Playing With: Feed the Mole
Basic Trope: One character deliberately feeds false information to The Mole, either to expose it or to trick the enemy.
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- Straight: Alex knows who Bob is, but gives him false information. The Emperor Evulz receives the information and acts on it, but falls into a trap or has their position compromised.
- Alex leaves the high command door open, Bob 'discovers' a treasure trove of information, and all of it is fed back to the enemy. Acting on it results in their massacre.
- Bob tries to manipulate both Alex and Evulz by selling out information between them, yet both of them now this and only tell him what they want the other side to know.
- Downplayed: Use along with Exact Words. Alex gives Bob misleading yet true information.
- The information is laid out carefully, so that Bob is convincingly fooled and the information itself is plausible to the enemy and the audience.
- Bob chooses to become a Double Agent.
- Inverted: The Mole is given correct information to stop him catching on to the fact that they've caught on to him.
- Subverted: Bob realises on his or her way to the Evulz that the information is bogus, and drops it.
- Double Subverted: The Alex counted on Bob figuring this out and arranges matters so that Bob, coming back for the true information, takes more bogus information without realizing it.
- Zig Zagged: The success of the Feed the Mole tactic varies so wildly that at times the Alex and Bob seem inconsistent in their behavior.
- Averted: No one uses the tactic at all.
- Enforced: Executive Meddling and/or the authors: "We have Bob, but the character's not doing anything. Why don't we show how brilliant Alex is by having him manipulate Bob?"
- Invoked: Alice a Reverse Mole in the favour of the Big Bad persuades the Big Bad to send Bob, at least in part so that the Alex can make use of this trope.
- Exploited: A third party rides on the back of the Feed the Mole tactic and ends up wiping out the Big Bad once he or she is compromised.
- Defied: Bob realises that the Alex is tricking him or her, and looks elsewhere for information, or tries a counter-ploy.
- Discussed: Genre Savvy Characters fear a Mole in their midst and one recommends this tactic.
- Conversed: A fanboy goes on about a 'trick he saw in a show' which turns out to be Feed the Mole.
- A character calls out the Alex on using deception in such a way, arguing that it makes them no more endearing to their enemies and may be used by them to justify future retribution.
- The trick enrages Evulz and Bob suffers as a result.
- The deception turns out to be necessary, even beneficial, as it prevented an atrocity from being committed. Or the Alex morally justifies his or her use of the deception.
- Bob reconsiders his position and joins the heroes in a Heel-Face Turn.
- Implied: Bob gives information to Evulz, yet Evulz loses the battle. Its implied, but not stated outright, that the information was lies.
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