Whenever that hole in the floor isn't the home of a BottomlessPit, it's the home of a monster. And when there's a lot of holes in the floor, you're probably in the company of this type of monster. Emphasis on fighting these guys is on speed, as you only have so long before they throw something at you and scurry back into hiding. Thankfully, if it isn't a boss these monsters die quickly. May overlap with PuzzleBoss. Non-boss forms can quickly cross into the realm of the GoddamnedBats.

Variations include:
* Multiple 'moles' pop up, and only one can be hit for damage. Hitting the wrong mole may provoke counter attacks in order to de-emphasize Area of Effect attacks. This type often happens with {{Doppelganger Spin}}s.
* The monster that you must kill is above ground but cannot be hurt, and only hitting the 'mole' will allow you to attack it directly.
* There are no holes. The monster just pops up in a random spot. Usually done by monsters that teleport.
* In [=RPGs=], all the holes can be targeted, but only one contains the monster. These holes will almost always invoke counterattacks when hit, and your targeting does not track the monster should it move.
* You can't kill the monster. You have to seal up the holes instead.
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!!Examples:
* Real Life example: Whack-A-Mole, of course!
* [[ParodiedTrope Parodied]] in episode 29 of ''Anime/SmilePrettyCure''. The [[MonsterOfTheWeek Akanbe]] are the moles and [[WickedWitch Majorina]] gets to play the game normally. [[TheHeroine Cure Happy]], on the other hand, had her set of moles either block, dodge, retaliate, or refuse to come out at all. So, she settles to do a [[KamehameHadoken Pretty Cure Happy Shower]] to force them out, stun them, and hit them until time runs out. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_ADiEUhb64 See it here]].
* Sandworm from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV''
* Ultros from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', during the opera house battle. Ultros regains hitpoints when he switches locations, requiring you to whack one mole as hard as possible.
* ''PhantasyStar Online'' has the first forms of Vol Opt and the Episode IV boss do this.
* ''Zelda'' has used plenty of variations:
** ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'': The Dragon in the hidden palace pops out of holes in the floor to spit fire at you. You need to stab him in the head on the way up/down.
** Extremely literally for Volvagia, in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime''. You even hit him with a hammer as he pops randomly from a number of holes dispersed through the arena.
*** Less literally, Phantom Ganon, also from ''Ocarina of Time''. Substitute 'hole' for 'picture'.
** Non-boss example: Wizrobes in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask''. They can create illusory copies of themselves and pop from warp point to warp point. The trick is to pay attention to the solid one. Finding the one that's gearing up to attack you helps too.
* A variant occurs in ''Super {{Metroid}}''. Botwoon is a snake-like miniboss that pops up from holes in the wall. To damage it you must shoot it in the head when it peeks out of one of the holes to spit projectiles at you.
* That...incredibly suggestive-looking worm thing from ''SilentHill3''. Ugh.
** And the Caterpillar boss from ''SilentHill1'', which pops up in random spots.
* The first boss in ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil'' has so much resemblance to Volvagia that it might as well be a ShoutOut.
* Monty Moles in ''VideoGame/SuperMario64's'' Tall Tall Mountain level, and by extension in ''MarioKart64''[='s=] Moo Moo Farm level (although in that version, you can't fight them).
** You DO get to play a Whack-a-Mole type mission with the Moo Moo Farm moles in ''VideoGame/MarioKart DS'' though, in mission mode. Another variant later in the same game has you do the same with Stars and Rocky Wrenches in the Airship Fortress level.
** Lemmy and Wendy in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' pop out of pipes along with two fakes.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG: Legend of the Seven Stars''. Pipe Vault. Whack-a-Goomba minigame.
** In ''VideoGame/LuigisMansion'', Luigi has to win a "[[AnIcePerson Freeze]]-a-Jarvis" game before he can catch Jarvis.
** Hilariously inverted in ''VideoGame/MarioParty 7'' with the {{Minigame}} ''Monty's Revenge'': The players have to pop their heads out of the holes for as long as possible without getting whacked by the moles.
** In ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros'' there is a Whack-a-Monty! minigame.
** In ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii'', Roy Koopa's battle in the world 2 castle is an inverted version of this, with him moving around via pipes on the ceiling and dropping down to attack. You have to jump just before he hits the ground to avoid the shockwave, and then jump on him, otherwise he blasts Mario with magic while Mario can't run or dodge.
* Some mole noises in ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' have the ability of digging away and pop up in either of the two screens. Normally it changes screens when you manage hit him before it leaves a bomb and hides again.
* The Super Scope game ''Mole Patrol''.
* ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures'' features monsters like this in the "Crater" area. But it isn't enough to whack them over the head--you have to stun them to expose their [[ForMassiveDamage weak point]] first.
* You don't really find any holes for them in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'', but when those black Antlions ''do'' pop up, they hurt like hell. They also stay above ground after the ambush. The brown Antlions always stay above ground, however. Of course, the game also has worms, which only move through popping in and out of the ground.
* Traditionally, the first form of Dracula in most of the 2D ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games is an example of a teleporting mole.
* Mission 23 of ''VideoGame/MagicalBattleArena'', where an infinite number of [[MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha Gadget Drones]] pop in and out of the [[ShiftingSandLand sand]] and you have to see how many you can smash before the time is up. [[DropTheHammer Naturally]], you control [[MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha Vita]] for this mission.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':
** In ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'', it's revealed that Eggman has a whack-a-Sonic game. Amy has to beat the high score to unlock the prison door.
** * The final battle of the original ''SonicTheHedgehog'' is a variation on this.
* One of the best NES Powerpad games was essentially whack-a-mole with a different skin. In ''Eggsplode'', you were a dog who had to protect a hen house from foxes that would try to blow up the chickens with a bomb (awesome, I know!). Points for stepping on the Powerpad where a bomb was, loss of life for stepping on a chicken that had laid an egg. Came as a multi-cart with ''Short Order''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' has a minigame like this that does feature moles. There's a ring of holes, and you need to headbutt the leader three times. You can predict where he'll pop up by the dirt clouds he sends up as he travels underground, but he's also got two or three henchmen doing the same thing to throw you off. And they speed up every time you make a successful hit. Fortunately you only ever need to do this once to [[HundredPercentCompletion fulfill a sidequest]].
%%* ''{{Terranigma}}'' has a boss like this.
* The first fortress boss in ''VideoGame/MegaMan8'' acts like this. Four parts of the ceiling, and the boss appears in one of them, along with three dummies. What makes it worse is its weakness: the Mega Ball, which is always fired at an angle.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' had the Son of the Sun, which is surrounded by a circle of flames. Most of them provoke counterattacks, one is the boss' weak point, and they rearrange themselves on a regular basis. It's possible to attack the boss itself, but that really isn't recommended...
* One boss in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}'' creates 3 [[DopplegangerSpin mirrored illusions of herself.]] The illusions reflect all damage thrown at them. Also she casts berserk on the party to incite them to attack blindly. Hopefully you'll [[RandomNumberGod get lucky]] and someone will crit on her, [[SpannerInTheWorks short circuiting the battle altogether.]]
* The "[[ThatOneBoss Dual Sockets]]" boss in ''VideoGame/AlienHominid''. Don't hit the [[AttackItsWeakPoint pink glowing core]] (out of the multiple cores) in time? Prepare to be '''''[[ShockAndAwe electrocuted]]''''' [[OneHitKill immediately]]!
* ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies'' has a stage that lets you do this, with graves as holes. You also have the option of removing the graves/holes with a special weed.
* The Mole Train boss in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns'' has segments like this where you have to whack {{Mole Miner}}s (and their leader) off the banana-filled mine carts they hide in. Bonus points for the enemies being moles.
* The fire dragon boss in ''VideoGame/{{Ys}} V'', similar to the aforementioned Barbagia/Volvagia.
* They [[IncrediblyLamePun pop up]] in ''VideoGame/GuildWars'' too. A quest in [[DoomedHometown pre-Searing Ascalon]] requires you to take them out in the fields near Ashford Abbey, and they also drop Baked Husks, required for gifts from Nick Sandford.
* Jester Hole, the first boss of ''VideoGame/GoofTroop''.
* The Holey Moley dream eater in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3D''. Being a dimension warper, it can pop out of any surface in the room it's fought in, even the thin stage props and scaffolds.
* The gofers Bud and Buzz regularly pop up in ''Pinball/NoGoodGofers'', and the player is encouraged to hit them with the pinball.
* In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', one branch of the Brotherhood of Steel's quest "Still in the Dark" has you play whack-a-mole with a computer virus by attempting to isolate it in three [[LuckBasedMission random]] terminals before it jumps again.
* ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' games:
** One of the Mini-games in ''Babs' Big Break'' for the Game Boy involves your character hitting as many Montana Max and Roderick Rat targets as they can within the time limit. Each character wears different attire and whacks with a different object; Buster is dressed as Biff Vanderbunny and whacks with a cane, Plucky is dressed like a superhero and whacks with a hammer, and Hamton is dressed in his normal attire and whacks with a frying pan.
** Acme All-Stars has a Montana Mash mini-game as well. You get points for every Montana Max target you hit, and lose points for every Elmyra Duff and Dizzy Devil target you hit. Look out for Gogo Dodo, who tosses bombs. Getting hit by one of his bombs will stun you for a few seconds.
* ''VideoGame/GarfieldCaughtInTheAct'' has a mini-game like this if you find the hammer. The game has six holes and thus requires the six-button Genesis controller to play. You must hit every target except the one shown at the beginning in order to win a continue.
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