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Reverse Mole

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"There's nobility in standing up to a stronger opponent, but you may be able to save some lives by pretending to be his friend, too."

A villain, usually a henchman, turns out to have been working for the goodies all along. As such, this is The Mole for the good guys.

To avoid becoming the Deus ex Machina, there must be Foreshadowing and he may have had to do something horrible to get the villains' trust; good guy or not, he may never be able to go back.


Related tropes include Fake Defector — wherein a hero pretends to undergo a Face–Heel Turn — and The Infiltration, wherein a hero disguises themselves as a completely different person who joins the bad guys.

A subtrope is the Stealth Mentor, who reveals that they have been opposing the hero all along as a way of forcing the hero to become stronger.

Compare Heel–Face Turn and Mook–Face Turn. If the villain forces the goodie to join him, it may be a Sadistic Choice or I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure. Contrast Heel–Face Mole, where a villain with a known history of being evil fakes being good to infiltrate the hero's side. An Undercover Cop Reveal is frequently this. Also contrast Good All Along, which involves characters that seem evil but doesn't have relation to the Big Bad.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • In My Hero Academia, after All Might retires, it's revealed that Hawks, the flying hero who rose up the ranks thanks to the shift in power, is a hero who is masquerading as a traitor to the Hero Association, working with the League of Villains to feed them information. In fact, the reverse mole is using his position just to find out more about the League's ultimate objective.
  • Roanne Dietrich becomes this in the second part of Blue Comet SPT Layzner, faking a Face–Heel Turn to give info to La Résistance led by his friends.
  • Wizardmon in Digimon Adventure could be argued to be this, as he really only joined Myotismon's forces due to his loyalty to Gatomon and desire to help her retrieve her lost memories of being the Eighth Digidestined Child's chosen Digimon partner.
  • The random, forgettable Agent with sunglasses in Elfen Lied who was secretly working as a mole for the not-so-good guys of the Japanese government in order to steal information about their Diclonius propagation plot and hopefully a vaccine if possible, as well as cover up their own asses.
  • Gajeel from Fairy Tail was shown conspiring with Raven Tail shortly after his supposed Heel–Face Turn. Then it turns out that he's actually on Fairy Tail's side after all, and is only pretending to work with Raven Tail.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Zanpano, who after joining the heroes, calls Envy to apparently tell him their location. Turns out the call was actually a trick to lead Envy into a trap.
  • In Kill la Kill, turns out Satsuki Kiryuin had been planning to betray her Almighty Mom Ragyou since she was five, in revenge for her atrocious treatment of her little sister Ryuuko.
  • Zest Grangaitz in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers, who despite having been modified into one of Jail Scaglietti's minions, still planned to eventually stop Scaglietti. The Omniscient Council of Vagueness notes that he would have been their perfect observer for Jail had he been in perfect health.
  • In the Mazinger Z spin-off Shin Mazinger Zero, Big Bad Dr. Hell built Minerva-X to act like The Mole. She was designed to become Mazinger-Z's Battle Couple but he thought he controlled her. She infiltrated into Kouji's institute... and she protected him from The Dragon Baron Ashura's goons, and she aided him against several Mechanical Beasts. In reality she had kept her original programming and she was always on the heroes' side.
  • Storm Eagle from the Mega Man X manga was still working for the Maverick Hunters. Sadly, he couldn't drop cover until too late, and is fatally wounded in a fight with X before Zero stops him.
  • Tsubasa from Metal Fight Beyblade infiltrates the Dark Nebula organization on behalf of the WBBA under the pretense of being a mere mercenary looking to sell his services to the highest bidder.
  • Itachi from Naruto. Too bad it was only revealed once he was dead. Even coming back as a zombie doesn't stop him from being loyal to Konoha.
    • His best friend Shisui was one as well, tasked by the clan to keep an eye on Itachi but instead sided with his best friend because he himself held the same devotion to Konoha as Itachi did. Ultimately he performed a Heroic Sacrifice, doing his suicide in such a way that Itachi would gain the Mangekyo Sharingan to aid him in the massacre.
  • In One Piece, Vivi infiltrated Baroque Works along with Igaram to find out who was the boss trying to destabilize her country and managed to stay hidden for two years before she was discovered.
  • In the 13th Pokémon movie, Zoroark: Master of Illusions, we find out (pretty early on) that Rowena is a reporter just like Carl, and is actually investigating Kodai.
  • In Sekimatsu Occult Gakuin, Chihiro appears suspicious until it's revealed that she was helping Maya all along.

    Comic Books 
  • As soon as Chris Claremont returned to the X-Men, he revealed that Tessa (aka Sage) had been a Reverse Mole for the X-Men... for the first 20 years of her editorial history! Previously, she seemed to just be the telepathic secretary of the Hellfire Club's Sebastian Shaw. Given that it's Claremont, it's entirely possible he had this planned all along.
  • In Marvel Comics, The Shroud has been undercover as a supervillain since the '80s, even going so far as to form the Night Shift, a team of supervillains with no idea their boss is working to destroy the underworld from within. Werewolf by Night was also a member of the team, and since he was faking a Face–Heel Turn for the role (especially since a former foe of his, Tatterdemalion, was also on the team), was the only member of the team the Shroud trusted with his secret. When the Shroud left the Night Shift, Werewolf left as well.
  • Femme Appeal from the Boom! Kids Darkwing Duck comic.
  • In Secret Wars (1984), Klaw sabotages Doctor Doom's current A God Am I powers subconsciously, because the Beyonder has taken him over.
  • Umber in Superboy Volume Six, who is a spy for Lois Lane.
  • In Action Comics #317, Supergirl believes her friend Lena's boyfriend Jeff Colby is an enemy spy. Later she finds out that Jeff was really working with the FBI and trying to trap a spy ring.
  • Robin Series: The cold assassin that Dodge brought on as part of his villain team up to take down Robin turns out to be Ravager having the time of her life messing with them while keeping Robin and the Teen Titans appraised of their plans. She's downright gleeful when the time comes to take them down and she gets to suddenly attack her "allies" and reveal her identity.
  • Rob and the Jesters plant Much as a mole inside the Nobles biker gang in Sherwood, Texas.
  • Lord Saampa in Astro City was chosen by an evil Eldritch Abomination to lead the cult of the serpent god - but he keeps the busy with useless rituals so they don't hurt innocents, and tries to resist the monster's influence.

  • The Child of Love: Kaji was a spy worked for at least three different sides: Gendo, SEELE and the Japanese Government. When it suited him, he turned on SEELE and then on Gendo.
  • In Ghosts of the Past, sequel of Child of the Storm, Gambit turns out to have been Natasha's mole in the Red Room. However, he only became this trope after a Heel–Face Turn (though, complicating matters further, he was never especially evil in the first place, having been forced into working for Sinister, who was working with the Red Room.)
    • Sage, as per canon, though in this version, she had a secret identity: Maria Stark.
  • Doing It Right This Time: As soon as Asuka woke up in the past she passed information on Kaji secretely to warn him that the organization she was working for was plotting the end of the world.
  • HERZ: Did you think that Kaji working for three sides were overkill in the original series? Here he was working for four sides. When GEIST learnt about SEELE approached to him and made him an offer.
  • In Once More with Feeling Shinji (A.K.A Agent "Balcony") is both The Mole and this. On one hand he is feeding information to the enemy about what the organization he works for is up to. On the other hand, given WHAT that organization is up to, and what he is trying to avert (including the deaths of those ones he cares for), you would be hard-pressed to call him a bad guy (and if they knew about his motives, it is highly doubtful that anybody bar Gendo and SEELE would call him a traitor). He is essentially a good guy who pretends to be a bad guy pretending to be a good guy.
  • In Crimson Rising, the Power Rangers manage to get a reverse mole 'planted' in Sector Nine- a government organisation that has been monitoring and preparing to fight the Power Rangers since the destruction of the Thunderzords- in the form of the reformed Rito Revolto, now in a human appearance after the Z-Wave, allowing him to tip them off and prevent an assassination of the Vice-President staged to look like the Rangers did it.
  • Last Child of Krypton: Kaji worked for SEELE and NERV, but he was secretly working for a third party that intended to destroy both organizations.
  • Cama Leonte of the Archbishop Guard is actually a Heretic spy in The Tainted Grimoire.
  • Barricade in Things We Don't Tell Humans is actually an Autobot mole. And Megatron knows.
  • Crowns of the Kingdom has the Queen of Hearts.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • A One Nation Earth officer in the Apocalypse film series movie Tribulation shows up in a Christian hideout ready to kill all the Christians in it, but as it turns out only fires blanks, revealing himself to be on their side.
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember: #3 is a mole for British Intelligence, and has a huge mole on his face. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In Chai Lai Angels: Dangerous Flowers, the Big Bad Dragon cannot figure how the Chai Lais always manage to turn up in time to thwart his schemes. At the end of the film, the Chai Lais handler reveals that he had a spy planted in Dragan's oragnisation. It's Katherine.
  • A very interesting and "this movie has an insane number of twists" version in House of Flying Daggers. Jin pretends to go to the good side before going for an actual Heel–Face Turn, but everybody thinks that he's still working for the government. Then we find that Leo, who set up Jin's finding out where the Flying Daggers were, is actually one of the Flying Daggers and was a mole.
  • Indy's partner Mac in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull goes from The Mole to a Reverse Mole to The Mole AGAIN over the course of the movie. What he's really working for is the money.
    "So what, you're a triple agent?"
    "No, I just lied about being a double."
  • In Ip Man 2, "Fatso" appears to be a minion of the brutal British at first, until he turns out to be working for their arrest. Foreshadowed by his offering to silence editor-in-chief Kan, then not doing so after the British policeman leaves.
  • Skinner turns out to be this in the film adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The weird novelization of the film even has him explain that he's a member of the British Secret Service.
  • Alfred Hitchcock's Mistaken Identity film North by Northwest features a mole inside the crime syndicate. Naturally, it's the Femme Fatale.
  • In Running Scared, the two protagonists seem about ready to be gunned down by gangsters fairly early in. Lo and behold, two of the bad guy's Mooks turn out to be undercover cops and rescue them.
  • In Seven (1979), Mailei is actually working for Harris and reporting on the plans of The Syndicate to take over Hawaii. However, when she is sent to help the Seven, she reveals her true colours as a Sixth Ranger Traitor.
  • Shot Caller: Shotgun is working with Officer Kutcher to bring down Jacob and the rest of the Aryan Brotherhood, since his drug-smuggling girlfriend has a twenty year sentence hanging over her head. Jacob kills him when he finds out.
  • The director of intelligence in Starship Troopers 3: Marauder is initially seen by one of the protagonists (and the audience) as a traitor who's trying to assassinate the Sky Marshal, covering up the failed attempt and preventing his rescue, and seizing power. Well, she actually is doing all that...because the Sky Marshal has gone nutty (well, nuttier) and is going to sell humanity out to the enemy.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: Slugworth. More precisely, it's a man in Wonka's employ pretending to be an industrial spy to tempt the kids as a Secret Test of Character.
  • In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Kayla Silverfox was The Mole for her sister's sake, but changed once Victor makes things worse.
  • In the opening sequence of The Rise of Skywalker, we hear about a First Order spy who's delivering information to the Resistance. Later this is revealed to be General Hux, who is helping them not so that they win, but so Supreme Leader Kylo Ren loses.
  • In Spy, Bradley is revealed to be one, getting close to Rayna in an attempt to find out where the nuke is being held.

  • In Elvenborn, due to his impressive knowledge of tactics and ingenious training methods the reclusive young Kyrtian V'dyll Lord Prastaran is placed in charge of the Elvenlords' side of a civil war instigated by the hated half-human Wizards. Not only would House Prastaran probably be destroyed root and branch if the High Council even had a hint of their attitudes toward human-elven relationships, but by the last fourth of the book he is in active collaboration with the 'Halfbloods'.
  • Forever And A Death: Curtis's employee Mark is feeding Jerry and his environmental protestors information about his projects.
  • Harry Potter: Snape is revealed to be a Reverse Mole TWICE. When Voldemort made it clear that he would kill Lily Potter, Snape went to Dumbledore and became a Mole for the Order of the Phoenix in the Death Eaters. When he killed Dumbledore, while he made it so that it looked like he was doing it for Voldemort, in fact he was performing a Mercy Kill on Dumbledore's orders.
    • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Kingsley Shacklebolt and Arthur Weasley are both members of the Order of the Phoenix and workers at the Ministry of Magic which is doing everything in its power to get in Dumbledore's way while refusing to acknowledge that Voldemort is back.
  • Plutarch Heavensbee in the second The Hunger Games book.
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars: In The Chessman of Mars, a character suddenly comes to Turan and Tara's aid, and reveals that he was one of the Gathol slaves held captive there.
  • In the Robert A. Heinlein novella Magic, Inc., one of the Demons of Hell turns out to be an undercover Secret Service agent. In another novella, Coventry, "Fader" McGee is another Secret Service agent.
  • G. K. Chesterton subverts the hell out of this trope in The Man Who Was Thursday: the protagonist himself infiltrates the Central Council of Anarchists, then gradually discovers that the other five members of the Central Council of Anarchists are undercover police agents who aren't aware of each other's existence; he learns this as he confronts one member after another. Eventually the six join forces against the President of the Council, only to learn that he is the policeman who sent them all to infiltrate the council in the first place. Not to mention God.
  • The protagonist of Kurt Vonnegut's Mother Night. Sucks for him that the good guys he helped won't admit what he did after the war ends.
    • Not that it would have eased his conscience much if they did. After they finally do admit that he was working for them, averting his impending death sentence, he hangs himself out of guilt over what he did anyway.
  • A "defector-in-place variant appears in No Deals, Mr. Bond. A private moment in an interrogation between a GRU official and captured James Bond has him learning that the former has actually been waiting for a chance for defection, but he currently has to put on a facade to trick the KGB men who have infiltrated his department. They then make way for a daring escape.
  • In the second half of the Sherlock Holmes novella The Valley of Fear, the protagonist turns out to be an undercover Pinkerton detective.
  • The plot of one of the first spy novels, Fenimore Cooper's The Spy, ends with this revelation, via a cameo appearance by George Washington.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Ulic Qel-Droma started out this way. The Dark Side being the Dark Side, however, he can't keep up the charade.
  • Words of Radiance (second book of The Stormlight Archive): Shallan uses her illusion powers to infiltrate the Ghostbloods, who had killed her mentor Jasnah, as far as she knew. When they find out, they see nothing wrong with it. "Let Shallan Davar be a Radiant, conformist and noble. Let Veil come to us. And let her find truth."
    • This is all complicated significantly by the fact that the Ghostbloods members include several worldhoppers, and it is totally unclear what their actual goal is on Roshar. Shalan assumes they're bad guys, but everything they ask her to do is directly in-line with what she is trying to accomplish anyways.
  • In Warrior Cats, Ivypool becomes one of these after she learns that the Dark Forest, a place where she is training, is plotting to destroy the clans. She stays with the Dark Forest so that she can give their information to Jayfeather, Lionblaze and Dovewing.
    • Not only Ivypool, but Tigerheart was also a spy against the Dark Forest all along.
  • Richard Adams book Watership Down details how Bigwig allowed himself to be captured by a Wide Patrol and taken to the oppressive warren called Efrafa. There, he's interrogated by the Big Bad General, who learns that Bigwig is a refugee from humans. The General makes Bigwig a junior officer based on his size, to badger and bully lesser rabbits into compliance. Bigwig manages to contact a leader of La Résistance, and devises a plan for a mass escape that would bring many fertile females to Hazel's all-male warren.
  • The Wheel of Time's Verin. For those who haven't read The Gathering Storm, she joined the Black Ajah (Aes Sedai in service to the Dark One) to study them and gathered every scrap of information about them. She then found a loophole in the oath she made to the Dark One (serve until the hour of my death) and poisoned herself so she could give all the information to Egwene before dying. Her warder, Tomas, was also a Darkfriend.
  • In Andy Hoare's White Scars novel Hunt for Voldorius, Malya, forced to serve as Voldorius' equerry, sends information to his foes.
  • In the Space Marine Battles novel Malodrax, Kraegon Thul’s mysterious alien lieutenant Karnak is revealed to be an agent of the Inquisition who worked his way up to a position of power so that he could kill Thul if the chance presented itself. He covertly enables Lysander to escape from captivity, and later entrusts him with a poisoned dagger that can kill Thul.
  • Whateley Universe: The Necromancer's Children of the Night had one: Vamp, who likes to think she's the Femme Fatale.
  • The Place Inside the Storm has Joseph, an autistic man working for TenCat Corp, where he tries to find out which people are going to get the autism-curing brain implant so he can warn them and help them escape.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Tony Almeida in the latest season of 24.
    • Until it was revealed that he really was bad all along, making him a heel face mole.
      • Except the finale reveals was just trying to work his way higher in the conspiracy to get revenge for Michelle's death, so... Double/Triple Reverse Mole?
      • He was a guy looking for revenge who was pretending to be a bad guy who was pretending to be a good guy who was pretending to be a bad guy...
    • Gael Ortega in the third season.
  • Sarah does this in Season Four of Chuck to rescue Chuck's mother, who is also revealed to be this after her subsequent Heel–Face Revolving Door when she when she left her family years ago to join Volkoff Industries.
  • Simmons becomes a Reverse Mole for SHIELD within HYDRA in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Two. The episode "A Hen in the Wolf House" reveals she's not the only one, the head of security hunting for a mole within HYDRA is really S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Bobbi Morse.
  • Gaeta on New Caprica in Battlestar Galactica.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Attack of the Cybermen", one of the gang is actually a police officer. And it turns out that Lytton was using the Cybermen to get to his real employers and help them against the Cybermen.
    • "The Long Game": It turns out that Suki MacRae Cantrell, one of the reporters that the Doctor, Rose and Adam meet on Floor 139, is actually Eva St. Julien, last surviving member of the Freedom Fifteen, who infiltrated Satellite 5 to try and bring an end to the Epiphanic Prison it was keeping humanity in.
    • "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel": The Alternate Universe version of Pete Tyler appears to be The Quisling as a high-ranking executive working for John Lumic… but he's actually Gemini, the informant feeding the Preachers information. However, he thought he was assisting someone more impressive than "Scooby-Doo and his gang".
    • "Planet of the Ood": Dr. Ryder eventually reveals himself as a member of Friends of the Ood who spent ten years infiltrating Ood Operations to try and free the enslaved species.
    • In "Journey's End", it turns out Dalek Caan is one. When he last escaped the Doctor with his time jump, he accidentally saw all of time and realized just how wrong and evil his own kind are. So, he set it upon himself to destroy them, leading the Daleks to a point where the Doctor could destroy them for good.
  • In Elementary, a powerful business man with few moral scruples is hardly a good man, but after Moriarty, Holmes' nemesis, is in jail and Moriarty's successor feared this man could take over and and so tried to assassinate the rival, the mole, Morland Holmes, father of Sherlock Holmes, does take over Moriarty's organization for the express purpose of destroying it from the inside.
  • Flash Forward executes a perfect Reverse Mole when Janis is first revealed to be a mole, then revealed to be working for the CIA. Technically, she is still a Mole as she is supposed to be working for the FBI. This is also an example of Lampshade Hanging, as the character's name recalls the guardian Roman god with two faces, Janis (also known as Janus).
  • The Handmaid's Tale: Nick is an Eye of God (i.e. part of Gilead's intelligence service), but also a part of the resistance. Joseph Lawrence is a Commander, though he too gets revealed to be working with them. The first sign he's a good guy is his refusal to rape Emily as part of the Ceremony. However, he still acts harshly to June (especially while his fellow Commanders are there), though it may be an example of Good Is Not Nice or so they won't get suspicious.
  • Jerome, from House of Anubis, pulls this on Rufus towards the end of Season 1. After spending time being The Mole for him, he realized his true colors soon enough and joined Sibuna, helping them out by tricking Rufus in return for protection and information.
  • While not done in the direct sense, the same principle is used on Hustle frequently with a random character turning out to be part of the con.
  • JAG:
    • In "Brig Break", Petty Officer Quinn, who turns ou to be an agent from Naval Intelligence working undercover.
    • Happens in "Scimitar". One complication though is that Harm and Austin do not know who the Reverse Mole with codename scimitar is, and they must find out without revealing themselves. Scimitar's identity is finally revealed when she arrives at Harm's room and [[spoiler: turns on the shower so they can talk in private.
  • In the pilot episode of Nikita, Naïve Newcomer Alex is revealed to be a mole for the eponymous hero so that she can keep tabs on her old employers at Division.
  • Colby of NUMB3RS was revealed to be a double agent for the Chinese in Janus List. But then in the following episode, it turns out he was actually working for the FBI and his "exposure" as a spy was an attempt to get his Chinese contact to trust him enough to tell him who was at the top.
  • In the episode "Into the Fire", a Reverse Mole is the only reason Colonel O'Neill of Stargate SG-1 doesn't have a snake in his head.
    • Indeed, most Gou'ald System Lords have a few Reverse Moles in their fleet, either one of the Tok'ra or Jaffa who believe the truth about their "gods" — namely, that they are, in fact, Always Chaotic Evil snake-like parasites inside human bodies.
  • Resurrection Ertugrul: Hamza Alp and Abdurrahman Alp both pretend to side with Baiju Noyan in order to gain vital information for the Kayis and Dodurgas. Even though Abdurrahman manages to pull off the ploy as intended, Hamza sadly ends up succumbing to greed and actually betrays Ertugrul in the process.
  • Tuvok at the start of Star Trek: Voyager infiltrated the Maquis...though how is left to the Expanded Universe.
  • Supernatural: "Folsom Prison Blues" has Dean and Sam get themselves arrested so they could investigate a haunting at a prison. One of the prison guards asked for their help and helped them escape once they finished the job.
  • The first V (1983) had a fair amount of The Fifth Column as well, some of them high-ranking. Seems a lot of the Visitors weren't very happy with their orders.
  • In V (2009), Joshua and several other crew members on Anna's ship are members of The Fifth Column.

    Multiple Media 
  • Ancient and the Mana-Ko beasts in BIONICLE were really secret agents working for the Order of Mata Nui. The former was also a founding member of the evil bounty hunter organization the Dark Hunters, while the Mana-Ko were Giant Enemy Crabs guarding one of the Big Bad's lairs. Sadly, neither reveal had any foreshadowing, nor have they impacted the plot in any way.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • After the Zodiac (Brutus Beefcake) left the Dungeon of Doom in February 1996, he was repackaged as The Booty Man (sort of like Billy Gunn's "Mr. Ass" gimmick), now a Face and a Friend of Hogan. Hulk explained that he had sent him into the Dungeon as a "mole." However, it actually DOES make sense when you consider the finish of the War Games match between the Hulkamaniacs (Hogan/Savage/Sting/Luger) and the Dungeon of Doom (Kamala/Shark/Zodiac/Meng) at WCW Fall Brawl 95, September 17, 1995. The Hulkamaniacs won when Hogan forced Zodiac to submit. Hulk had to have Zodiac be the one to submit, since he was the weakest guy on the team, (also because Kamala didn't speak, Meng was/is a legitimate badass Monster and the Shark was too big) and because it would have looked suspicious if Hulk had fought with the other three guys but left Zodiac alone. The two might have planned for Hogan to not actually apply any pressure when he locked on the submission (so as not to hurt his friend any more than he had to), but for Zodiac to submit anyway (to give his friend Hogan the win against the DOD team). Kind of like a less stupid version of the Fingerpoke Of Doom.
  • Toward the end of the much-despised Alliance angle where WCW and ECW tried to put the WWF out of business, Kurt Angle, who had been a major figure in Team WWF, suddenly joined the Alliance out of nowhere. After Vince tried making the Alliance believe Stone Cold was really a mole planted by him, it is revealed that it was Kurt Angle who was the actual mole, costing the Alliance their main event match, and ending the Alliance for good.
  • Billy El Malo of La Milicia, which was in turn part of La Sociedad running amok over AAA, revealed in 2011 that two months after La Sociedad's founding he had been working in secret against the group from within on the behalf of Cibernético. He then officially left them for rival group Los Bizarros. Cibernético would later try to join La Sociedad as a mole himself but got beaten up by Los Perros Del Mal.
  • While La Rosa Negra is a bad guy, she only joined Strength In Numbers when they approached her in the Pro Wrestling Syndicate so she could set them up to catch a beat down from the Backseat Girlz, the biggest good guy group in the Bombshell's division who S.I.N. was planning to ambush. She did this because she believed Missy Sampson and Annie Social to be worthy opponents.
  • After spending the better part of 2013 getting screwed over by The Authority, Daniel Bryan publicly gave up fighting a machine he could not beat on his own and joined The Wyatt Family for supposed help on the last show of that year. He actually did this to get closer to Bray Wyatt, who had been giving him almost as much trouble as the Authority, taking revenge earlier than planned, in January 2014 after the Wyatts tried to pull a You Have Failed Me on him.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: In a Zig-Zagged version, just before the Horus Heresy, an alien coalition group convinced the Alpha Legion to become this. In order to effectively pull it off, however, they would need to pull do a sincere (or at least a ostensible) full-on Heel–Face Turn. Considering their reputation and MO relies on absolute secrecy and different units' ability to act independently, down to individual soldiers, their motives into the present are largely a mystery. The question of whether the entire Legion, or individual cells and warbands have fallen to Chaos or have remained closet loyalists is a large part of their mystique.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Black Spiral Dancers think that they can woo Gaia Garou into the Wyrm's embrace. They fail to understand that some Gaia Garou pretend to draw close to the Wyrm so as to undermine the Wyrm's forces.
    • Among the Shadow Lords, members of the Bringers of Light camp infiltrate Wyrm strongholds (at great personal risk) so as to subvert them from within.
    • Among the Stargazers, members of the Oroborean camp seek to free the Wyrm of Balance by learning as much as they can about Wyrm lore, sometimes with Black Spiral Dancer hives. They later "cleanse" and "liberate" Wyrm minions by torturing and killing them.
    • A handful of Uktena have pretended to join the Black Spiral Dancers in order to gain information or undermine the Wyrm. Anhai joined the Black Spiral Dancers, only to lead them away from where a new Uktena caern was being created. White-Eye-ikthya may be a deep cover Uktena agent within the Trinity Hive.

    Video Games 
  • Lucy Stillman in Assassin's Creed I is an employee of Abstergo Industries, an organization run by the Templars It's revealed at the end of the first game that she's actually an Assassin who was protecting Desmond the whole time, and helps him escape Abstergo at the beginning of the second game. The third game in the series, Brotherhood, drops some hints that she may actually be a double agent working for the Templars after all. The DLC pack for Revelations, "The Lost Archives", gives more background confirming that Lucy had done a Face–Heel Turn from undercover agent pretending to work for the Templars while secretly working for the Assassins, to Double Agent helping Desmond escape and feeding info back to the Templars, as a result of feeling like she had been abandoned by the Assassins She was the mole feeding the info that resulted in many of the Assassin teams being compromised mentioned in e-mails in Brotherhood. This is why Juno forced Desmond to stab her at the end of Brotherhood.
  • In Assassin's Creed III, William and Desmond discuss the fact that despite being all about subterfuge and working from the shadows, the Assassins themselves are absolutely terrible as moles due to the fact that their agents are either too weak-willed to resist defection or they're too strong-willed to avoid exposing themselves.
  • During the Underdark episode in Baldur's Gate II, if you choose to spare Solaufein when Phaere wants him dead, he'll reveal that he's a follower of Elistrae, one of the few good-aligned deities of the drow pantheon, and is struggling to find redemption for his people.
  • A rare example of a villainous reverse mole shows up in the Visual Novel Beyond Eden. Theodore Burton has served the Edenics loyally since childhood, owes his education and status to Baron Edenic, and was promoted to head butler at a young age for his competency. He betrays the Edenics the moment villain protagonist Alex Wake re-enters the picture. Nothing he does in support of Alex's goals could be considered good in any way.
  • In BlazBlue, Makoto Nanaya starts out as an Intelligence operative for the Novis Orbis Librarium, but upon discovering the Awful Truth about her best friend Noel, works as one for Sector Seven.
  • In Blue Dragon, Nene reveals that Zola was working for him all along...until it turns out that she at some point made a heel-face turn and only pretended to be on his side so she could get close and kill him.
  • Schwartz in Code of Princess. After hearing that the fallen angel Distille was on the verge of being brought back he defected to the Distron Army (which was lead by her in her human guise as Queen Distiny) with the intention of stopping her and destroying them from within. Unfortunately for him, Distiny eventually caught on to what he was doing and had him brainwashed into fighting for her army as Liongate.
  • In Dissidia Final Fantasy, Golbez turns out to be working for Cosmos, and serves as a Stealth Mentor to a few of the heroes. Kuja was also one of these with a similar role in the prequel, but Kefka found out and loaded him up with malicious Fake Memories to get him to knock it off for the events of the original.
  • In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, Leila is one. Ephidel knows and has Jaffar kill her for it.
  • Half-Life 2 - Doctor Judith Mossman betrays Black Mesa East to the Combine. Turns out, she was working primarily for herself and begins to help the Resistance more.
  • Ghaleon from Lunar: Eternal Blue really seems to enjoy egging on the heroes... but that's because he secretly thinks they're the only hope against his boss, the Big Bad.
  • Heartless in MegaMan Star Force 3. She was pretending to be King's right hand woman but was really a former colleague of Kelvin Stelar and was using Dealer's resources to try to contact him. "Heartless", unsurprisingly, is not even her real name.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3, The Boss's defection turns out to have been a ruse intended to allow Snake the opportunity to steal the Philosophers' Legacy to the United States, which went horribly awry thanks to Colonel Volgin using an American weapon and aircraft she supplied to nuke his own countrymen. And in the non-canonical Snake's Revenge, Jennifer helps you while working with Big Boss from the inside.
  • Cpt. Miller in Mirror's Edge seems to be in league with the Icarus conspiracy (or, at least, in their pocket) but actually has his own agenda and assists Faith in the final level.
  • In Modern Warfare 2, Joseph Allen becomes one in Makarov's organization for the CIA. It doesn't end well.
  • In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Farid is one in Cordis Die for the CIA. It doesn't end well.
  • Nancy Drew: In Danger By Design, Nancy finds evidence that a Frenchwoman thought to have been a WWII collaborator was actually covertly working to preserve and conceal some of France's artistic treasures.
  • Done in Secret of the Stars, where it turns out that the Big Bad's Dragon has been working with the heroes all along to stop the Big Bad, and not so he can take over himself.
  • In Shin Super Robot Wars, Nanai is more than a little uneasy about Neo Zeon's alliance with the Ze Balmary Empire, and Char admits that one mistake and all of mankind could become the Balmarians' playthings. He's willing to take that risk given that it will take time to assimilate the Balmarians' tech: he needs mankind to sit still until then. Nanai is willing to go along with this so long as Char loves her and helps keep construction of the Angel Halo on schedule.
  • Valentine of Skullgirls only works for Marie because her life is at stake if she resists Marie's orders. In the ending to her story mode, she ends up betraying Marie, and wishes to become the next Skullgirl only because she wants Painwheel to kill her to make up for what she's done.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Knights of the Old Republic:
      • While you could act like a typical Sith student in the academy on Korriban, for light-siders, it's often much more satisfying to quietly sabotage the Sith's every action from the inside out (for example, knocking out the Mandalorian prisoner at his request instead of torturing him, letting the rebellious students escape, calming a self-destructive droid instead of scrapping it, etc.), and still get the prestige that you would've gotten if you had actually been evil.
      • Alternatively, the ultimate in "destroy from within" consists of befriending Assistant Headmistress Yuthura and letting her walk back to the Light Side. After taking out Uthar, the rest of the academy destroys itself infighting upon discovering there's no one in charge.
    • In the Imperial Agent story of Star Wars: The Old Republic you spend the second act acting as a Republic Intelligence (called the SIS) mole inside Imperial Intelligence as part of an Imperial Intelligence plot to take down a particular team of SIS agents. And then things get complicated...
  • Crimson Viper of Street Fighter IV appears to be one of S.I.N.'s Punch Clock Villains, but in actuality, it's hinted several times that she's actually an undercover CIA agent. This is outright stated in her profile for Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • In Wild Arms 2, Antenora, Vinsfield's lover, turns out to have joined him to get revenge because he killed her parents. She goes about getting this revenge by making him love her, and then having the heroes kill her so that he'd be griefstricken by her death.
  • In XCOM 2, the members of the Council of Nations from XCOM: Enemy Unknown have all pledged their loyalty to the alien-backed regime that now rules Earth, with one exception - the former Spokesman for the Council. Now known as the Informant, he uses his high-level connections to the ADVENT Coalition to give you tip-offs about Resistance figures who need rescue or evacuation, or alien collaborators to capture or eliminate. He's also the one to tip you off to the aliens' "Avatar Project" at the start of the campaign and warns you when the aliens' plans are accelerating at the end of it.
  • Lapis Roman from Xenosaga appears to the player at first as a no-nonsense and brutally efficient Galaxy Federation officer who arrests all the playable characters. Later, during her "interrogation" of the prisoners, she reveals that she's working for the good guys, and helps them devise an escape plan and a way to clear their names.

  • Bob and George here and here.
  • Sluggy Freelance: Torg's purpose for joining the Minion Master in the first place, not to mention the various supervillain organizations he infiltrates.
    • Possibly Dr Schlock's motive for taking over Heretti-Corp; in spite of Becoming the Mask he does keep the villainy minimized, and feels regret for the damage he's responsible for.

    Western Animation 
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!: Black Widow.
  • In Ben 10: Omniverse, Gwen suspects Lucy to be The Mole who has been stealing The Plumbers' weapons for Psyphon. It turns out she was actually The Plumbers' Reverse Mole who inflitrated Psyphon to unmask the true culprit.
  • The New Batman Adventures episode "You Scratch My Back" has Nightwing acting as this to fool Catwoman into Batman's plot of bringing her and the villain of this episode in.
  • Butt-Ugly Martians has Shaboom Shaboom, a female Martian on good terms with B-Bop A-Luna, 2T Fru-T, and Do-Wah Diddy who pretends to be on Emperor Bog's side so that he remains unaware that the Butt-Uglies have abandoned their mission to invade Earth out of coming to love the planet.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door has one in the form of Chad Dickson (a.k.a. Numbuh 274.) Starting in the Season 2 finale when Chad has his Face–Heel Turn moment by trying to hurl the KND Moon Base into the sun and thus becoming a villain for the rest of the series until the second-to-last episode which reveals that he was a double agent the whole time and that all off his attempts were actually him preventing other villains from doing the same to the KND and being successful.
  • In Season Two of Dragons: Race to the Edge, the gang's ally Heather becomes one when she manages to infiltrate the Dragon Hunters, passing information to the Riders to sabotage their hunts, until she is finally exposed and forced to join the Riders full-time.
  • An episode of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law had a trial for Morroco Mole, accused of being a terrorist, but Birdgirl reveals he was this trope instead. The charges were dropped and Morocco was ordered to stay away from Judge Mentok's yard.
  • In The Simpsons, Lisa enters a singing contest hosted by Krusty, with Homer as her manager. After she fires Homer for being a Jerkass, he begins managing her competitor... who then loses all his fans and popularity in the final. Homer shows himself to be this to Lisa at the end.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Fluttershy becomes one in part 1 of "The Cutie Map" so she can eavesdrop on Starlight Glimmer and find out where she keeps the Mane Six's cutie marks.
  • The season finale of Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! reveals that Uncle Albert has been undercover a Dr. Phibe's right hand man Dr Trebla.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • In "Breaking Ranks", Ezra, while undercover as an Imperial cadet, befriends a fellow cadet, Zare Leonis, who's joined the Imperial academy to search for his sister, an Imperial cadet who mysteriously vanished. He chooses to stay behind at the end of the episode, but agrees to give the Ghost crew intel.
    • In season 3, Agent Kallus has become disenchanted with the Galactic Empire, but instead of defecting to the Rebellion he becomes a spy who reports under the code name Fulcrum. Conveniently, as a high-ranking member of the Imperial Security Bureau, he is the one responsible for rooting out spies and traitors in this particular sector of the Empire, and thus in a good position to ensure that spies and traitors don't actually get found while framing other Imperial officers for his own actions (or would've been if not for Grand Admiral Thrawn arriving in the sector).
  • Steven Universe: Played for Laughs in "Hit the Diamond". Garnet unfuses so that Ruby can infiltrate a team of enemy Gems — and she's absolutely TERRIBLE at it, and only avoids being caught because the people she's trying to fool are complete idiots who can't even count themselves properly.
  • Teen Titans played with this trope in the first season finale. Slade reveals his season-long Evil Plan to Robin: Slade had lured Robin away from the rest of the Titans, leaving them to deactivate his "Chronoton Detonator" which was actually a device that injected them with deadly nanites, allowing Slade to kill them with the push of a button. After this reveal, Slade made Robin his new apprentice, thus making Robin somewhat of a Fake Defector, albeit with the villain commandeering the operation specifically designed to make the unwilling defector comply and prevent him from informing his comrades because then, they would most assuredly die, thereby making the goodies, not the bad guys, the ones to be deceived by the hero's false defection. Following the establishment of his apprenticeship under Slade via a little crime spree and a show-down with his ex-teammates Robin's friends fully believe that he has been lost to The Dark Side, for good. This makes the discovery that Robin was really on their side the entire time all the more surprising, from their P.O.V
  • In Young Justice, Kaldur'ahm is the Reverse Mole, along with his Lieutenant Tigress, who is actually Artemis. Kaldur and Artemis staged her death to sell his defection, and the fact that Kaldur's father Black Manta is one of the leaders of The Light also helped. Also, pro-tip: while secrecy is important in these situations, you should still make sure your team-mates are aware of their allies, so they don't accidentally foil your plans...


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