The mechanisms that mediate plasticity in pituitary function have long been a subject of vigorous investigation. Early studies overcame technical barriers and challenged conceptual barriers to identify multipotential and multihormonal cell populations that contribute to diverse pituitary stress responses. Decades of intensive study have challenged the standard model of dedicated, cell type-specific hormone production and have revealed the malleable cellular fates that mediate pituitary responses. Ongoing studies at all levels, from animal physiology to molecular analyses, are identifying the mechanisms underlying this cellular plasticity. This review describes the findings from these studies that utilized state-of-the-art tools and techniques to identify mechanisms of plasticity throughout the pituitary and focuses on the insights brought to our understanding of pituitary function.