Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women and the most lethal gynecologic malignancy. One of the leading causes of death in high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is chemoresistant disease, which may present as intrinsic or acquired resistance to therapies. Here we discuss some of the known molecular mechanisms of chemoresistance that have been exhaustively investigated in chemoresistant ovarian cancer, including drug efflux pump multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1), the epithelial–mesenchymal transition, DNA damage and repair capacity. We also discuss novel therapeutics that may address some of the challenges in bringing approaches that target chemoresistant processes from bench to bedside. Some of these new therapies include novel drug delivery systems, targets that may halt adaptive changes in the tumor, exploitation of tumor mutations that leave cancer cells vulnerable to irreversible damage, and novel drugs that target ribosomal biogenesis, a process that may be uniquely different in cancer versus non-cancerous cells. Each of these approaches, or a combination of them, may provide a greater number of positive outcomes for a broader population of HGSOC patients.