, and in three spatial dimensions they can exhibit a wide range of interesting behaviour even in the small data regime, ranging from dispersion and scattering on the one hand, through to finite-time blowup on the other. The type of behaviour exhibited depends on the kinds of nonlinearities present in the equations. In this talk I will explore the boundary between "good" nonlinearities (leading to dispersion similar to the linear waves) and "bad" nonlinearities (leading to finite-time blowup). In particular, I will give an overview of a proof of global existence (for small initial data) for a wide class of nonlinear wave equations, including some which almost fail to exist globally, but in which the singularity in some sense takes an infinite time to form. I will also show how to construct other examples of nonlinear wave equations whose solutions exhibit very unusual asymptotic behaviour, while still admitting global small data solutions.