In spy lingo, this is a covert operative whose job is to incite rebellion, entice defectors or goad the enemy into a foolish action (sometimes to the point of skirting with the FalseFlagOperation). Even though it's a [[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench sexy French word]], the Agent Provocateur got the short end of the [[InnocentInnuendo sexy spy stick]]. They are looked down upon by...pretty much everyone.

It may have something to do with the fact that--as a TreacherousAdvisor--they are inherently untrustworthy. One side (the Agent Provocateur's true alignment) believes they are inciting foolish, risky attacks against them, while the other side (the infiltratees) thinks they are inciting foolish, risky behavior in their friends.

Confused yet? That's probably why these guys aren't nearly as popular in fiction as they are in RealLife. In RealLife it's ''good'' if no one can figure out a covert operative's cover. In fiction, [[OvertOperative on the other hand...]]

Common conspiracy theory trope. See also GrassRoots. Not necessarily one of LesCollaborateurs, though he or she may double as this. Not to be confused with a HoneyTrap.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', the Ishval uprising is supposedly the result of a soldier accidentally shooting an Ishval boy. [[spoiler:It was actually Envy, who had posed as an Armestrian soldier and shot the child with the intent of causing the rebellion. This is pretty much the Homunculi's modus operandi: they start wars for the express purpose of [[ConnectTheMurders drawing the enormous transmutation circle]] [[BigBad Father]] needs for [[AGodAmI his master plan]].]]
** In the [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist 2003 anime adaptation]], [[spoiler:a group of special forces had been tasked with starting the Ishbal uprising. This group of special forces is then used in experiments to create chimeras who are let loose after the 5th laboratory arc and expose the whole conspiracy. The story of the child getting shot is then spread around as a coverup.]]
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[[folder: Film ]]
* The film ''Film/{{Matewan}}'', about labor unrest and the formation of a miner's union in 1920s West Virginia, had the Baldwin-Felts Detective Organization engaged in this activity, through [[spoiler: their [[TheMole mole]] in the union]] persuading a young miner to plant a bomb to shut down one of the mines.
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[[folder: Literature ]]
* ''[[Literature/VorkosiganSaga A Civil Campaign]]'': [[spoiler:Byerly]] is actually an [=ImpSec=] agent working to support Lord Dono's claim to the countship. Or at least to [[spoiler:actively encourage the rather [[GroinAttack extreme shenanigans]] Dono's rival attempts.]]
** [[spoiler: Byerly's]] ''job'' was merely to observe, and report any suspicious activity. His working as an agent provocateur [[spoiler: against Richars]] was done entirely on his own. [=ImpSec=] had no official interest in which side won the Countship.
** Frustrated by the inherently reactionary nature of his job as an Imperial Auditor, Miles briefly ponders the probability of convincing the Emperor to deploy an Auditor ''Provocateur''.
* ''The State Councilor'' novel contains enough of these to make ErastFandorin swear he'll never take political cases again.
* In Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/TheCatWhoWalksThroughWalls'': Gwen is falsely accused of being one.
* ''{{Sten}}'': Mercury Corps uses this as a matter of course. Sten incites rebellion on Vulcan by fulfilling the Mig folk story of "one of their own" who will get out, return, and lead them to freedom. Especially effective because he is, and does.
* Nom Anor from the NewJediOrder, several times in different disguises.
** In the HandOfThrawn Duology, this is the role of "Vengeance", supposedly a grassroots organization of citizens outraged at the political crises ''du jour'', [[spoiler: actually an Imperial infiltration team of maybe a dozen guys, posing as a massive organization]]. In addition to starting riots and otherwise stirring up trouble, they use high-tech stealth blasters and redirection crystals to make it appear that planetary forces (and in one case, Han Solo) are shooting back at protestors. In their final act on Bothawui, they go one step further, [[spoiler: arranging for the planetary shields to be shut down, and infiltrating members onto selected parts of the multispecies fleet in orbit to incite an all-out war by bombarding the planet]].
* James Mowry, the hero of Creator/EricFrankRussell's ''Wasp'', is sent down alone to an alien planet to stir up as much trouble as he possibly can.
* The backstory of Riviera in ''{{Neuromancer}}'' who has a sexual fetish out of betrayal. He enjoys seducing women, turning them towards radical causes, then handing them over to the Turkish Secret Police and assisting in their torture.
* ''DeathOnTheNile'' has one of these as the RedHerring.
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[[folder: Real Life ]]
* While police [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sting_operation sting operations]] (such as asking to buy some drugs hoping the suspected drug dealer would agree, then catching them in the act) bear a close resemblance to this trope, the police have to be careful. Crossing the line into persuading someone to commit a crime they otherwise would have been unlikely to is called entrapment, and depending on the jurisdiction can get evidence dismissed or even cause the whole case to be thrown out.
* Conspiracy theorists have suggested that agent provocateurs have been sent inside a few social movements with the intent to destroy them and stir up controversy to help discredit the movement. TheOtherWiki provides some suspicions [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_provocateur Here]].
* Some people have assumed that Website/{{Tumblr}} has been the targets of these - not because the government wishes to discredit the Social Justice movement(s) prevalent on the site, but because {{Troll}}s are simply bored and want to dismantle the movement(s) by invoking PoesLaw.
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[[folder: Religion ]]
* [[Literature/TheBible King David]] sent one of his men to Absalom to give bad advice so that David could escape Jerusalem and prepare for war.
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[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* Captain Barca from ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad'' is one, constantly enticing younger [[SpacePirate Pirates]] to rebel against Simbacca, while on Phaeton's payroll.
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