We review coupled cluster (CC) theory for electronically excited states. We outline the basics of a CC response theory framework that allows the transfer of the attractive accuracy and convergence properties associated with CC methods over to the calculation of electronic excitation energies and properties. Key factors affecting the accuracy of CC excitation energy calculations are discussed as are some of the key CC models in this field. To aid both the practitioner as well as the developer of CC excited state methods, we also briefly discuss the key computational steps in a working CC response implementation. Approaches aimed at extending the application range of CC excited state methods either in terms of molecular size and phenomena or in terms of environment (solution and proteins) are also discussed. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.