Dutch Language Blog

The thrilling question – Wie is de Mol? Posted by on Mar 8, 2015 in Culture, Dutch Language

Wie is de Mol? is a Dutch  TV game show that attracts millions of kijkers every year. In 10 episodes, 9 candidates and the Mol play many well-thought out games in a country far away from the small Netherlands. This year was the 15th edition of the show, and it was staged in Sri Lanka.

The game is about creating a money pot as large as possible. Every episode, there are two to three opdrachten (tasks) for the candidates to master. If they do them well, they make money for the pot. If they fail, no money is earned. Next to these 9 people trying to make as much money as possible, there is the Mol. This is one person in the group, but besides the Mol, nobody knows who it is. The Mol (the mole) tries to keep the money pot as empty as possible without getting caught by the candidates.

At the end of every episode, all participants fill in a multiple choice test. These are questions about the Mol‘s identity and his/her doen en laten (doing and letting – the behavior). Everything that participants do and say that seems verdacht (suspicious) could be a sign of a mollenactie (Mol action) to keep money from the pot. The person that answers the least questions correctly leaves the game and goes back home to the Netherlands right away. The last person that remains, and was on the right track, after the right person, wins the game and the money in the pot.

As the game is all about suspicion, there are many possibilities to deceive, lie and cheat. Some candidates try to make others believe they are the Mol. Sometimes, the Mol tries to avert any suspicion from himself or herself. You can’t trust anyone. Even though it is trust you could use most. It is the reason why the show carries the slogan niets is wat het lijkt (nothing is what it seems).

All opdrachten are in some way pegged towards this trust. If you could trust all participants, the games could go well and without problems. However, if there are trust issues, and nobody trusts the other, succeeding the opdrachten is much more difficult.

Finale of the 2011 season, presented by Pieter Jan Hagens. Art Rooijakkers, on the right, won that season. Patrick Stoof, in the middle, was the Mol. Soundos El Ahmadi, the woman on the left, was second, and as such is coined the “verliezer” (loser). Art Rooijakkers took over as presenter after Pieter Jan Hagens after this season, and has presented the show every year up until now. (Image by Miranda Velthuis at Flickr.com)

Until 2005, the show cast unknown Dutch people. After that, only Bekende Nederlanders (BN’ers) (well-known Dutch) have participated. Most of them are known from other TV series, shows etc. For example, in the 2015 season, the presenter of the Dutch evening news, Rik van de Westelaken, participated.

The jacht op de Mol (hunt for the mole) does not only thrill the candidates, but also many Dutch people at home in front of their TV every Thursday at 8:30 PM through January to March, when the show is displayed. This season’s finale was watched by more people than ever before: 3.359.000!

The show has grown from its first season in 2000 to become one of the most popular TV shows in the country. The idea started, however, in 1999 at the Belgian film production company Woestijnvis. A year later, it was sold to the Netherlands, among many other countries.

Are you curious and do you want to see the show for yourself? NPO Gemist has all episodes of the past seasons available on demand. There is a lot of side information to the show on the website as well. Check it out here! http://web.avrotros.nl/wieisdemol/afleveringen/

Tags: ,
Keep learning Dutch with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.


  1. Bill:

    We had The Mole in America, too. I watched the 3rd season in 2003, and I remember liking it a lot. It never had the success here that it seems to have there, and it got canceled in 2008, it’s 6th season.