This article introduces the Verbal Irony Procedure (VIP), a first systematic method for identifying irony in natural discourse. The first section discusses previous operationalizations of irony and demonstrates that these are not explicit about which criteria were used to separate irony from non-irony. The second section argues why irony can be defined as an "utterance with a literal evaluation that is implicitly contrary to its intended evaluation." This section also explains why ironic utterances can be placed on an evaluation scale. In the third section, clauses are proposed as a good unit of analysis when looking at irony in natural discourse. The different steps of the VIP are then introduced in the fourth section and subsequently applied in a sample analysis of a natural text in the fifth section. The sixth section discusses a reliability analysis of the VIP protocol. The article ends with an outlook on how future research on verbal irony might benefit from applying the VIP. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.