Feed the Mole/Playing With

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Basic Trope: One character deliberately feeds false information to The Mole, either to expose it or to trick the enemy.

  • Straight: Guile Hero knows who The Mole is, but gives The Mole false information. The Big Bad / The Rival receives the information and acts on it, but falls into a trap or has their position compromised.
  • Exaggerated: Guile Hero leaves the high command door open, The Mole 'discovers' a treasure trove of information, and all of it is fed back to the enemy. Acting on it results in their massacre.
  • Justified:
    • The information is laid out carefully, so that The Mole is convincingly fooled and the information itself is plausible to the enemy and the audience.
    • The Mole chooses to become a Double Agent.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: The Mole realises on his or her way to the Big Bad that the information is bogus, and drops it.
  • Double Subverted: The Guile Hero counted on The Mole figuring this out and arranges matters so that The Mole, coming back for the true information, takes more bogus information without realising it.
  • Parodied: Guile Hero is so obviously giving false information that The Mole figures it out immediately, but lets himself or herself be 'fooled' anyway because he wants to get one over the Big Bad For the Lulz.
  • Deconstructed:
    • A character calls out the Guile Hero on using deception in such a way, arguing that it makes them no more endearing to their enemies and may be used by them to justify future retribution.
    • Alternatively, the trick enrages the Big Bad and The Mole suffers as a result.
  • Reconstructed:
    • The deception turns out to be necessary, even beneficial, as it prevented an atrocity from being committed. Or the Guile Hero morally justifies his or her use of the deception.
    • Alternatively, The Mole reconsiders his or her position and joins the heroes in a Heel Face Turn.
  • Zig Zagged: The success of the Feed the Mole tactic varies so wildly that at times the Guile Hero and The Mole seem inconsistent in their behaviour.
  • Averted: No one uses the tactic at all.
  • Enforced: Executive Meddling and/or the authors: "We have The Mole, but the character's not doing anything. Why don't we show how brilliant Character X is by having him/her/it/them/pronoun of choice manipulate The Mole?"
  • Lampshaded:
    • Genre Savvy Mole: "False information again? This Is Gonna Suck."
    • Alternatively, Guile Hero: "Why doesn't that guy even notice it's just false information?" or "I can't believe that actually worked. So many things could have gone wrong!"
  • Invoked: A Reverse Mole in the favour of the Big Bad persuades the Big Bad to send in The Mole, at least in part so that the Guile Hero can make use of this trope.
  • Exploited: A third party rides on the back of the Feed the Mole tactic and ends up wiping out the Big Bad once he or she is compromised.
  • Defied: A Genre Savvy Mole realises that the Guile Hero is tricking him or her, and looks elsewhere for information, or tries a counter-ploy.
  • Discussed: Genre Savvy Characters fear a Mole in their midst and one recommends this tactic.
  • Conversed: A fanboy goes on about a 'trick he saw in a show' which turns out to be Feed the Mole.

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