Response to hyperthermia, highly conserved from bacteria to humans, involves transcriptional upregulation of genes involved in battling the cytotoxicity caused by misfolded and denatured proteins, with the aim of proteostasis restoration. C. elegans senses and responds to changes in growth temperature or noxious thermal stress by well-defined signaling pathways. Under adverse conditions, regulation of the heat shock response (HSR) in C. elegans is controlled by a single transcription factor, heat-shock factor 1 (HSF-1). HSR and HSF-1 in particular are proven to be central to survival under proteotoxic stress, with additional roles in normal physiological processes. For years, it was a common belief that upregulation of heat shock proteins (HSPs) by HSF-1 was the main and most important step toward thermotolerance. However, an ever-growing number of studies have shown that targets of HSF-1 involved in cytoskeletal and exoskeletal integrity preservation as well as other HSF-1 dependent and independent pathways are equally important. In this review, we follow the thermal stimulus from reception by the nematode nerve endings till the activation of cellular response programs. We analyze the different HSF-1 functions in HSR as well as all the recently discovered mechanisms that add to the knowledge of the heat stress coping network of C. elegans.