Catalytic nanomaterials play a major role in chemical conversions and energy transformations. Understanding how materials control and regulate surface reactions is a major objective for fundamental research on heterogeneous catalysts. In situ environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM) is a powerful technique for revealing the atomic structures of materials at elevated temperatures in the presence of reactive gases. This approach can allow the structure-reactivity relations underlying catalyst functionality to be investigated. Thus far, ETEM has been limited by the absence of in situ measurements of gas-phase catalytic products. To overcome this deficiency, operando TEM techniques are being developed that combine atomic characterization with the simultaneous measurement of catalytic products. This article provides a short review of the current status and major developments in the application of ETEM to gas-phase catalysis over the past 10 years.