In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of films and TV series that include characters with autism. In many shows, the term ‘autism’ is mentioned explicitly (e.g., Atypical), while in others, diagnostic assumptions are made by viewers (e.g., Big Bang Theory). A new article published in ‘Psychiatry Research’ sought to determine how accurate these media portrayals of autism are. The study analyzed 26 media characters with reference to the standard diagnostic criteria provided in DSM-5, and found that the characters’ behaviors are highly consistent with diagnostic criteria. However, many characters exhibited all or most of the diagnostic criteria, which suggests that their depiction may be ‘unrealistically perfect’ or ‘archetypal’ rather than reflecting the more typical nuanced and varied presentation of autism from one individual to the next. While no single fictional character can truly capture the diversity of the entire autism spectrum, we hope that media depictions of autism will strive to improve community awareness and understanding of the more subtle and realistic manifestations of autism.