This paper reviews the progress of discourse-analytic approaches in social psychology from the late 1980s to the present day, with a particular focus on the way conceptual and methodological contributions from within the Discourse and Rhetoric Group at Loughborough University have negotiated a positive role for innovative studies of language in the discipline of psychology. Social psychology has become a key site for the accumulation of a series of empirical studies that have seen the flourishing of a distinctive form of ‘discursive social psychology’ that has succeeded in moving from the margins of the discipline to a more accepted position. The paper traces this trajectory of discourse analysis from the limits to the centre of social psychology attending to five features that now characterise its contribution to psychology; an emphasis on everyday conversation, a concern with interpersonal interaction, explication of formal sequences; an insistence on empirical claims; and fidelity to the ethos of its host discipline. The paper concludes with some comments on the wider context of this new approach inside psychology today.