Early functional and oncological outcome studies suggest that transoral robotic surgery (TORS) may have a role for early stage cancers of the oropharynx. Unlike with traditional mandibular swing or pharyngotomy approaches, access to the oropharynx for reconstruction in TORS cases is limited. Maintaining a good functional result necessitates preserving physiological function where possible. The principles that should guide reconstructive surgeons include maintaining a velopharyngeal sphincter to prevent velopharyngeal insufficiency, maintaining sensate mucosa and restoring bulk in the tongue base to prevent aspiration, maintaining separation between the cervical and pharyngeal components, and covering exposed vessels in the pharynx. We present here principles and surgical techniques of TORS to reconstruct oropharyngeal defects using a subsite-based approach using secondary healing, local musculomucosal flaps, and free tissue transfer guided by the above principles.