%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1341245047035640000
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
%%
[[quoteright:330:[[Disney/{{Hercules}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/deal-with-the-devil_hercules_6551.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:"[[EverybodyHatesHades Name's Hades, Lord of the Dead.]]\\
[[FauxAffablyEvil Hi, how ya doin'?]]"]]

->''"History has proven a thousand times that no man has ever gained from a bargain with The Dark, yet cowards and fools continue to try, and The Dark never turns them away."''
-->-- '''The Mayor''', ''[[Videogame/{{Myth}} Myth: The Fallen Lords]]''

You know how it works. Want to be a [[{{Fiction 500}} trillionaire]], TakeOverTheWorld, gain [[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow Omniscience]], or just to get back at that obnoxious JerkJock? Well travel down to [[AtTheCrossroads those crossroads]] and [[LouisCypher Mr. S]] will guarantee your wildest dreams, if you just sign on the dotted line with your own blood. This trope is OlderThanSteam, and does not even require the Abrahamic Devil; any {{trickster|s}} or evil deity [[EverybodyHatesHades roughly equivalent]] to {{Satan}} can be used. It reached its current version in the 16th-century legend of {{Faust}} selling his soul to Mephistopheles (who technically isn't ''quite'' exactly Satan or Lucifer, but still a high-ranking demon).

This trope includes both literal {{Magically Binding Contract}}s with a literal devil, and crooked deals between any corrupt exploiter (the Mephistopheles role) and a desperate pawn (the Faust role). The exploiter can be offering anything from some shiny new AppliedPhlebotinum to making a high school nerd [[InWithTheInCrowd popular]], to [[LeonineContract saving your life moments before death]]. Sometimes it has [[MadeOfTemptation no practical value whatsoever]]. He then asks for something -- often apparently innocent at first -- that means the total ruin of the Faust if delivered: soul, conscience, [[GoMadFromTheRevelation sanity]], first born, loved ones, voice, [[ForWantOfANail horseshoe nail]]...

Note that [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils actual devils]] [[LawfulEvil will always follow through with their end]], even if their end is a [[JackassGenie sinister bastardization of the terms]]. Thus always remember to ReadTheFinePrint and have an experience in law with you if you try to do this. We never see Mephistopheles simply take the soul and run like an amateur scammer; [[IGaveMyWord he gave his word, narrated the fine print]], [[MagicallyBindingContract put his name on the dotted line]] and made the wish come true. As icing on the cake, the Mephistopheles sometimes makes sure or just shows in reality that the gift is, in itself, [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor detrimental to the life of the Faust and others around him in the first place]] - especially if there's a chance at {{irony}}, where [[GiftOfTheMagiPlot lacking their "soul", the element they gave up as payment, is the only thing that makes the gift worthless]].

An alternate form is a deal where the Mephistopheles offers the Faust exactly what he wants, if not more, but to get it, he has to undergo an ImpossibleTask Mephistopheles obviously does not think the Faust can complete, with Faust's soul as the penalty if he fails. Alternately, the deal truly has no strings attached, as it's a XanatosGambit where the Faust's good fortune or success will deliver the soul of another to Mephistopheles.

Whether {{God}} or the equivalent would be interested in a soul that someone has gambled is the ElephantInTheLivingRoom.

Deal With The Devil plots can overlap with WhatAnIdiot. Some writers try to defend the Faust by [[LeonineContract having the Mephistopheles make the offer when the victim has no time to think]] (e.g., offering to save him from the DeathTrap in return for something nasty) or by making the contract so long, complex and filled with Latin-esque legal jargon no one will ReadTheFinePrint [[SevenDeadlySins (Sloth is a very undervalued sin)]]. Also expect ExactWords and YouDidntAsk to be employed against the Faust.

If you should find yourself suckered into a Deal With The Devil, ThePowerOfLove may be your best bet at defeating the infernal contract. Or you can try your luck (literally) with a JuryOfTheDamned. Some {{Guile Hero}}es can make it into a MeaninglessVillainVictory. With enough power, a FaustianRebellion is possible.

Common solutions are:
# Ask the devil for something he can't do (like worship God) or that destroys him, which makes the entire deal pointless.
# Make a LogicBomb, [[GroundhogDayLoop infinite loop]], LoopholeAbuse, etc. For example, if the devil asks to give him your soul after death, you can wish for {{immortality}}. In the case of immortality, however, beware -- a truly crafty devil might pull a JackassGenie on you, either by [[AgeWithoutYouth conveniently forgetting about the "eternal youth" part]] or by [[TheUndead turning you into an undead abomination]]. It may also turn into a case of WhoWantsToLiveForever, even without the devil's manipulations.
# It may be possible to gain enough power through the deal to prevent the devil from forcing you to keep your promise - [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu or just kill him.]] See FaustianRebellion.
# [[TooSpicyForYogSothoth Use your new power to annoy the underworld so much that your deal gets nullified simply to get rid of you.]]
# If the wish is already wasted, then someone else is required to [[StartXToStopX fight fire with fire]] by engaging into a new contract and defeating the devil.
# In comical versions, if the devil is female - usually some apprentice demon who always fails - of course she will be insanely sexy or cute (according to EvilIsCool, EvilIsSexy, HornyDevils and CuteMonsterGirl rule), so why not ask her to become your girlfriend or wife?
# Seem a little ''too'' anxious to sell your soul. (See the FrankZappa example below)
# Turn to religion. While rarely used in fiction due to it being too quick a solution (and it failing having UnfortunateImplications), there are many cases when a saint or mystic claimed they (or someone they knew) sold their soul to the devil and were saved by Jesus or the Virgin Mary. In these cases, you merely consecrate yourself to him; the demon only literally gets the soul after death.
# Prove you'd already sold or given your soul to someone else, a la Homer Simpson and Mr. Krabs.
# Manipulate some tiny, arcane loophole or hire some RulesLawyer to render the contract null and void. (Rarely successful, [[EvilLawyerJoke Hell is full of lawyers after all]] and "Satan" literally means "prosecutor".)
# [[RealityWarper Use the power you gain from the contract to change the entire system]], sometimes even [[TimeTravel retroactively]].

The character who offers the deal is often, though not always, TheCorrupter (and not all Corrupters use this as a tactic).

There is an Inversion of this trope largely [[ForgottenTrope forgotten]] in the mainstream, but still very much in use in some contexts: The BargainWithHeaven. Compare also ReasoningWithGod.

For the occasions when the Devil comes out ''behind'', see DidYouJustScamCthulhu.

Compare the supertrope, PowerAtAPrice, and its other subtropes.
----
!!Examples
[[index]]
* DealWithTheDevil/{{Advertising}}
* DealWithTheDevil/AnimatedFilms
* DealWithTheDevil/AnimeAndManga
* DealWithTheDevil/{{Comics}}
* DealWithTheDevil/FanFic
* DealWithTheDevil/{{Film}}
* DealWithTheDevil/FolkloreAndFairyTales
* DealWithTheDevil/{{Literature}}
* DealWithTheDevil/LiveActionTV
* DealWithTheDevil/{{Manhwa}}
* DealWithTheDevil/{{Music}}
* DealWithTheDevil/TabletopGames
* DealWithTheDevil/{{Theatre}}
* DealWithTheDevil/VideoGames
* DealWithTheDevil/{{Webcomics}}
* DealWithTheDevil/WebOriginal
* DealWithTheDevil/WesternAnimation
[[/index]]

[[folder:Other]]
* The first page quote spoofs the fact that end-user licence agreements ''do'' make you click "I Agree" to a lot of legal TechnoBabble that most people don't bother reading and most who try don't understand[[note]]A recent (October 2014) study found that, in order to read all the [=EULAs=] a typical person would encounter in a given year, it would take ''74 '''days'''''[[/note]]. Subverted in that, for this exact reason, there's doubt over whether they're actually legally binding.
* Bill Hicks had a notorious comedy routine in which he accused bands that endorsed anti-drug messages of [[UnusualEuphemism doing this]]. Sort of. [[spoiler:"SUCK SATAN'S COCK!"]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* While reliable evidence that Satan has ever actually ''bought'' anyone's soul is not available, some [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_Satanism Theistic Satanists]] may claim to have ''sold'' their souls to him, or to have ''given'' themselves over to him.
* There have been a few attempts of people selling their souls on eBay. Known examples include electronic musician Moby, who put his up as a TakeThat to critics who felt he "sold out".
** So did the atheist activist Hemant Mehta, who later wrote a book ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Sold_My_Soul_on_eBay I Sold My Soul on eBay]]''. Note that what he was ''actually'' selling was the right to have him attend a church of the winner's choice for a year. The soul thing was a gimmick.
** eBay has, perhaps unsurprisingly, banned this practice, prohibiting the sale of items whose existence cannot be verified and deleting such listings as soon as they're discovered.
--> "If the soul does not exist, eBay could not allow the auctioning of the soul because there would be nothing to sell. However, [[MortonsFork if the soul does exist then, in accordance with eBay's policy on human parts and remains, we would not allow the auctioning of human souls.]]"
** Somebody got around the ban by instead selling an autographed card of himself - the card being, naturally, a deed to the seller's soul.
* In Latvia, a country hard hit by the 2007-9 economic crisis, the Kontora loan office is lending people money at high interest rates if they agree to use their [[http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSTRE5623G020090703 souls as collateral]]. So far, about 200 people have taken Viktor Mirosiichenko up on his offer. They don't employ any debt collectors either...
--> '''Mirosiichenko''': "If they don't give [the money] back, what can you do? They won't have a soul, that's all."
* British game retailer [=GameStation=] decided to make a point about online Terms & Conditions and how nobody ''ever'' reads them, by [[http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/04/15/online-shoppers-unknowingly-sold-souls/ inserting a clause that the user gives up his soul to them]]. They later e-mailed all those who had agreed to the terms assuring them that they would be immediately nullifying any claim they had on their customers' souls. This happened on AprilFoolsDay, incidentally.
** At least in the US and most other Common Law countries, this type of contract has a legal remedy because it's well-known no one reads them. Imagine what a pain it would be if you had to read these every time you rented a car, bought a cell phone, and so on. Now imagine the headache if a company did slip some truly odious language into the fine print somewhere, say, a $10,000 USD cancellation fee for your cell phone contract. This type of contract is called a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_form_contract standard-form contract, a contract of adhesion or a boilerplate contract]], and a court reserves the right to throw out any clauses in it which are deemed unreasonable or too odious. This is a rare exception to the general principle of, "Your signature means you read it all, understood it all, and accepted it." To date, there aren't known instances of someone challenging the Devil on the grounds that his contracts are boilerplate with unreasonable terms.
* Usury, aka taking loans. The lender and borrower will pledge into well, a Loan Contract. The lender will lend his money at first, but some time in the future force the borrower to pay back more. Interest is where the debt multiplies over time. If the borrowers can no longer pay back the interest, then bad things (bankruptcy, seizing your bankrupt assets as collateral, or even debt slavery) happen. For a more profound example, taking a desperate loan out from the mafia, a MorallyBankruptBanker, or comparable organization of {{Loan Shark}}s. You can get a huge loan, no questions asked, or even access to something else you need... but you'll will be forced to pay back a LOT more than you otherwise would, sometimes with your possessions, life, organs, or forced service.
** A similar practice is done by espionage agencies. They will tempt the mark into a "small" treason (such as releasing records on the number of pens needed to write embassy reports) that would not in itself hurt the country betrayed. Once that is done the handler will use that treason as a blackmail device. Another similar means is the infamous HoneyTrap. If you ever are a marine guard at an embassy and see a dazzlingly beautiful woman leaping on you for no apparent reason, take a chill. It is probably not because you are irresistibly handsome.
* [[DrugsAreBad Drug addiction]]. Somebody offers you an offer of a great pleasurable experience beyond normal human sensations. It is also a great opportunity to capitalize in for profit. The catch is, once you are in, you can't get out and will probably suffer long-term psychological and/or physical deterioration if you dare to deviate from the "contract", or sometimes forced to do tricks for him, with death being the only apparent exit. There's a reason why "wiser" drug dealers don't abuse their own drugs.
[[/folder]]
----