To determine the effect of bond coat oxidation on the coating life, thermal shock testing were performed, using three different thermal cycles. The failure mode and crack paths were investigated in scanning electron microscope. A finite element model was developed to simulate the thermal shock tests. First, transient temperature fields during the thermal cycling were calculated. Second, stresses and strains evolving in the coatings due to thermal expansion mismatches and temperature gradients during the cycling were computed. The stress concentration at the interface due to the roughness of the bond coat was accounted for by using an ideal sinusoidal interface in the model. By adding an oxide layer with and without residual stresses to the model, the influence of the bond coat oxidation was determined. Both the experimental and numerical results revealed that the TBC failed by crack initiating in the ceramic top coat very close to the grown oxide layer at the interface followed by coating fatigue failure. Numerical simulation indicated that bond coat oxidation led to stress concentration at the peak of the asperity of the interface proceeding crack growth. It also showed that bond coat inelasticity and ceramic creep might further enhance the crack growth. There was little effect on coating behavior due to the residual stresses in the oxide layer.