Reliability of thermal barrier coatings (TBC) hinges on the adhesion of a thermally grown oxide scale to an insulative ceramic topcoat and an underlying metallic bondcoat. The width of the scale and its interfaces makes transmission electron microscopy (TEM) an appropriate tool for its analysis. However, specimen preparation has proven to be a challenging obstacle leading to a dearth of TEM research on TBCs. A new approach to cross-section TBC TEM specimen preparation is described. The principal advantages of this technique are reproducibility, reduced specimen damage, and time savings resulting from decreased ion milling. This technique has been successfully applied to numerous TBC specimens with various thermal histories.