White adipose tissue is one of the largest organs of the body. It plays a key role in whole-body energy status and metabolism; it not only stores excess energy but also secretes various hormones and metabolites to regulate body energy balance. Healthy adipose tissue capable of expanding is needed for metabolic well-being and to prevent accumulation of triglycerides to other organs. Mitochondria govern several important functions in the adipose tissue. We review the derangements of mitochondrial function in white adipose tissue in the obese state. Downregulation of mitochondrial function or biogenesis in the white adipose tissue is a central driver for obesity-associated metabolic diseases. Mitochondrial functions compromised in obesity include oxidative functions and renewal and enlargement of the adipose tissue through recruitment and differentiation of adipocyte progenitor cells. These changes adversely affect whole-body metabolic health. Dysfunction of the white adipose tissue mitochondria in obesity has long-term consequences for the metabolism of adipose tissue and the whole body. Understanding the pathways behind mitochondrial dysfunction may help reveal targets for pharmacological or nutritional interventions that enhance mitochondrial biogenesis or function in adipose tissue.