Hybrid breeding in autogamous cereals has a long history of attempts with moderate success. There is a vast amount of literature investigating the potential problems and solutions, but until now, market share of hybrids is still a niche compared to line varieties. Our aim was to summarize the status quo of hybrid breeding efforts for the autogamous cereals wheat, rice, barley, and triticale. Furthermore, the research needs for a successful hybrid breeding in autogamous cereals are intensively discussed. To our opinion, the basic requirements for a successful hybrid breeding in autogamous cereals are fulfilled. Nevertheless, optimization of the existing hybridization systems is urgently required and should be coupled with the development of clear male and female pool concepts. We present a quantitative genetic framework as a first step to compare selection gain of hybrid versus line breeding. The lack of precise empirical estimates of relevant quantitative genetic parameters, however, is currently the major bottleneck for a robust evaluation of the potential of hybrid breeding in autogamous cereals.