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Playing With: The Mole
Basic Trope: A bad guy who pretends to be a good guy.
  • Straight: Most people assume Bob is a good guy, until The Reveal when it turns out he was a villain (or working for them) all along.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed: Bob isn't a villain as such, but his agenda is different than the one he pretended it was, and it isn't in the best interests of the good guys.
  • Justified:
    • Bob is a mole because he's being blackmailed or coerced.
    • Bob has good reason to dislike the good guys.
  • Inverted: Bob is a Reverse Mole.
  • Subverted: Bob is revealed as a mole, but then it turns out to be someone else framing him. See Red Herring Mole.
  • Double Subverted: Bob is revealed as a mole, then it turns out to be someone else framing him, but at the end Bob really is the mole after all.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Bob is set up as the mole, but turns out to be a Double Agent. The guy framing him is actually the mole, but working for a third side. Then the protagonist ends up being a mole too.
  • Averted: There are no moles — everybody's on the side they claim to be.
  • Enforced: In any work set during the Cold War, it's well known that both sides employed moles, so there pretty much has to be one.
  • Lampshaded: "There's always a mole in these stories. And it's always the person you least suspect."
  • Invoked: "We've got to plant a mole in their team; it's right there in the Spies Handbook."
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: "There's no mole among us; the psychometer would ferret one out in an instant."
  • Discussed: The characters talk about how likely it is that there will be a mole, given the political situation.
  • Conversed: "I knew he was a bad guy!"
  • Deconstructed: The psychological aspects of being a mole are discussed. We see the angst Bob suffers over having to betray the people he befriended.
  • Reconstructed: Bob is the focus character, or even the protagonist. His backstory and psychological issues are studied; he has an opportunity to make a Heel-Face Turn... but doesn't. In the end, he carries out his betrayal exactly as planned, surprising everybody.

Back to The Mole

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