Vignettes refer to stimuli, including text and images, which research participants are invited to respond. Drawing on a range of social science sources, this paper focuses on two substantive areas concerning the use of vignettes in research. Considered first is the development and construction of vignettes. This section is concerned with internal reliability; research topics; participants; and interest, relevance, realism and timing. Considered second are vignette interpretations and responses, in particular open and closed questioning; vignette perspectives; and difficulties with interpreting and responding to vignettes. Together these explorations contribute to the wider appreciation of vignette methodologies used within the social sciences. The paper concludes by outlining the limitations of using vignettes in social research.