The molecular aspect of the Raman vibrational selection rules allows for the molecular structural and reactivity determinations of metal oxide catalytic active sites in all types of oxide catalyst systems (supported metal oxides, zeolites, layered hydroxides, polyoxometalates (POMs), bulk pure metal oxides, bulk mixed oxides and mixed oxide solid solutions). The molecular structural and reactivity determinations of metal oxide catalytic active sites are greatly facilitated by the use of isotopically labeled molecules. The ability of Raman spectroscopy to (1) operate in all phases (liquid, solid, gas and their mixtures), (2) operate over a very wide temperature (−273 to >1000 °C) and pressure (UHV to ≫100 atm) range, and (3) provide molecular level information about metal oxides makes Raman spectroscopy the most informative characterization technique for understanding the molecular structure and surface chemistry of the catalytic active sites present in metal oxide heterogeneous catalysts. The recent use of hyphenated Raman spectroscopy instrumentation (e.g., Raman–IR, Raman–UV-vis, Raman–EPR) and the operando Raman spectroscopy methodology (e.g., Raman–MS and Raman–GC) is allowing for the establishment of direct structure–activity/selectivity relationships that will have a significant impact on catalysis science in this decade. Consequently, this critical review will show the growth in the use of Raman spectroscopy in heterogeneous catalysis research, for metal oxides as well as metals, is poised to continue to exponentially grow in the coming years (173 references).