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The Mole
aka: Mole

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"It seems there are some holes in security."
"You were working for her, Seska was working for them...was there anyone on that ship working for me?"
Chakotay, Star Trek: Voyager


A bad guy who pretends to be a good guy. Their job is to gather intel for the Big Bad and thus limit the effectiveness of the hero's side. The audience assumes they are a good guy until the sudden revelation. If well-done, catches the audience out. If especially well-done, it can be the climax of a Wham Episode.

There will frequently be a showdown with the Mole, who then may return to the series from time to time when the writers want to bump up ratings. Alternatively, if the Mole doesn't know they have been identified, the heroes can feed them false information. Their cover story usually is a Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story.

A Mole who happens to be the only person the hero can turn to for expert assistance is the Treacherous Advisor. If the mole is a Sixth Ranger for The Team then they're a Sixth Ranger Traitor. If the Mole helps pull off The Caper, it becomes an Inside Job.


If one of the heroes had been in a romantic relationship with the Mole before The Reveal, he or she may ask "Was It All a Lie?" Particularly heartless Moles may reveal that yes, I Was Only Pretending To Like You, while others may have indeed developed feelings for the person being betrayed and may wind up Becoming the Mask.

Compare Evil All Along, in which the character was secretly evil, but may not have been reporting to a villain in particular.

A really successful example can even become the Mole in Charge.

Unholy Holy Sword is this trope applied to an artifact, weapon, or MacGuffin. Ten Little Murder Victims is an example of a plot concerning the hunt for The Mole. A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing is The Mole via false identity. Flock of Wolves is a group where everyone is The Mole. And Social Deduction Game is when players have to actively find out who the mole is.


If The Mole is also a fake Heel–Face Turn, they're a Heel–Face Mole. If someone isn't The Mole, but it looks like they are, they’re a Red Herring Mole. If a person is unaware that someone is a mole on the other side, they may be Mistaken for Betrayal, leading to Mistakenly Attacked Mole.

See also The Infiltration for the short-term version.

Compare Big Bad Friend (an actual friend who is nevertheless a villain), Turncoat and Les Collaborateurs. Contrast Friendly Enemy (a known villain who is nevertheless a friend) and Face–Heel Turn (where the character was good, but changed sides).

Not to be confused with the Reality TV series of the same name (though it's all about this trope), The Mole from Thunderbirds (which is a digging machine), the Dick Tracy villain, Mole Men, Mole Miner, 6.02 x 1023,note  Beauty Mark, or the Mexican chocolate sauce.

Be alert that spoilers may follow, due to the secretive nature of this character.

Example subpages

Other examples

    open/close all folders 

  • Two unseen figures are examining files on the advertised car in the middle of the night, when a security guard bursts in and captures them.
    Guard: So you're the mole! (shines his torch on the spy, who is a literal mole) And who's that? (shines torch on a pigeon sitting on a stool)
    Mole: The Stool Pigeon!

    Asian Animation 
  • Wolffy becomes this at one point in Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, more specifically the season Mighty Little Defenders. In that season, Wolffy is transformed into a dog and convinces everyone that he's the Team Pet of the goats. In reality, he's still on the wolves' side.

    Audio Plays 

    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.
  • 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.
  • Frank Wolff, Calculus's assistant in Tintin album Destination Moon/Explorers on the Moon.
  • The comic series Fables has had several—Rodney Greenfield (who pretends to be a Mundy, not a Fable, and who the reader knows is a spy from the end of his first appearance), the ironically named Trusty John (he IS trusty—just to his original master, who has joined the Adversary), Red Riding Hood (actually two different shapeshifting witches—the second being Baba Yaga), Ichabod Crane, and Bluebeard—although the one that he is secretly helping is Goldilocks, not the Adversary.
  • X-Men:
    • Mondo from Generation X was revealed to be a traitor planted on the team to help destroy it from the inside. He reveals his teammates' weaknesses to his master, longtime X-Men foe Black Tom Cassidy.
    • In Extermination, the French twins rescued by the Blue team turn out to be working for Ahab.
    • Storm of X-Men Forever was revealed to be a spy for an evil shadow group.
    • In Wolverines, Mystique is secretly working at cross-purposes to the rest of the group, using information left to her by Destiny to use them for her own ends.
  • Iron Man: The titulalr hero's weakness for the ladies has led more than one of his enemies to employ a Femme Fatale Mole. In particular, Obadiah Stane used Indries Moomji this way with devastating effect. (She was the "Queen" among his chess-themed agents.)
  • Part of the premise of DC's 1988 Crisis Crossover Millennium was that at least one character in every book was revealed to be secretly an agent of an evil alien robot cult. Since this was imposed from above on the hapless writers, the results were...variable.
  • 20 years later, Marvel pulled off nearly the same thing in Secret Invasion, rather more successfully. For one, there was much better coordination between writers and the editorial staff; for another, they didn't automatically mandate "one character per book", which kept the readers guessing.
  • Runaways had a Mole in the team as one of the running threads in its first 18-issue arc, leading to a particularly shocking reveal:
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): A retcon and a bit of Arc Welding are eventually applied so that Geoffrey St. John's apparent Face–Heel Turn turns out to actually be this, stating that he's really been working for Ixis Naugus since before either of them were even introduced.
  • Several are used in the Squadron Supreme limited series as part of a plot to stop the heroes' efforts to turn the planet into a police state.
  • The Perfect Dark: Janus Tears comic book revolves about Joanna Dark haunting a mole in the Carrington Institute.
  • During the New 52 tun of Suicide Squad, it eventually turns out that Black Spider is an agent of Basilisk, who allowed himself to be arrested and recruited into the Squad so that he could assassinate Waller.
  • Terra of Teen Titans fame. The arc back in The '80s was so famous it is still known as "The Judas Contract" arc. She is introduced when she apparently rescues the Titans and crushes Slade. It turns out she is working for Slade (and in fact his girlfriend) much later when she leads the Titans into a deathtrap. According to Knight and Squire by Paul Cornell, DC heroes now refer to this sort of thing as "a Judas contract".
  • In one week of Wildlife strips, Hanley had Soviet moles in his garden. We meet one of them up close.
    Mole: [My name is] Avogadro. Here's my number.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: In Golden Age stories, U.S. Army Intelligence often seems to be the service from which CTU inherited its vetting procedures. Steve Trevor goes through a number of secretaries, almost all of whom turn out to be moles working for the bad guys. (Diana Prince didn't work for Trevor, but for his boss, Colonel Darnell. Though come to think of it, Diana herself was a mole, albeit for America's friendly ally, Paradise Island.)
  • In Y: The Last Man, Australian naval officer and spy Rose Copen forms a lesbian relationship with Dr Allison Mann so she can accompany her and thus keep tabs on the last man on Earth only to fall in love with Allison for real.
  • The first cycle of Arthur Benton revolves around a character who was sent as a spy in Germany in 1929, and had to play the perfect Nazi for the following 15 years. It's hard to classify said character as good or bad.
  • 2000 AD:
    • Anderson: Psi-Division: In "Half-Life", there's a resistance movement against the increasingly murderous rule of old Deadworld's judges. It includes a man named Fuego, who lures them into an ambush before revealing himself to be an undercover Judge working for De'ath. It turns out that this is the human who became Judge Fire.
    • Necronauts: H.P. Lovecraft has been recruited by the Sleepers in the Void to spy on Houdini and his allies. He redeems himself when they break him free of their influence.
  • In The Multiversity, the residents of Earth-42 serve as this for the Empty Hand, acting as its eyes and ears.
  • One major character in Revival in addition to their day job is feeding information to the CIA.
  • A member of Astrid's inner circle in Clean Room is recruited to pass information to the demons and sabotage the Mueller organization as appropriate.
  • In Mega Robo Bros, Jaqueline is one for Robot 23.
  • In Star Wars (Marvel 2015), Queen Trios of Shu-Toran makes contact with Leia during the Ashes of Jedha arc and reveals she's willing to act as an informant and agent for the Rebellion within the Empire. She proves her worth during the following Mutiny on Mon Cala arc, being key to helping the Rebels get what they need to get the titular mutiny kicked off. Then the end of that arc's last issue reveals that she's actually been working for Vader the whole time, manipulating the Rebellion into trusting her so she could sabotage their fleet and sell out their headquarters to the Imperials. This plays out during the following Hope Dies arc, with Trios' deception being revealed and quickly earning her a place as Leia's new Arch-Enemy.
  • Legends of the Dead Earth: In Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #7, it turns out that the Durlan Legionnaires Shape and Shift are conspiring with their people to prevent the re-establishment of the United Planets.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: Many street heroes organize a group to go against the Kingpin. Iron Fist is forced to spy on them and report to the Kingpin.
    • The Ultimates: Black Widow joined the team to help sabotage it. She actually worked for the Liberators.
    • Ultimate X-Men
      • Initially, Wolverine joined the team to kill Xavier. He drops being a mole, and joins the X-Men for real.
      • Angel became Xavier's mole in the Academy of Tomorrow after being 'expelled' from the Xavier School.
    • All-New Ultimates: One of the cops driving the truck with Scourge was a watchdog taking part in his liberation.
  • In The Green Lantern, the Guardians send Hal Jordan undercover with the Blackstars to find one of these within the Green Lantern Corps.
  • Superman stories provide several examples:
  • Double Duck: After her Heel–Face Turn, Kay K works for the Agency and becomes the mole into the Organization.
  • Lex Luthor's first go-around of an Injustice Gang in Grant Morrison's JLA saw Batman get three into the team: firstly by having Bruce outbid Luthor for the services of the Mirror Master, secondly with the Connor Hawke Green Arrow feigning defection after Circe tracks him and the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern down, and lastly by having Plastic Man capture and impersonate Bruce's archnemesis The Joker.
  • Natalia Kassle of Danger Girl is introduced as one of the original members of the team. However, she is revealed to be a member of the Hammer Empire in #5 after having faked her death in #4.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe fic "Alternatively" looks at the aftermath of events in the timeline where Steve fought with his other self to retrieve the Mind Stone; when studying the security tapes of Stark Tower, Steve and Tony realise the continued existence of HYDRA, and exploit the fact that the time-travelling Steve 'introduced' himself to Rumlow as a HYDRA agent to allow Steve to infiltrate HYDRA, posing as a loyal agent and even managing to get himself assigned as the Winter Soldier's handler, until he and Tony are ready to destroy HYDRA.
  • AQUA: The First Step: Blake ends up becoming one to Alexander for the White Fang as part of an immunity deal. When she eventually decides to leave, Alexander pulls some strings to get her into Beacon.
  • Children of Remnant: Klein pretends to be going along with the Schnees' plan to assassinate the Claimed, when in reality he's working for Cinder and telling her everything he knows.
  • 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.
  • The whole point of Wilhuff Tarkin, Hero of the Rebellion is having Tarkin as a founding member of what will become the Rebel Alliance while using his official position to sabotage the Galactic Empire, find more resources, and recruit others, including Galen Erso (who was already one, Tarkin just started coordinating with him), Raith Sienar, Gilad Pellaeon and Zsinj.
  • In Double Agent Vader, Darth Vader himself became a Rebel agent.
  • 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 Kira Is Justice, Shadow is one in the SIS, while Mr. Williams is partially an unwilling one in the Task Force (though this hadn't been put in play-yet.)
  • Loved and Lost: It's revealed in the 11th chapter that Prince Jewelius struck a partnership with Queen Chrysalis to invade Equestria together on Princess Cadance and Shining Armor's wedding day. He helped her sneak into Canterlot by telling her how to enter the caverns underneath the castle, and he lured Cadance into a trap, allowing Chrysalis to take her place. Absolutely nopony, not even Twilight, suspected him of anything foul. However, Jewelius decided that he'll gain more out of betraying Chrysalis and making Twilight his pawn, so he had Vivian help her and Cadance escape the caves to expose Chrysalis and aided Twilight in detaining the Changelings with the shrinking spell he showed her. However, he immediately afterwards pinned the blame for the invasion on all the other heroes and stole the throne.
  • Loyalty is a unique case that features a mole as it's main protagonist. But Sakura is anything but willing.
  • In Once More with Feeling, [[spoiler:Shinji] is feeding intelligence to the Japanese Government about what NERV and SEELE are really up to. However, given what they ARE up to, and what he is trying saving all humankind —including those he cares for—you would be hard-pressed to tell he is the bad guy here (and if they knew his motives, it's highly doubtful any character but Gendo and SEELE called him one). He is a good guy pretends to be a bad guy pretending to be a good guy.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: Maya was forced by Kluge to give him confidential information about the Evangelions and NERV.
  • What About Witch Queen? has two heroic examples: Elsa sends Kristoff to be her mole in Berg's army, and mister Lee is Arendelle spy in Weselton court. Apparently, Berg knew from the beginning that "Christian Mikkeli" is a spy, but Lee remains undiscovered.
  • In Utopia Unmade, Nisser is one of the soldiers that gains Cure Marine's respect while she's organizing the defense of Sandstorm. Turns out he's actually Cobraja, one of the commanders of the Desert Apostles, and he manages to open Sandstorm's gates to let the Apostles in.
  • In Mega Man Recut, "The Mega Man in the Moon" reveals that Senator King is this.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, Metal Man is this in episode 9.
    • The police and FBI suspect the Conduit may have planted a mole within their ranks. The mole turns out to be Captain Tallarico, AKA Miss T.
  • In The Student Prince, Val, the bodyguard, is getting paid to kill Arthur. The surprise may be spoiled for readers who realise that "Val" is short for Valiant.
  • In Origin Story, it turns out that from the beginning Wonder Man was never as supportive of the hunt for Alex Harris as Tony Stark thinks.
    • In addition, Phil Coulson helps Alex Harris escape from SHIELD's clutches again and again without her ever knowing he's doing it.
  • In Unnatural Disaster Debonair is a Cauldron plant within Protectorate ENE, and high-ranking enough that unlike Battery he gets Door privileges.
  • Son of the Seven Kingdoms:
    • Tyrion decides to become this for William in the Lannister's army, because he knows that William is the legitimate heir to the throne — and pretty much the only person he can trust to use power the right way. Then, Tywin sends him to become Acting Hand, which pretty much means he will have the power to actually deal with the problems caused by Joffrey.
    • Farengar Secret-Fire is one for the Blades with Daenerys, but he is aiding her in order to find a way to make peace between Targaryens and Baratheons.
  • In the pro wrestling story, The Return-Remixed, Gail Kim turns out to be this.
  • Blood and Honor: Quinn unwittingly acts as this for a large part of the story, studying Sanguis and secretly passing on information about her to Baras, unaware that Baras intends to kill her eventually. After she survives the trap Baras laid for her, Quinn is contacted again to help in a second attempt, triggering a personal crisis.
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters has a few examples:
    • Vathek is one for the Rebellion within Phobos' court, as per W.I.T.C.H. canon.
    • Ludmoore's brothers are this for him within both Phobos' court and the Rebellion. Cedric is one of them, and the other, Cyrus, has a Secret Identity as Caleb's friend Drake.
    • Jackie pretends to accept Chang's offer of service in order to bring the Dark Hand down from within. Later, he manages to flip Harold Hale to aid him, with plans by Section 13 to make him a Mole in Charge for the North American branch after Chang is taken down, in order to provide them the means to strike at the other branches. Except it turns out that Harold was a Dark Hand leader all along and was playing Jackie and Section 13.
    • Count Cornelius serves as this for the Rebellion among the other nobles.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition fanfic Walking in Circles, after escaping Ostwick Circle, Evelyn becomes Solas’s mole as Tranquil are always overlooked or ignored by other people and thus being perfect for spying duty. It should be noted that he didn’t force her to do so and it was her suggestion in the first place since Tranquil hate, as much as they can, being idle.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: The sequel Picking Up the Pieces reveals that part of the Hidden Guard's duties include finding these and removing them. In chapter 15, Memorizing Gaze mentions that a few centuries before, when one of his ancestors was in charge, they had discovered a few Moles in the Guard who were working for an organized crime ring in order to make it easier for their associates to get away with their actions; the entire ring was swept up and arrested as a result.
  • Double Agent Vader is based on the concept of Darth Vader having a Heel–Face Turn years before A New Hope, and then beginning to feed information to the Rebellion in the hopes of bringing down Palpatine.
  • In the Peggy Sue fic, Rise of a New Moon, Luna manages to turn Jeremiah, Viletta, Euphie and Suzaku to her side and use them to wage a bloodless campaign to take over Japan.
  • In the old crossover What Insertion?, Inuyasha tries to turn Sherry into a Mole within the Black Organization, intending to have her feed any information she can to Phibrizzo if she crosses paths with him. Sherry is understandably reluctant to do so, and it ultimately becomes moot weeks later when Gin tries to kill her for unrelated reasons.
  • In Bloom in Winter, Izuku is forced by his father's boss, Vicious, to attend U.A. as a general education student and spy on all the teachers and students to find their weaknesses. They're particularly interested in finding All Might's weakness and the thought of doing this makes Izuku sick. But he can't resist for as long as his mom is held hostage by the organization.
  • In Faded Blue, Greg only comes across Rose Quartz - leader of the Crystal Gems, shatterer of Pink Diamond and Blue Diamond's enemy - by pure coincidence. He tried to keep his distance but Rose seems to be fascinated by him and quickly becomes friends. He then uses her as an unwitting informant in order to keep Steven and Blue Pearl safe, and later uses her to find Rose's fountain so that Lapis can heal her cracked gem.
  • In A Pink Planet, Blue Diamond had planted an Aquamarine on Earth to spy on Pink Diamond's activities.
  • In Dance with the Demons, King Faraday offers to help Batman solve a case, but in reality he is attempting to luring Batman and the Outsiders into a trap set up by the Kobra cult. Unfortunately for him, Batman sees through his ruse.
  • Cat-Ra: Thanks to Catra making a far worse impression at the Princess Prom so that the Horde never has to show their true colors, Frosta teams up with them to infiltrate the Princess Alliance at the end of Season 1.

    Films — Animated 
  • Frozen (2013): Prince Hans reveals himself to be The Mole trying off Anna and Elsa so he can rule Arendelle and impress his brothers.
  • Ice Age: Diego starts out as this, although he later has a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Heavy Metal 2000: Odin reveals himself as The Mole during the climactic battle, just after the Big Bad has been killed by the heroine.
  • Monsters, Inc.: Randall Boggs and Mr. Waternoose are in charge of kidnapping children for the sake of keeping the company up and running to power Monstropolis. The former is only shown as cocky and cruel before The Reveal on how grossly vile he really is, thus less surprising than the latter Mole.
  • Sullivan, Jenner's henchman in The Secret of NIMH is probably only working for evil under threat of coercion, so it's not surprising that he pulls a Heel–Face Turn at the last moment. Unfortunately, Redemption Equals Death.
  • Toy Story 2: Stinky Pete sought to aid Al's Toy Barn in making profit, preventing Sheriff Woody from returning home. This Mole changes his ways at the very end; however, he gets sent to Japan in doing so.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 13 Sins: It's implied that a large number of people are involved in the game, including people high up in authority. Det. Chilcoat seems to be a reasonable authority figure, trying to figure out the game. He's actually their cleanup guy.
  • Fay in Adopting Terror, is feeding information to the biological father who's terrorizing the adoptive family.
  • Big Game has two: Morris disables Air Force One's self-defense systems, allowing Hazar to take it down, and Herbert texts Hazar when situation deteriorates to the point the president must be killed instead of taken alive.
  • In Black Christmas (2019), Helena apparently believes in the frat's stance on the position of women, and acts a mole inside the sorority: stealing the items the frat uses to track their victims.
  • Braveheart played with this trope and its variants; when two characters join Wallace's crew, one appears to be the mole but it turns out to be the other one and the first one saves the hero.
  • The prisoners in Breathing Room soon realize that one of them must be feeding information to their captors. It's Number 14.
  • Bunni: Chris is revealed to be working with the killer, aka, his mom.
  • Captive State: Mulligan turns out to be one in the government for the Resistance.
  • There are two in Carlito's Way. One is revealed right away and is working for the FBI, the other is not revealed until the ending.
  • The Departed is the story of a mole in the Massachusetts State Police and another in the Boston Mafia trying to discover each other.
    • At one point the mole is tasked at trying to find the mole in within the State Police, Himself. He wasn't the only mole; unbeknownst to him until the very end.
    • Which is a remake of Infernal Affairs, where the mole was in the Hong Kong police and the other mole was in the Triads.
  • In Disraeli, the Russians have a mole in the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Disraeli knows this, and uses the situation to his advantage.
  • Dog Soldiers had a mole, who didn't intend to be the mole originally. The one woman who rescued the soldiers from the Werewolves and tries to help them escape from the surrounded country house is revealed to be a member of the Werewolf family herself. Apparently, it seemed she thought the soldiers knew about the beasts and had come to rescue her (and perhaps cure her) from the Werewolves. However after every escape plan goes wrong, she reveals herself to be one of them, reveals that she had let the rest of the wolves in the house while they were busy and begins changing into one of them herself.
  • In Eastern Condors, one of the Cambodian guerillas aiding the squad is secretly working for the Viet Cong and betrays the team to the Vietnamese army.
  • In The Gatling Gun, Leona is secretly in league with Two Knives and steals the firing pin from the Gatling gun to render it inoperable.
  • Get Smart: Agent 23
  • In G-Force Speckles, the Mission Control Star-nosed Mole comes back from an unfortunate garbage truck incident (he got in an empty soup can and used it to roll it down to the dump) to reveal himself as the one who's actually turning household appliances into killing machines.
  • The TV film Guardian Angel has Lawton Hobbs' maid, Maria in this role.
  • Anna in The Guns of Navarone.
  • In Hangmen Also Die!, Czaka is a Nazi collaborator in the Resistance.
  • Headhunters shows Ove as an employee of a security company who was specifically planted to deactivate alarms for his art burglar friend.
  • In The Heat, Adam, the DEA agent, was Larkin all along.
  • In the fourthHomeAlone film, Kevin suspects that the burglars have an inside man who is helping them with the kidnapping and believes it to be Mr. Prescott. He is surprisingly right, although it turns out to be the maid Molly, who is also Marv's mother.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Dr. Elsa Schneider is revealed to be working with the Nazis about halfway through the film. She pretended to help Indy in order to obtain Henry Sr.'s grail diary, which could confirm the location of the Grail's resting place. Elsa, however, subverts her role when she purposefully gives Donovan the wrong grail, which eliminates him from the picture, allowing Indy to obtain the true grail and heal his father. In the end, this (questionable) redemption is not enough, as she tries to leave with the grail from the temple. In a Take My Hand moment, she can't keep herself from reaching for the grail below her as she hangs on to Indy above a deep abyss. She ultimately loses her life when her gloved hand slips away and she falls to her death.
  • James Bond:
    • Dr. No. Miss Taro is an agent of Dr. No who works as a secretary in Government House, passing classified information on to him.
    • In both Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace, an Illuminati-esque crime syndicate known only as "Quantum" has its operatives planted within many governments and corporations as a way to secretly dominate the world and tilt events to its favor. They've even managed to penetrate MI6, CIA and even the Canadian and Russian intelligence services. For example, the Big Bad of Quantum of Solace, Dominic Greene, for instance, is the head of a Greenpeace-style organization that is actually in business with a lot of shady corporations and criminals. In Spectre, it's later revealed that SPECTRE and its leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld is the one behind the villains of Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace, and even bankrolled Raoul Silva's schemes in Skyfall. Blofeld's Evil Plan is to seize control of the world's major intelligence agencies through a series of staged terrorist attacks, and the data would then be forwarded to him via his moles, including Max Denbigh, the head of the merged MI-5 and MI6.
  • In The Last Witch Hunter, 37th Dolan turns out to have infiltrated the Axe and Cross to aid the Witch Queen's supporters.
  • Although the cast spends a large part of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen thinking that Skinner is The Mole, it turns out to actually be Dorian Gray.
  • Mall Cop: Paul Blart's trainee Veck Sims is the main villain. The trainee is the brainy.
  • Mannequin: Richards (played by James Spader of The Blacklist). Yes, a plant for a rival department store seeking to buy out the one he is infiltrating.
  • In the movie adaptation of Mission: Impossible, the team leader Jim Phelps, essentially reversing his portrayal for the entire run of the original and second series.
  • Assjuice, very briefly in Neighbors.
  • No Way Out features a remarkable combination of a mole and a Red Herring Mole. The murder of the mistress (Sean Young) to the Secretary of Defense (Gene Hackman) is blamed on a Soviet mole as a Red Herring to divert attention from the real killer (the Secretary himself). The protagonist (Kevin Costner) must race to find evidence of this before they figure out that he's the one being framed. The twist is that although he didn't kill the girl, Costner really is a Soviet mole.
  • In The Phenix City Story, Jeb Bassett, one of the Pattersons' associates, secretly reports to mob boss Rhett Tanner.
  • Reservoir Dogs. After a heist goes wrong, the main characters become paranoid, with Mr Pink repeatedly claiming there has to be a mole. We eventually discover it was Mr Orange.
  • In Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the Red Queen warns Alice that there's an Umbrella agent amongst the group helping her infiltrate the Hive. It turns out to be Doc, which Alice has already figured out by the time it's revealed, since they're the only one of the group other than her and Claire who's still alive.
  • Tex in Robot Jox.
  • The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle parodies this trope's name. The villains have a mole in the U.S. government that allows them to get information about what the government is doing. The mole is revealed to be a literal mole that is part of the President's Staff.
  • One of the people in Ronin is not actually "Ronin", and is still working for his/her agency. It's Sam.
  • The movie Salt is filled with moles.
  • Andy, in Shuttle, appears to be one of the passengers held hostage by The Driver, but is actually his conspirator, which comes in handy when the heroes get the upper hand.
  • Becky in Sin City ends up ratting the Old Town girls out to the mob.
  • In Sisters of Death, Mr. Clyburn tells the girls that one of them knew for sure that the hazing ritual that killed his daughter seven years ago was sabotaged, and that that witness was working with him. It was Sylvia, who actually pulled the trigger in the ritual
  • Soldier of Orange: Robby sold out his friends to the Germans and lured them into a trap during the beach operation. He's later assassinated by Guus, who is himself arrested in the process.
  • In Spy, Karen Walker turns out to be one. Subverted with Bradley, who reveals himself to be a mole for Rayna, but is actually a mole for the CIA.
  • Star Wars:
  • Stalag 17 involves one of these in a German POW camp during WW2. It turns out to be someone other than who everyone assumes it to be.
  • In The Thieves, Julie is planted on the team by the Hong Kong Police to lead them to the reclusive fence Wei Hong. Interesting her father really is a notorious thief, the reason that the undercover role was so easily believed.
  • Wild Wind has an American spy impersonate a Nazi collaborator.
  • In The Windmill Massacre, coach driver Abe is actually an agent of the Miller, delivering souls to him, and referring to him as "Master".
  • Kayla Silverfox in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, for her sister's sake...

  • Long Wei is informed near the start of Infinity Game that somebody has infected the alternative world with a virus that is causing the game to become more difficult and permanently killing people (originally death in the game meant the player would return unharmed to the real world), so he sets out to find out who it is. It was D.D., infected by the RPG Society.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • A conspiracy theory was suggested when Vince Russo arrived in WCW from WWF in October 1999, based on how, in his attempts to turn WCW Monday Nitro into Raw, he managed to take a product that was already in terrible shape, thanks to roughly a year of Kevin Nash as head booker, and made it EVEN WORSE!. Many believe Hulk Hogan would later become a mole in TNA.
  • Rob Van Dam was called a Sell-Out in ECW for wrestling on Monday Night Raw while still under ECW contract, but it turned out that RVD was actually the mole for the ECW/WCW alliance to put the WWF out of business (said alliance ignored the fact ECW hated WCW more than the WWF, but no one called Invasion a great angle).
  • Used and subverted in CHIKARA. One of the tecnicos had betrayed the others and gave rudo UltraMantis Black the counter to Mike Quackenbush's feared submission finisher the CHIKARA Special to pass on to bigger rudo Chris Hero. UltraMantis also hypnotized tecnico Tim Donst into joining his stable the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple. Except, Donst was faking the amnesia, and while one of the rudos he discovered that the traitor of the tecnicos was Shane Storm. Donst told Quackenbush, who attacked Storm before he could pull off a full fledged reveal and betrayal.
  • Daizee Haze was a long time ally of Matt Sydal, so the idea of her being the mole of Generation Next to Prince Nana's Embassy was just a little unexpected.
  • In WSU, Becky Bayless was a mole who pretended to hate Alicia's guts while secretly helping her win and retain the WSU Title.
  • Claudio Castagnoli was the mole against Ring of Honor for Chris Hero, who instigated the ROH CZW feud.
  • When Team 3D set out to destroy the X division of TNA, the Hand Wave for two men taking out an entire competitive division was that they had a mole inside it, who turned out to be Johnny Devine.
  • Taylor Wilde brought Madison Rayne into TNA to aid her against The Beautiful People, which quickly backfired, as Rayne had been working for those very same Beautiful People. This happened to Wilde again when she worked with Rhaka Khan against The Kongtorage only to painfully learn Khan was one of their members.
  • TNA's Aces & Eights was a whole angle about someone being the mole against TNA wrestling. It was D'Lo Brown, or so it seemed, but it actually went much deeper than that.
  • When CHAOS invaded Pro Wrestling NOAH in 2013, MAYBACH Taniguchi revealed he was the mole in No Mercy when he attacked KENTA in favor of Takashi Iizuka and Toru Yano.
  • During the CHAOS Bullet Club feud in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Yujiro Takahashi turned out to be the mole against the former for the latter, betraying Kazuchika Okada to Prince Devitt.
  • Amanda Rodriguez, the first woman Ivelisse Vélez recruited for Las Sicarias, was turned against the group by her Evil Mentor Amber O'Neal by preying on Rodriguez's dislike of newere recruit Thea Trinidad. Rodriguez distracted Velez during a SHINE title match against LuFisto of the rival C4 faction, but instead of being welcomed in LuFisto dumped Rodriguez and O'Neal for no longer being of any use now that no Sicarias were singles contenders.

  • Adventures in Odyssey: The audience was let in fairly early on the fact that Mr. Glossman was a mole, but not on who he was working for.
  • The Storyteller sketch in one episode of John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme was a spy drama set in a zoo, with Finnemore's boss assigning him to find a mole. Before he can make the obvious response, his boss adds "Finnemore, I'm an old man and that joke could actually kill me." It turns out to be a mynah bird.
  • Journey into Space:
    • In The Red Planet, James Edward Whitaker, who was abducted and conditioned by the Martians in 1924, serves as their spy in the Discovery expedition.
    • In The World in Peril, the crew discover that the Lunar Controller has been working with the Martians all along. He used his influence to bring conditioned personnel such as Whitaker into the space programme.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, the players are police detectives investigating a murder. However, one of the players is actually the killer, who must try to throw the other players off their trail (with the help of an accomplice in larger games). Meanwhile, one player takes the role of the "forensic scientist" who tries to give the other players hints as to the murder weapon and the clue left behind at the scene of the crime, which only the murderer and their accomplice know.
  • Paranoia takes this to an extreme; every single character in the game is a traitor working for a different secret society. Some of them (especially Internal Security agents and the Illuminati) infiltrate other secret societies.
    • And then there's the Wobblies. The Computer heard rumors and sent a Troubleshooter team to investigate, but they'd died out long ago, so the team reported finding nothing— and was executed for failing to follow orders. A dozen or so teams later, one team created the society so they'd have something to investigate. To this day, every single member is an infiltrator.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, although most Radical Inquisitors are just Cowboy Cops who do their jobs in ways the bosses on Holy Terra wouldn't approve of, there are quite a few extremists who, for various reasons, abuse their Inquisitorial authority to do things that undermine the Imperium's security. Some of them are outright trying to overthrow one or more of the Imperium's ruling bodies.

  • In The Gentleman Ranker, Lieutenant Harford is a German agent who has been undercover for a decade as a British officer.

    Theme Parks 

  • In SwordCat Princess, Arayna is called in as a healer for the injured Julia, but was already secretly working for MacKnight, in disguise as Silver Smiley. She did so to help him create a "World Without Death", to make sure her sister Kathryn could never find a permanent death so she would definitely never die.
  • In Bob and George, Dr. Wily, not that it's hard to tell if you try.
  • In Blue Yonder, the villain boasts of having so many as to make fighting him impossible.
  • Drive: Orla O'Malley is part of La Familia. Nobody in-universe knows this but La Familia.
  • Jesse in Fans! was revealed to be the mole; his real name is Jesspin, and he is loyal to the time-traveling conquer General Maximilianna. Subverted in that Jesse still exists as a secondary personality within Jesspin and is loyal to AEGIS. When Jesspin told "Jesse" that no one would believe that he wasn't a traitor, "Jesse" answered, "That's what will make this fun. I do my best work in the dark."
  • Wooster, Gil's loyal companion in Girl Genius, turns out to be a mole from Britain. Unfortunately for him, the one he was spying on knows. That's why he made sure to keep him close, so he can keep an eye on him.
    • A more dangerous Mole was Rovainen, when it turns out that he is a revenant.
  • Irregular Webcomic!, here. Although in this case, it doesn't actually apply to this comic.
    • Also, Dr. Ginny Smith.
  • In Mortifer, William Aussek, the newly appointed leader of the local supernatural law enforcement, is revealed to be Magnificent Bastard Joey Von Krause in disguise. A more straight example would be Matthew, who is revealed Post Time Skip to be informing on Joey to Vlad Hynner — Matthew's pissed at Joey for more or less relegating him to desk work, preventing him from venting his Psycho for Hire tendencies. Also, it's revealed that Alyce was working for Vlad the whole time as a double agent.
  • In an early Sluggy Freelance arc, Riff is revealed to have been acting as a mole for Hereti-Corp since before the series began, albeit unintentionally.
    • And in the "Phoenix Rising" storyline "Nash Straw" turns out not to be an investigative reporter, but an assassin the Canadian Mafia hired to kill Oasis.
    • Riff's girlfriend Monica is actually a K'Z'K worshipper sent to spy on the main characters by Chilus.
    • In the "Research and Development Wars" arc, it is revealed that Sasha has been a Hereti-Corp spy all along.
  • Ever since Sadako entered the YU+ME: dream storyline, readers were not sure exactly who she was or what her relation to Lia was. When the big Drama Bomb hits, it becomes more apparent who Sadako is.
  • String Theory: JayJay tells the warden about the explosives in order to lighten his sentence.

    Web Original 
  • KateModern season 2 featured two examples of this; first Terry and later Julia.
  • The LG15: the resistance finale revealed that Sarah Genatiempo was in the Order all along.
  • lonelygirl15
    • Dr. Hart, who is one of the protagonists for a significant proportion of series 2, before eventually revealing himself to be a villain (but he switches sides during the season finale, "Bloodlines").
    • A particularly unusual example happened during the live event seen in "Too Dangerous!", in which a group of fans were invited to meet Daniel and Jonas, in person, in San Francisco, and take part in the storyline. Greg Gallows, a popular Fandom VIP of the series, was revealed to be a mole, passing information onto villain Lucy. Gallows went on to appear as an enemy mook in the following story, "Bloodlines".
    • Sarah was revealed to be a mole in "We're Screwed!"
    • Gemma never actually joins Bree or Daniel, but she helps from a distance. In "Tough Cookie" it's revealed that she works for the Order and isn't even British.
    • Carl Adams in "Prom: It's To Die For".
  • There's a variation in Survival of the Fittest version 2, where Big Four member Steven Wilson is tasked with scouting Bathurst High School (the other Four were assigned to other schools in the city) to find the best classes to target, and eventually to orchestrate those classes' abductions. They got him in place by forging documents and credentials to establish him as a qualified teacher and administrator, arranged for the previous Bathurst principal to "disappear", and then snuck him in as the new one. He then took over by using his previous military and leadership experience to take care of the administrative details. Ironically, the Bathurst students sealed their own fates by treating him rudely and with no respect, constantly causing trouble, and the two chosen classes were the ones he saw as the worst. Nobody not in the know saw it coming.
    • Jodene Zalack in Survival of the Fittest version three, who joined a group with the intent of infiltrating them and taking them out. She succeeded in killing Khrysta Lawrence and escaping entirely unharmed. She was planning to do the same to another group before it was decimated by Wade Wilson.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series' Melvin (Yami Marik) was a villain from the get go, but it's taken even further when he turns out to be The Mole for the series itself. He was hired by the CEO of 4Kids (Noah Kaiba) to cancel the show. He succeeded.
  • The Yogscast Minecraft Series has Lysander, who turns out to be a member of the evil cult of Israphel. And he burned down Mistral City while the heroes were investigating what happened to Old_Peculier's father.
    • Subverted when it turns out Lysander was framed and the person who actually burned down Mistral was a pirate named Jock Fireblast, with the reveal coming just before Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane can kill him. Played straight though when Skylord_Vitali betrays the Skylords and kills them all.
  • Nazetrîme in Noob. She's suprised nobody in the Noob guild figured it out given that her Online Alias is an anagram to that of the Noob guild's resentful former Guild Master.
  • URealmsLive: DeNada, who first appeared in Porc Hunters. It is later revealed that he was an Ageless Spy working on the inside to gain information, and when the time came, to help his Ageless Allies try to awaken their God.
  • The premise of Jubilee Media's web series Odd Man Out: a group of seven people claim to be of a certain identity, but one is lying. Examples include "6 Beyonce Fans vs 1 Secret Hater", "6 Christians vs 1 Secret Atheist" and "6 Vegans vs 1 Secret Meat Eater". The group must work to identify and vote out the liar, mostly through discussion of the identity in question. Whichever party wins - the mole or the other 6 - is awarded a cash prize.
  • In Escape the Night, the guests find out that there's a mole among them working with the evil, trying to kill them all, early on. This creates a ton of friction and drama between the group, only for them to find out it was the butler. Because of course it was.

    Real Life 
  • From 1968-1985, US Navy Warrant Officer John Anthony Walker acted as a spy for the Soviet Union, handing over thousands of pages of classified documents in exchange for millions of dollars in cash payments. Despite two decades of espionage, Walker was never even suspected of criminal activity by authorities. He received an honorable retirement from the navy in 1976 and continued his spying even after leaving service, getting his son (who was also in the navy) involved in his activities as well. Walker's downfall and arrest only happened as a result of his estranged ex-wife turning him in. When asked how he was able to get away with espionage for so long without being detected, he said "K-Mart has better security than the Navy".
  • FBI Agent Robert Hanssen, one of the most damaging moles American counter-intelligence has ever had. Sold information to the USSR that resulted in the deaths of many agents and defectors over a two decade period. At one point, Hanssen was tasked in his counter-intelligence work to find the Soviet mole. He was looking for himself!
    • His damage wasn't limited to the intelligence community. Hanssen is thought to have leaked information on the FBI's manhunt for Osama bin Laden to Russian handlers. This information ended up on the black market, and eventually into the hands of bin Laden himself. This leak is thought to have helped facilitate 9/11.
      • Efforts to identify and capture Hanssen were complicated by the fact that he and Aldrich Ames (below), a Russian mole in the CIA, were operating at the same time and in some cases leaked the same information.
  • Aldrich Hazen Ames, one of the most notorious double agents in CIA history. Received approximately $4.6 million from the Soviets for selling out several CIA sources and operations to them from the 80s until his capture in 1994. His actions as a Soviet mole were so shocking and poignant that a movie was made about him, Aldrich Ames: Traitor Within, and he's been referenced in several espionage stories since his discovery. Also infamous for beating the regular CIA polygraph tests by being very calm.
  • Several of the Cambridge Five in the UK could be classed as this, but the most infamous would probably be Kim Philby who, as a long-term spy for the Soviet Union within MI6, at one point became head of Section IX: tasked with counter-espionage against the USSR; at another point he was MI6's liasion with the CIA. This had a direct effect on the psychology of the CIA, with agency chief James Jesus Angleton, already a suspicious man, becoming The Paranoiac and going on an equally destructive witch hunt in the American intelligence community.
  • Mark Zborowski, yet another Soviet mole. He wormed his way into Trotsky's circle and possibly assisted in the death of Trotsky's son.
  • Anna Chapman, the gorgeous hot chick, turned out to be a spy for the Russians. Along with nine other nameless guys, by the way, whom the media didn't care about.
  • When the British anti-capitalistic left-wing organisation Lordon Greenpeace was involved the so-called "McLibel case" against McDonald's, it was estimated that up to one half of the members of the organisation was moles both planted by the British police and McDonald's itself.
  • A black police officer once managed to join a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan and bring it down from within. It happened in 1979, when undercover cop Ron Stallworth spotted a recruitment ad for the KKK in his Colorado Springs newspaper. Ron called them to apply to see if he could infiltrate the group, but there was one problem - he was black. Still, over the phone, he put on an Oscar-worthy performance, telling them he was a white man tired of being harassed by authorities, and even gave them a story about how angry he was that his sister was dating an African American (not the term he actually used). Amazingly, it worked. Stillman's partner - a white narcotics officer - was able to meet with them in person, use several of Stallworth's non-photo IDs to gain an application, and before long, Stillman was inducted into the group. His partner attended Klan meetings in his place for a full year, while Stillman himself chatted with the Klansmen over the phone, gaining information they did not want non-members to get. Even Grand Wizard David Duke was fooled this way; ironically, Duke told Stallworth in one phone conversation that he could identify a black man via his voice. End result, Stallworth was able to become a rather influential member and prevented any cross burnings from occurring in Colorado Springs. He was so proud of his work that he eventually framed his KKK membership card and hung it in his office until his retirement. The story was told in a book and movie.
  • Older Than Print: The Southampton Plot of 1415 was a conspiracy to replace King Henry V with Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March. The ringleaders were betrayed to Henry V (who had them promptly arrested and executed) by none other than ... Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Mole


Fluttershy joins the town

Fluttershy pretends to join the equality ponies so she can find out the secret behind it all.

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