The unimolecular gas-phase thermolytic decomposition of 1,1,3,3-tetramethyl-2-thiocarbonylcyclohexane S-oxide (3) has been studied as a function of temperature by a flash vacuum thermolysis (f.v.t.) technique. The products detected are the carbenes (4) and (5), the ketone (6), the keten (7), the thioketone (8), and the thioketen (9). The product ratio is highly dependent on the thermolysis temperature. The thermolysis of (3) is mechanistically rationalized by assuming the existence of only two concurrent primary processes, which are (a) extrusion of atomic oxygen, leading to the thioketen (9), and (b) electrocyclic ring closure into the corresponding three-membered oxathiiran (10). The latter is dominant at lower temperatures, whereas higher thermolysis temperatures favour atomic oxygen extrusion. At further elevated temperatures additional concurrent primary reactions, i.e. extrusions of SO and CSO leading to the carbenes (5) and (4), respectively, are observed. Owing to an apparently very short half-life of the oxathiiran (10), only the decomposition products of the three-membered ring compound have been detected. These are the thioketone (8), formed by rearrangement of (10) into the α-thiololactone (11) followed by loss of CO, minor amounts of the ketone (6), formed analogously, and the keten (7), as a result of simple sulphur extrusion.