Playing With / Feed the Mole

Basic Trope: One character deliberately feeds false information to The Mole, either to expose them or to trick the enemy.
  • Straight: Bob pretends to be on Alice's side, but he's really working for Emperor Evulz, and is giving him information. Alice figures out that Bob's The Mole, but instead of exposing him, she doesn't let him know she knows and gives him false information. Evulz receives the information and acts on it, which is exactly what Alice wanted him to do. Because of this, Evulz either falls into a trap or has his position compromised.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice 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 Alice and Evulz by selling out information between them. Both sides know this, and now only tell him what they want the other side to know.
  • Downplayed: The information Alice gives is technically true, but misleading.
  • Justified:
    • The information is laid out carefully so that Bob is convincingly fooled and the information itself is plausible to the enemy and the audience.
  • 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 way to the Evulz that the information is bogus, and drops it.
  • Double Subverted: Alice 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.
  • Parodied:
    • Alice is so obviously giving false information that Bob figures it out immediately, but lets himself be fooled anyway because he wants to get one over Evulz for amusement.
    • We see a binder labeled "Purina Mole Chow". Alice gives it to Bob, who happily accepts it (along with any feeble excuse she gives as to why it's labeled that) and carries it over to Emperor Evulz.
  • Zig Zagged: The success of the Feed the Mole tactic varies so wildly that at times the Alice and Bob seem inconsistent in their behavior.
  • Averted: When Alice discovers that Bob is a mole, she exposes and prosecutes him.
  • Enforced: "We need to show that Alice is a Guile Hero and that Bob is not half the Manipulative Bastard he thinks he is. Why not have Alice discover that he's The Mole and manipulate him into giving false information to Emperor Evulz?"
  • Lampshaded:
    • Bob: "False information again? This Is Gonna Suck."
    • Alice: "Why doesn't that guy even notice it's just false information?" or "I can't believe that actually worked. So many things could have gone wrong!"
  • Invoked: Alice uses her own spies close to Emperor Evulz to get him to send Bob as The Mole, precisely so she can use this tactic.
  • 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 Alice is tricking him, and looks elsewhere for information, or tries a counter-ploy.
  • Discussed: "Ladies and gentlemen, we now know that Bob is The Mole. What should we do?" "Well, now that we know who it is, why don't we control what information he gets to feed Evulz false intelligence?"
  • Conversed: "Bob really shouldn't be so confident in his spying skills. After all, he hasn't noticed that Alice has been onto him for a while now and is just using him to give Evulz false information."
  • Implied: Bob gives information on the positions of Alice's army to Evulz. Evulz then proceeds to tactically screw up the battle, as if he didn't know where Alice's army was going to be.
  • Deconstructed:
    • A character calls out the Alice 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.
  • Reconstructed:
    • The deception turns out to be necessary, even beneficial, as it prevented an atrocity from being committed. Or Alice morally justifies her use of the deception.
    • Bob reconsiders his position and joins the heroes in a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Played For Laughs: The information Alice was feeding Bob was Blatant Lies. Bob still somehow believes it is true.
  • Played For Drama: Unbenownst to Bob, Evulz tends to torture Mooks that failed him.

Back to Feed the Mole
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/PlayingWith/FeedTheMole