Follow TV Tropes


Mole Men

Go To

Beneath the Earth, you can find a strange bunch of people, skilled at digging and with an unusual rodent-like appearance. note  They may live in caves or be a part of a vast civilization living in Underground Cities.

Compare The Morlocks.

Not to be confused with The Mole.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Battle Angel Alita, we encounter a tribe of mole men who assist K.A.O.S.
  • Miss Merry Christmas of One Piece ate the Mogu Mogu Devil Fruit which can make her turn into a mole.
  • Ground Dragon, a very minor villain from One-Punch Man, most famous for the memetic face Saitama made right before killing him. More mole than man, however, mostly looking like a giant, talking mole with tattooed kanji. Earlier there was the Subterranians, who got to show up in Saitama's dreams (where they put up a glorious fight Saitama could finally enjoy), then in reality (where they lasted about as long as everyone else Saitama's fought).
  • The Vision of Escaflowne: Mole Man is a thief who hangs around the protagonists. As a mole person he is skilled in digging.

    Comic Books 
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Scrooge McDuck has encountered several variations of this trope, the most atypical (but iconic) of which are the Terries and Fermies from Land Beneath the Ground.
  • Fantastic Four: The Mole Man, of course! Well, okay, he himself is a disfigured old man (born circa 1904!) who lords over the subterranean Moloids and a select group of giant monsters. There are also various other underground races and societies, including the Lava Men ruled by Grotesk and the Deviants.
  • Usagi Yojimbo occasionally features a clan of mole-ninjas who are, of course, good at tunneling and popping into or out of escape holes.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: In "The Adventure of the Mole Men", Diana and the Holliday Girls deal with a group of Mole Men who have taken to abducting people using sink holes. The Mole Men have odd noses, stooped backs and eyes adjusted to dark but are not wholly different from humans.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation  
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: Moliere, nicknamed "Mole". Probably a human rather than a mole, but according to the sequel, he was raised by naked mole rats. Unsurprisingly, he drives a Drill Tank for digging.
  • The Underminer in The Incredibles, though he's clearly just a nutjob supervillain in a costume, not a member of an actual species.

    Film — Live-Action 

Examples by author:
  • The deros, from the writings and conspiracy theories of Richard Sharpe Shaver, are a diabolical civilization of mole men who have had a hand in just about every major catastrophe in human history.
Examples by work:
  • In the Bran Mak Morn story "Worms of the Earth", the titular hero makes a dangerous deal with a race of subterranean humanoids in order to breach the walls of a Roman fortress and take revenge on a cruel governor.
  • Evolution: Thirty million years after the end of human civilization, a strain of humans has become adapted for living in crowded, mazelike burrows among the roots of a symbiotic tree. These mole folk are small and shrunken, entirely hairless, and with small ears and eyes completely covered by skin, and instead rely on touch and whiskers to get around. They have also developed sharp, shovel-like fingernails for digging.
  • I Am America (And So Can You!): Referenced for a brief gag in America Again. Colbert is busy explaining why alternative energy sources aren't good and on the topic of geothermal energy, he points out "Aren't the Mole People going to notice a sudden drop in their water pressure?" (A photo off to the side shows a Mole Person showering, with the caption reading "Gaaah! Who flushed the toilet?!")
  • Detailed information about the world of the mole-men is a major part of More Information Than You Require. They live Beneath the Earth, travel around using various Hideous Steeds (and monorails), and worship the Century Toad who lives at the center of the earth. They also were friends with many great Enlightenment thinkers and taught them their beliefs about individual rights and liberty.
  • Namechecked by an annoyed DS Seawoll in Whispers Underground: in a week that has included Vagina Dentata as a murder weapon, he's not in the mood to hear about "mole people" living under London. The Quiet People turn out to be perfectly human magic users, just pale from lack of sunlight and... quiet.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: In "The Happiness Patrol", the Pipe People are the original inhabitants of Terra Alpha who, following colonization, have retreated into the complex of pipes that run throughout the city.

  • In Our Fair City, MolePeople were genetically designed to be a Servant Race for a life insurance company that became the last refuge for humanity (or at least a rather large chunk of it). Service to humans is ingrained so deeply into their culture that saying "no" to them is unheard of. After the company leaves them alone for too long, their taboo against doing anything that wasn't ordered by humans nearly costs them their chance at a truly free society of their own, which they attain despite the obstacles.

  • The Ruby radio dramas have The Mole People, led by Moliere. They're extremely fond of terrible mole-themed puns, much to the frustration of one of the main characters.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The official Champions setting includes the Undersea Kingdom of Lemuria, a race of evil megalomaniacs who are all served by their Mole Men slaves. Despite treating the Mole Men like subhuman animals, the Lemurians are dependent on them, because no Lemurian would ever lower themselves to do manual labor, and the Mole Men are the only ones who can repair the technology that keeps their dome-enclosed kingdom alive.
  • Claim the Sky: The Undermen, a species of rocky-looking humanoids who live in the Kingdom Cavern of Inner Earth.
  • Hollow Earth Expedition: Molemen are one of the various species of Half-Human Hybrid Beastmen that inhabit in the Hollow Earth. They spend most time underground and some of their tunnels reach all the way to the sewers of several surface world cities.
  • Monsterpocalypse has the Subterran Uprising, a faction of sadistic imperialist mole men (some of them Kaiju-sized) who want to blot out the sun.
  • Pathfinder features the bugganes, a race of blind naked-molerat people who stand eight feet tall and weigh 900lbs; they're distant relations to ogres, and share their brutality and taste for flesh.

    Video Games 
  • Bloody Roar has Bakuryu and Kohryu, who can turn into a human-sized mole and a human-sized robot mole respectively.
  • Bounty of One has the Mole Men enemies, which can dig underground to avoid attacks at far range and pop up to throw dynamite that explodes an area after a few seconds. Their Sheriff Crazy Denzel takes their dynamite-throwing ability to the extreme, even tossing out dynamite while digging underground!
  • Breath of Fire: Mogu and the clan he is from.
  • Curious Expedition 2 features a race of mole people that dwell in the subterranean maps. Like other native groups the player can trade with them, do quests for them, and recruit them into the party, however they are the most distrusting of outsiders. They are the most technologically advanced native group in the game and are rivals of the Salamanders.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns has anthropomorphic moles as a recurring malign presence in the Cave levels. They dress like coal miners, ride mine carts and even steam engines across subterranean train tracks, and go out of their way to give Donkey Kong a hard time.
  • Don't Starve's resident Pig Men have an underground variant of bunny people.
  • Fallout:
    • The Fallout 3 DLC The Pitt has the Trogs, skinless ape-like mutants that reside in the underground areas and dark corners of the titular city.
    • The Fallout: New Vegas DLC Lonesome Road has the Tunnelers, reptilian mutants that lurk underground and are encountered in caverns. The first time you see one, you see it killing a Deathclaw.
    • Fallout 76 has a race of humans with mole rat traits called "mole miners" who inhabit various caves and abandoned mines scattered around Appalachia. They seem to have been former human miners who sought shelter in the depths of the mines, only to be mutated into creatures similar to the giant mole rats by the Forced Evolutionary Virus, radiation, or the Scourge plague. They wear the tattered remnants of breathing masks and heaped masses of old rags, and are much stronger than humans, carrying shotguns and grenade launchers as one-handed weapons.
  • Guild Wars and its sequel has the Dredge, who resemble anthropomorphic moles. Ever since they wrested their freedom away from the Stone Summit dwarves, they established a highly xenophobic society that closely resembles Communism. Because they're blind (or close to it), most of the technology they've developed is sound-based.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has the Mogma, a race of friendly mole-like people who live in the Eldin region.
  • Rimworld has Mole Men as of the Biotech expansion. The Dirtmole race are nearsighted and hate seeing sunlight, but aren't affected by darkness penalties, are great miners, great at melee, and have fast healing.
  • Sam & Max has several mole people. Of note are Shuv-Oohl from Hit the Road, Harry from the Freelance Police seasons, and the immense group of mole people who regulate the planet's temperature in the animated series.
  • Silent Hill has the Mumblers/Clawfingers, who appear in the Sewers leading to the Amusement Park and replace the Grey Children (which they are functionally identical to, except they have more health and hit harder) in the Alley, School and Amusement Park in the European and Japanese versions of the game.
  • Transarctica: Mole men appear as a savage tribal people inhabiting abandoned subway tunnels in the new Ice Age. They will ambush you if you try to drive your train through their territory, but if nothing else they're a convenient source of new slaves to mine coal for your train.
  • Vanish has these as antagonists.


    Web Original 
  • RPC Authority: RPC-037 are communist molemen with Soviet Superscience earthquake machines. Fortunately for the surface world, they're incredibly gullible.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-2622 is a humanoid star-nosed mole claiming to be an ambassador from the Interians, an advanced and civilized race of Mole Men inhabiting a vast subterranean world Beneath the Earth, and old foes of the Anapsidons, a race of brutish, warlike Lizard Folk who live down there with them. The Interian civilization, the Anapsidons and the whole underground world are just an enormous tall tale he made up after reading too much pulp fiction, although he really is a mole person.
  • Kayaba of Sword Art Online Abridged hallucinated the existence of mole men during his sleep-deprived state. It's one of the many aspects of his insanity he invokes when explaining why he thought it would be a good idea to trap everyone in the game to cover a fatal Game-Breaking Bug he accidentally introduced.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Arthur, Buster's pet theory about a lost library book is that it was stolen by "Giant Mutant Mole People". A Cutaway Gag implies that while they do exist in this world, they didn't steal it. (Arthur being a World of Funny Animals, they're literal humanoid moles.)
  • Atomic Puppet features them as the main villains in the episode "Mole Men". They're primarily interested in partying, albeit at the expense of Mega City's citizens.
  • Vulkanus has an army of alien mole men minions in Ben 10.
  • Centaurworld: The moletaurs have the lower bodies of moles and the upper bodies of sweaty, eyeless humanoids — the judge also has the nose of a star-nosed mole — and live in isolation underground.
  • Darkwing Duck's foe Moliarity and his henchmen. Bonus points for being actual moles.
  • Dave the Barbarian has the Mole People, including their queen. She first debuted when the barbarians were trying to clear up Princess Candy's debt, realizing that she, along with Dark Lord Chuckles, were facing the same problem.
  • In the DuckTales (2017) episode "Terror of the Terra-Firmians!", the ducks watch a horror movie about fictional mole monsters that are capable of disguising themselves as people, and Launchpad spends the rest of the episode worrying that one of his friends is a mole monster in disguise.
  • The Mole People in the eponymous episode of Extreme Ghostbusters, although they are just regular people (despite being photophobic) who live underground and are unfairly blamed for tremors that are caused by ghost activity due to Fantastic Racism. Their princess even becomes a love interest of Eduardo. Probably based on the Real Life urban legend.
  • An episode of Futurama mentions the blind Mole Men of Subterra 6 as having destroyed the planet Cyclopia in envy of their eyes. However, the story is a lie, so it's not clear if there actually is a Subterra 6 inhabited by mole people in the Futurama universe.
  • The Herculoids: In "The Mole Men", the evil Markon sends a group of Mole Men to the planet's surface to prepare a tunnel for an eventual attack on the surface world. Zandor discovers the tunnel and the Mole ship used to create it.
  • Hoppity Hooper has the "Diamond Mine" episodes, featuring mole people who bump into each other and fall down so much they've evolved springs in their tails to bounce back up again.
  • One of the villains from Johnny Test is actually known as the Mole King. They were introduced stealing from the surface, one thing they stole being leather biker gear they wore for the rest of the series. Their king was very flamboyant and his people were apparently all men, their getup resembling BDSM gear.
  • In Ned's Newt, there is an entire civilization of "trolls" (pretty much Mole Men under a different name) who often plot to overthrow humanity.
  • The Simpsons has Hans Moleman, who looks like a mole and has at least once been portrayed as the King of the Mole People. He even has an Earthquake Machine.
  • The Molenoids on Slugterra, who are primarily represented in the series by Pronto. Given the series is set Beneath the Earth, it makes sense that there would be a race of mole people in the setting.
  • A few episodes of ThunderCats (1985) have molemen, who are docile humanoid moles (complete with snuffling, "dig dig dig, burrow burrow burrow" chatter) spurred on to be mooks by Mole Master, himself a mole man but with nicer clothing.
  • The Tick has the Mole People, led by Mole King. The Mole Men are whiny subterranean people who come to the surface world on vacation. Once there, they encounter The Tick who becomes their tour guide and protector. The Mole King promptly falls in love with supermodel Mindy Moleford and pursues her despite the intervention of Paul the Publicist.
  • In Transformers: Prime, sweeper-train driver Vogel insists there are mole men in New York's subways. And when he first spots Transformers:
    Vogel: Metal mole men!
  • Underdog has a four-part adventure thwarting an invasion by the Mole Men, who walk upright and mostly scowl. They're led by a greedy king whose principal weapon is the mole-hole gun. It fires a slow-moving, fast-spinning cylinder that can bore a three-inch hole in almost anything.

    Real Life 
  • Urban legends about homeless people living underground and creating a complex, tribal-like culture and society abound. The most prominent account is Jennifer Toth's 1993 book The Mole People: Life In The Tunnels Beneath New York City, and several documentaries on the subject have been made. However most anthropologists and social scientists took the claim with skepticism and their existence as a different culture is not currently accepted by mainstream science.