A thermal postbuckling analysis is presented for a simply supported, moderately thick rectangular plate subjected to uniform or nonuniform tent-like temperature loading and resting on a softening nonlinear elastic foundation. The initial geometrical imperfection of the plate is taken into account. The formulations are based on the Reissner-Mindlin plate theory considering the first-order shear-deformation effect, and including plate-foundation interaction and thermal effects. The analysis uses a deflection-type perturbation technique to determine the thermal buckling loads and postbuckling equilibrium paths. Numerical examples are presented that relate to the performances of perfect and imperfect, moderately thick plates resting on softening nonlinear elastic foundations. The effects played by foundation stiffness, transverse shear deformation, plate aspect ratio, thermal load ratio and initial geometrical imperfections are studied. Typical results are presented in dimensionless graphical form and exhibit interesting imperfection sensitivity.