Since the 1980s, the implementation of fast imaging methods and dedicated hardware for MRI scanners has reduced the image acquisition time from nearly an hour down to several seconds and has therefore enabled a widespread use of MRI in clinical diagnosis. Since this development, the greatest incremental gain in imaging speed has been provided by the development of parallel MRI (pMRI) techniques in late 1990s. Within the past 2 years, parallel imaging methods have become commercially available, which means that pMRI is now available for broad clinical use. In the clinical routine, virtually any MRI method can be enhanced by pMRI, allowing faster image acquisitions without any increased gradient system performance. In some cases pMRI can even result in a significant gain in image quality due to this faster acquisition. In this review article, the advantages and the disadvantages of pMRI in clinical applications are discussed and examples from many different daily applications are given.