The thermal cycling behavior of plasma-sprayed ZrO//2-12wt. %Y//2O//3 coatings was studied. Coatings were produced with and without bond coats of Ni-Cr-Al-Zr and in some cases the substrates were heated to above the optimum temperature prior to spraying. The coatings (attached to the substrate) were thermal cycled to 1200 degree C and their cracking behavior was followed by acoustic emission (AE) techniques. It was possible to examine the failure mechanisms by statistical analysis of the AE data and to evaluate the influence of preheating and bond coating. It is shown that the AE spectrum changes when a bond coat is used because of the presence of microcracks which, in turn, dissipate energy and improve the coating integrity.