Four-point bending experiments in combination with thermal cycling of thin films on substrates were performed in a dedicated apparatus. Strains up to ±0.8% could be imposed into Cu films of 0.2, 0.5, and 1.0 μm thickness on Si substrates by bending the substrates at various temperatures in high vacuum. After relief of the bending, the residual stress was measured by the wafer-curvature method. At temperatures below 250°C, the yield behavior is asymmetric in tension and compression. The amount of plastic strain introduced by external bending increases with film thickness, but the absolute values of the introduced plastic strains are very low throughout. At higher temperatures, there is no clear thickness dependence and no asymmetry in tension and compression. The results are discussed in connection with the formation of misfit dislocations during plastic deformation of thin films.