Chris Zebroski's late goal rescued a point for Cheltenham to maintain Torquay's winless start to the season.
Shaun Harrad headed Cheltenham in front from close range before two goals in two minutes stunned the visitors.
First Torquay defender Aaron Downes headed home Kevin Nicholson's free-kick from close range before Rene Howe did likewise from Lee Mansell's cross.
But, with 10 minutes left, former Gull Zebroski found the net from inside the area to earn a point for the Robins.
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Cheltenham Town manager Mark Yates told BBC Gloucestershire:
"I think some of the lads thought it was 90 minutes after about 55, in terms of just going for it.
"Bar a couple - Marlon Pack in particular - they were all at about 65% of their capability.
"We were a bit gung-ho and I said to them afterwards: 'If we go 3-1 down then it's game over'.
"But we showed tremendous character and I thought some performances were magnificent."