Lipidomics is a logical outcome of the history and traditions of lipid biochemistry and advances in mass spectrometry are at the heart of a renaissance in understanding the roles of lipids in cellular functions. Our desire to understand the complexity of lipids in biology has led to new techniques that allow us to identify over 1000 phospholipids in mammalian cell types and tissues. Improvements in chromatographic separation and mass spectrometry have positioned us to determine not only the lipid composition (i.e. parts list) of cells and tissues, but also address questions regarding lipid substrates and products that previously overwhelmed traditional analytical technologies. In the decade since lipidomics was conceived much of the efforts have been on new methodologies, development of computer programs to decipher the gigabytes of raw data, and struggling with the highly variable nature of biological systems where absolute quantities of a given metabolite may be less important than its relative change in concentration. It is clear that the technology is now sufficiently developed to address fundamental questions about the roles of lipids in cellular signaling and metabolic pathways.