Nature provides lots of inspiration for material and structural design for various applications. Deriving design principles from the investigation of nature can provide a rich source of inspiration for the development of multifunctional materials. The bioinspired design templates mainly include mussels, nacre, and various plant species. As a sustainable and renewable feedstock, nanocellulose can be used to fabricate advanced materials with multifunctional properties through bioinspired designs. However, challenges and opportunities remain for realizing the full potential in the design of novel materials. This article reviewed recent development in the bioinspired nanocellulose based materials and their application. This article summarizes the functions (e.g., surface wetting) and applications (e.g., composite) of bioinspired nanocellulose-based materials. The bioinspired design templates are discussed along with strategies, advantages, and challenges to the development of synthetic mimics. Additionally, mechanisms and processes (e.g., chemical modification, self-assembly) leading to biomimetic design are discussed. Finally, future research directions and opportunities of bioinspired nanocellulose-based materials are highlighted.