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Sample pretreatment is a critical and essential step in almost all analytical procedures, especially for the analysis of biological and environmental samples with complex matrices. Dopamine molecules can easily self-polymerize under weak alkaline conditions, leading to a facile deposition of polydopamine (PDA) coatings on various surfaces. Since 2011, PDA chemistry has undergone significant expansion in its applications and is becoming one of the most attractive areas within the materials field. Here, recent advancements in the use of PDA-derived adsorbents for sample pretreatment were reviewed, with especial focus on surface modification strategies, extraction modes, and application fields. In addition, prospects of PDA-derived adsorbents for sample pretreatment are also proposed.<br>• Analytical applications of PDA-derived adsorbents are insightfully reviewed. • PDA has been directly used as an adsorbent for building extraction methods. • PDA has also been used as versatile mediums for fabricating various adsorbents. • PDA has greatly promoted the diversity of extraction modes because of its adhesion.