Intratumoral heterogeneity is considered the major cause of drug unresponsiveness in cancer and accumulating evidence implicates non-mutational resistance mechanisms rather than genetic mutations in its development. These non-mutational processes are largely driven by phenotypic plasticity, which is defined as the ability of a cell to reprogram and change its identity (phenotype switching). Tumor cell plasticity is characterized by the reactivation of developmental programs that are closely correlated with the acquisition of cancer stem cell properties and an enhanced potential for retrodifferentiation or transdifferentiation. A well-studied mechanism of phenotypic plasticity is the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Current evidence suggests a complex interplay between EMT, genetic and epigenetic alterations, and clues from the tumor microenvironment in cell reprogramming. A deeper understanding of the connections between stem cell, epithelial–mesenchymal, and tumor-associated reprogramming events is crucial to develop novel therapies that mitigate cell plasticity and minimize the evolution of tumor heterogeneity, and hence drug resistance. Alternatively, vulnerabilities exposed by tumor cells when residing in a plastic or stem-like state may be exploited therapeutically, i.e., by converting them into less aggressive or even postmitotic cells. Tumor cell plasticity thus presents a new paradigm for understanding a cancer’s resistance to therapy and deciphering its underlying mechanisms.