Plants face a daunting array of creatures which eat them, bore into them and use virtually every plant part for food or shelter. However, plants are far from defenceless under attack. Although they cannot flee their attackers, they can produce defences, such as thorns, and can actively alter their chemistry and physiology in response to damage. For instance, young potato leaves being eaten by potato beetles respond by producing chemicals which inhibit beetle digestive enzymes. Research on these induced responses to herbivory has proceeded since the 1980s, and this comprehensive evaluation and synthesis of a rapidly-developing field provides state-of-the-discipline reviews, and highlights areas of research which might be productive. This overview should appeal to a wide variety of theoretical and applied researchers in ecology, evolutionary biology, plant biology, entomology and agriculture.