Within the last decade, ionic liquids have come to the fore as environmentally-responsible designer solvents. But what are ionic liquids and what can they offer the analytical scientist? This article addresses these questions and chronicles recent progress made in the application of ionic liquids toward analytical problem-solving. While further progress is required before ionic liquids become mainstream analytical solvents, results to date commend their use in various modes of chemical analysis. It is our aim that the findings reported herein draw other researchers into this area and encourage the increased application of ionic liquids in this manner.