Plant pathogen attacks are perceived through pathogen-issued compounds or plant-derived molecules that elicit defense reactions. Despite the large variety of elicitors, general schemes for cellular elicitor signaling leading to plant resistance can be drawn. In this article, we review early signaling events that happen after elicitor perception, including reversible protein phosphorylations, changes in the activities of plasma membrane proteins, variations in free calcium concentrations in cytosol and nucleus, and production of nitric oxide and active oxygen species. These events occur within the first minutes to a few hours after elicitor perception. One specific elicitor transduction pathway can use a combination or a partial combination of such events which can differ in kinetics and intensity depending on the stimulus. The links between the signaling events allow amplification of the signal transduction and ensure specificity to get appropriate plant defense reactions. This review first describes the early events induced by cryptogein, an elicitor of tobacco defense reactions, in order to give a general scheme for signal transduction that will be use as a thread to review signaling events monitored in different elicitor or plant models.