Another episode, "Devil's Due", involved an alien race who believed that their ancestors made a deal with the devil for a thousand years of peace and progress for their world. On the date when the contract was supposedly due, a woman named Ardra appeared, claiming to be the demon of their mythology, come to claim the planet. Picard ultimately proved that Ardra was merely a con artist, using technology to recreate magical effects to convince the populace of her demonic origins.
Almost every Very Special Episode about drugs is the Faust legend updated; either the drug dealer or the kid who turns Our Hero on to drugs is Mephistopheles. (For instance, the Ghostwriter episode "What's Up With Alex?")
Too many episodes of The Twilight Zone to count, sometimes involving a literal pact with Satan and sometimes not. Because the show was an anthology, this was one of the few shows where the Faust doesn't escape at the last minute due to Contractual Immortality. (To be fair, some 16th-century Faust stories have Faust avoid Hell.)
In one episode, "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville", the standard trope is averted: The Devil (female, in this instance) offers to send an aging, bored, predatory business tycoon back in time with his memories intact so he can use his knowledge to experience the thrill of the pursuit again. But not in exchange for his soul — Hell already has that; instead, she wants the bulk of his fortune.
There is an interesting subversion in the episode "Still Valley", in which a group of Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War get a hold of a spellbook which would allow them to win the war easily at the price of renouncing God. They make the right decision and burn the book rather than sell their souls, even though they know their side in the war (and maybe their lives) will be over as a result.
The 80s The Twilight Zone revival has my favorite variation, "I of Newton". A mathematician (Sherman Hemsley) accidentally summons a demon through an equation he was working on, and the demon (Ron Glass) announces that the man's soul is already forfeit, unless he can give a question the demon can't answer or a task he can't perform. Hemsley is allowed to ask two questions about the demon's powers, from which he ascertains that the demon can travel anywhere in the multiverse, and can find his way back from anywhere he has traveled.
Demon: Now, a question I cannot answer.
Professor: Not a question. A command.
Demon: Lay it on me.
Professor: Get lost!
A variant that may or may not involve infernal forces happens in the story Button, Button, (later made into the movie, The Box) where a poverty stricken couple are given a box with a button on it and are told that if they press it, they'll get a lot of money but someone whom they don't know will die. They press it and the person who gave it to them comes to collect the box. They are given the money and are told that someone they didn't know has died. They are also told that the box will now be given to someone they don't know.
In Crazy as a Soup Sandwich, a man gets help escaping a demon to whom he owes his soul. Said help turns out to be a bigger demon.
Degrassi subverted this plot beautifully in "Moonlight Desires". It's the climax of a Story Arc where Jay lures his latest Faust into committing worse and worse crimes — until the Faust spontaneously decides to do something that scares Jay. But Even Evil Has Standards.
Degrassi also subverted it badly in "Queen of Hearts," where the Mephisto keeps her promise. This was supposed to be a moral about trust, undermined by the fact that only a total idiot would have believed the promise in the first place. (See Family-Unfriendly Aesop for description.)
The entire premise of the series Good Versus Evil: our heroes try to persuade victims into exercising the escape clauses of aptly-named "Standard Faustian Contracts" to save their souls.
The short-lived 1977 series A Year At The Top was an allegedly comic look at a two-man garage band (played by Greg Evigan and David Letterman band leader Paul Shaffer) who sold their souls to the son of the Devil for a year of super-success as rock stars.
The premise of Friday the 13th: The Series is based on a Deal With the Devil made by the uncle of the protagonists, and their efforts to recover the cursed antiques that he sold as part of the deal.
In Teen Wolf, accepting "the bite" from an Alpha werewolf. Selling your humanity for power, health, and popularity doesn't seem like much at first until: The full moon turns you into a homicidal jerk, the Alpha forces you to kill with him or die, and the Hunters turn up to (at best) bully you or (at worst) turn you into a pin cushion before cutting you in half.
The entire series Brimstone was about a dead cop who was offered a chance by the Devil to go to Heaven if he would locate and dispatch 113 Monsters Of the Week that had escaped from Hell.
Somewhat subverted, however, as the cop was already IN Hell and therefore had absolutely nothing to lose.
The TV series The Collector involves nothing but deals with the Devil; every episode, the title character goes to another person who's made a deal with Satan, and tries to get the person to earn redemption. Sometimes, he succeeds.
The Supernatural episode "Crossroad Blues" concerns the main characters trying to save several people who have made deals with the Devil, or rather Crossroad Demons. Upon making the deal, the person has ten years before the demons come to collect. They do in the form of hell hounds, who tear the victim to shreds. Notably, the only one they succeed in saving is the one who made a deal to benefit someone else (to save the life of his terminally-ill wife), whereas all the characters who made wishes for success or talent end up being taken down to Hell as planned. Robert Johnson (mentioned above) even puts in an appearance.
It must run in the family: Mary gave permission for the YED to poison Sam with demon blood (in 1983, the year that she died) in exchange for John to be alive again, John makes a deal with the YED in the first episode of season two: his soul and a mystical gun made by Samuel Colt for Dean's life. When Sam dies in All Hell Breaks Loose, Dean summons a crossroads demon and trades his soul in order for Sam to live again and while he failed, Sam still tried to make any deal he could in order to save Dean from hell. God, that family is screwed up.
Another surprisingly depressing example occurs for Bela in season 3's "Time Is on My Side." She was fourteen, it's implied her father was abusing her sexually, the Crossroads Demon (in form of a child) killed them for her and the ending is her hearing the hellhounds coming to get her.
Back when he was human, Crowley sold his soul for "a few extra inches below the belt". He swears that he was "just trying to hit double digits". These days, he's the one making the deals as "King of the Crossroads".
Bobby makes a deal with Crowley in order to help the brothers save the world from the Apocalypse. It takes him half of season six to find a way out of it.
The biggest reveal of season six is that all that happened was due to a deal Castiel made with Crowley. Unlike standard deals it is actually more of a partnership where either partner could walk away at any time. However, by the time the brothers find out about it both participants have too much invested in the scheme to back out.
Another non-standard deal was Sam's entire relationship with demon Ruby during season four. He sacrificed his humanity (and by extension, soul) by following her lead and drinking demon blood so he could develop abilities that would let him destroy that season's Big Bad, Lilith, to prevent the Apocalypse. Ruby did get him strong enough with the Dark Side to kill Lilith. Too bad killing her was the key to startthe Apocalypse.
Just to be clear: the whole series is made of this trope.
"Season Seven, Time For A Wedding" features an interesting example: a demon makes the standard "You get what you want and die ten years later" deal with people — then has his partner kill them within days, thus exploiting a loophole in the deal-making process (the demon making the deal can't collect early; nothing says another demon can't). When Crowley finds out about this, he is pissed.
The perennial antagonist of Angel was a luxurious law firm, Wolfram & Hart (an anagram for its founding members, Wolf, Ram & Hart), which was actually a front for human-demon cooperation and bribery. Aside from the obvious jokes, such as the patent holder of cancer being a client, the firm was dedicated to spreading injustice and societal rot.
And yes, Angel did shake hands with an Armani-wearing devil at one point.
"We still on for racquetball Thursday?"
Wolfram & Hart invoke this in season 2 by tormenting Cordelia with stigmata, and then offering to cure her in exchange for Angel bailing out a "client" from a hell dimension.
In Season Four, Angel accepts a deal wherein they will erase the memories of his son, Connor, and set the boy up in a good life. In exchange, Angel and his team will fold their heroic organization and transfer their activities over to the firm's L.A. branch, effectively neutralizing them.
Gunn, dissatisfied with his role as the muscle for the group, accepts a deal to make him into a superhumanly competent lawyer schooled in all areas of law, even demonic law. However, to make the upgrade permanent, the doctor wants him to sign a release form to bring some contraband through customs. The parcel turns out to house a tyrant god that takes over his best friend Fred's body.
Wesley: Nothing from Wolfram & Hart is ever for free. You knew that.
Years ago, Gunn also traded his soul to a demon for a truck (which he used to great effect in his war against vampires), knowing that that if he perished in his Suicide Mission against vampires before the demon came to collect, the deal was void. When Gunn survives long enough for the demon to show up again, Angel manages to convince all the other people who owed something to the demon to gang up and kill him. The demon notes that Gunn is perhaps the first person to willingly walk back to demon when time was up, which Gunn did to make sure the demon wouldn't go after anyone else.
And there was also the kiddie show host who made a deal to make the show a hit, and then the demons turned him into their own literal puppet.
In Reaper, the protagonist's parents' Deal with the Devil before he was born forces him to work for Satan as the title character. Mr. S. regularly tries to make the title character's job easier by offering various forms of assistance. The series also included a failed attempt at solution number 5 involving the protagonist's girlfriend that left them both bound for Hell by season's end. Unfortunately they'll never get out of it now.
Tends to come up from time to time on Ugly Betty with Wilhelmina in the Mephistopheles role and either Betty or Christina in the Faust role.
In Babylon 5, this trope is played out with anyone who chooses to do dealings with the Shadows, especially Londo Mollari. "What do you want?", indeed.
Notably, Londo makes several of these deals while knowing better but under duress, almost always regretting it only hours later. A subversion comes when Londo's assistant, Vir refuses dramatically (See Quotes Page), asking to see the Shadows' agent pay the price for such treachery. Vir gets what he asks for, too.
Interestingly, also the case for anyone who makes a deal with the Vorlons, the enemies of the Shadows. (For instance, they make Lyta Alexander the most powerful telepath that has ever existed...at the price of being their slave, even after they leave the galaxy forever.) The reason for this applying to both is that both species long ago entirely lost their objective of helping the younger races develop, and instead fell into a bitter rivalry about how to do it. Now all they care about is which species is right.
An arc in Dharma & Greg had Greg quit his well-paying job as a lawyer to "find himself", leaving both of them with no money. Greg's mother, Kitty, graciously agrees to lend them money and take Dharma out to dinner. It turns out that Kitty is plotting to have Greg take a high-powered job at a prestigious law firm. Kitty even distracts Dharma by taking her to the opera, which is performing Faust. Dharma soon realizes the scheme and tries to stop Greg just as he's signing an employment contract... with red ink.
Lampshaded further when Kitty offers Dharma dessert... a piece of flambee cake with a six inch tall flame on top.
In a WKRP in Cincinnati episode, the frustrated employees try to form a labor union. Carlson's mother, who owns the station (and only bought it for the tax writeoff), threatens to shut it down or sell it rather than negotiate. Station manager Andy Travis laments at one point, "I would make a deal with the Devil to keep this station open!" Finally everything is resolved, and we learn Travis has made a secret deal — with Mrs. Carlson.
There are far too many of these to list in American Gothic, but one of the earliest and most representative is Carter's deal with Buck in the episode "Damned If You Don't" (which could almost be an alternate title for this trope).
LOST's Michael makes a deal with the devil (in this case, the Others) to secure freedom for his son. He agrees to free "Henry" (which entails killing Ana-Lucia) and betray four of his friends. Eventually his guilt leads him to attempt suicide.
A much more literal example happens in season 6, when Sayid makes a deal with the smoke monster to get "anything he wants" (implied to be Nadia) in exchange for killing Dogen so Smokey can massacre everyone at the Temple. Turns out this was a ploy, however: the "Devil" here wasn't dealing fairly and was looking to kill Sayid along with all the other candidates. Then again, "fair" and Lost never did quite go hand in hand.
Satan: It's more or less customary for me to cheat mortals in this way. By observing only the letter of the agreement. For example, I'll give someone eternal youth, then have them sentenced to life imprisonment. That sort of thing. It's pretty standard. I'm the Devil!
In a later episode, an aspiring musician considers selling his soul for a guaranteed hit, but decides against it when it becomes apparent that all the Devil's songs suck.
In yet another sketch, a recently deceased man in Heaven is delighted to find out that his instincts about Bruce Willis and Sugar Ray Leonard having made deals with the devil are true.
In still another sketch, a young Simon and Garfunkel make a deal with the Devil for musical success (his first piece of advice: lose the tubas, get guitars). "We're going to be friends and partners forever, right?" Simon asks the Devil at one point. His reply: "Yeah... Yeah, that's the ticket!"
One episode of Married... with Children has Al Bundy selling his soul to the Devil for the opportunity to take the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl. Al is drafted by the Bears and has a spectacular season, but when the Bears finally get to the Super Bowl, the Devil tells Al that it's time to hand over his soul. When Al protests, the Devil points out that he only agreed to let Al take the Bears to the Super Bowl, not actually play in the Super Bowl.
Al: But that's not fair!
Lucifer: Duh! I'm THE DEVIL!
The same episode states a real-life person made a similiar deal:
Lucifer: "I want my soul back! I want my soul back!" That's all I ever hear from you and Tiger Woods.
Al: You mean Tiger Woods—?
Lucifer: Please. You didn't think anybody was really that good, did you?
Played for laughs in the Alice Cooper episode of The Muppet Show, Cooper acts as an agent for the devil, offering a contract that will give the muppet who signs it anything they want. Gonzo is ecstatic, but can't find a pen. ("I'll sell my soul for a pen! No, I have other plans for that.") Ms. Piggy goes through with the deal for great beauty, but is turned off by what Cooper considers beautiful. After giving Piggy a refund, Cooper radios the devil to report...
Cooper: Hello, boss... No, no, I didn't make a sale... Listen, Do I get any commission on hourly rentals?
(Radio spews flames)
Then the trope gets one last joking when Gonzo appears in an explosive flash just before the ending. Kermit thinks Gonzo made the deal, but Gonzo reveals he has something even worse: the bill for all the special effects! Everyone (Cooper, Kermit, and the Monsters on stage) basically unites in an, "Oh no!"
A variation of this occurs in Kamen Rider Dragon Knight. When speaking to prospective Kamen Riders, Big Bad General Xaviax claims that accepting his deal and following his instructions will allow them to satisfy their desires—a former rich kid will get a million bucks for each Rider beaten; a street fighter will become the strongest man in two worlds; a framed man will get the evidence he needs to be cleared; a disabled soldier will get to protect his country. Given that all of the people we've seen accepting these deals have either been eliminated or end up defecting before being able to collect, it has not been confirmed whether Xaviax would have kept his side of the bargain.
We later meet his first victim, who was tricked into dooming his whole world to slavery. He got what he wanted, able to live in peace with his girlfriend... until Xaviax got desperate and told him "Become a Heel Face Mole or I'll tear down this little fantasy and tell your people who betrayed them."
Played straight in an Emmy-nominated episode of The Monkees called "The Devil and Peter Tork." Peter (the innocent, lovable "dummy" of the group) unwittingly sells his soul to a man named "Mr. Zero" in exchange for a beautiful gold harp, and the ability to play it. The Monkees soon realize who "Mr. Zero" is, and desperately fight to have the Devil spare Peter's soul. In the end, Mike wins the battle for him in court, in which he proves that Mr. Zero didn't give Peter the ability to play the harp at all, stating, "if you love music, you can play music."
There was an episode in Tales from the Darkside that had the Devil made a deal with a frustrated movie script writer.
Earl of Dinosaurs made a deal with the devil to get a very exclusive mug.
A version of this occurs in the midway through season 8 of 24, after the peace treaty negotiation is postponed by the kidnap (and later death) of President Hassan, and the Russians decide they want to pull out of the treaty. President Taylor is tempted and does make a deal with disgraced Ex-President Logan (from series 5) who offered to make negotiations with the Russians in return for being credited as having a major role. It goes terribly wrong when it turns out the Russians were involved in the assassination of Hassan, and Logan begins to exert his influence over Taylor, 'advising' her to order more arrests, going against her beliefs and policies (and causing her most trusted advisor Ethan to resign in protest) and drawing her into a massive cover-up. However, the deal is compromised due to Logan's involvement in Renee Walker's death. Needless to say, Jack was not happy about this. The deal is broken when President Taylor announces at the signing ceremony that she will not be signing the treaty, thus winning back her dignity and conscience.
Happens in an episode of The Kids in the Hall where a stoner, during a massive pot drought runs into the actual Devil in a back alley. The Devil doesn't want the stoner's soul or his body, but actually his jacket as he's starting a rock band, "The Noodles." In exchange, the devil gives the stoner the ability to grow ready-to-smoke marijuana from his hair. Subverted in that everybody ends up happily ever after with the result.
Mystery Science Theater 3000Touch of Satan episode concludes with Crow telling Mike that he sold his soul to Satan and looks forward to getting power real soon - but then Mike takes a look at the contract and finds that Crow actually sold his soul to Stan, a C.P.A. When they try to call him for a refund, he says that he has already re-sold Crow's soul with a big block of souls to City Corp.
Crow: "Oh man, I'm gonna have to make so many phone calls to get my soul back!"
Invoked in Blue Bloods. Assistant DA tells a teacher who has been taking money from his gang leader brother "You made a deal with the Devil and now the bill has come due."
The main plot line in Kamen Rider Den-O. Imagin would form a contract with a human and grant them one wish, whether they want to or not. After fulfilling it in away, they will travel to that persons past and destroy it.
Uva from Kamen Rider OOO eventually makes this his main method of using his Yummy. They begin carrying out the desire of their host, even following orders on occasion, but it always ends up coming back to bite the host in the end.
In Kamen Rider Fourze, a deal was struck between Ryusei and Aries, who has the ability to put people in a deep sleep and can bring people out of one if he wishes. Throughout the series, Ryusei has been seeking Aries out to save his friend, who has been heavily injured and put in a coma. Aries agrees to help him bring his friend out of the coma... If he kills Gentaro. Ryusei goes through with it and Aries kept his end of the bargain. Though it was only for a brief amount of time due to the fact that it didn't heal the injuries and when he found out what Ryusei did, he fell right back into a coma. Cue Ryusei's revelation.
The Comic Strip Presents episode "Demonella" features the devil offering a record producer success, wealth and power in exchange for his mother's recipe for chicken soup.
In the Halloween episode of Bottom, Richie attempts to sell his sells in exchange for twenty years of unlimited sex. All he gets is a visit from Hedgehog's daughter and a flaming rear courtesy of the 'sprouts Mexicaine'.
One episode of The Mighty Boosh has Howard sign a contract with The Spirit of Jazz in exchange for musical talent.
Howard: Do you want me to sign this in blood?
Spirit of Jazz: Biro's fine.
Howard: Oh, okay. (Signs contract) Hang on, what's this bit about 'soul ownership?'
An episode of Big Wolf on Campus featured a girl who was so desperate to become Student Council president, she told her teacher (who was a devil in disguise) that she'd sell her soul to win. When she wins, he takes her soul and prepares to take it back to Hell with him. But, after a fight with Tommy, Merton shows the devil a postcard the girl had written him over the summer when they were children, back when she was more open about her crush on him. On that postcard she promised Merton her heart and soul. Realizing that the girl was double-dealing him, the devil reluctantly returns her soul on the grounds that it legally belonged to Merton and was not hers to offer.
On The Amazing Race, Season 11, Danny & Oswald sold their Yield to Dustin & Kandice when they found themselves out of money. Immediately upon using to Yield another team, they seemed to lose all heart and will to win the race, and equated the deal to this trope.
An episode of Wayne and Shuster had a musician selling his soul to the Devil in order to become Canada's greatest hockey player.
Subverted on an episode of Jonathan Creek, in which Lenny Spearfish believes that he's sold his sold to the devil in exchange for wealth, power and immortality, only for Jonathan to discover that all the "miracles" that happen to him were in fact orchestrated by MI-5. Having recently discovered that Lenny's wife was the illegitimate and unacknowledged daughter of a royal, they were commissioned to ensure that she was provided for. This not only involved rigging up a buried treasure in her back garden, but also protecting her against the criminal that her husband managed to enrage whilst high on his newfound success.
On Good Eats, a Louis Cypher character appears to a woman who had just lost a cake-baking contest and promises her a new recipe in exchange for her soul. (She agrees, and wins the next bake-off with Devil's Food Cake.) The Louis Cypher character then appears to her longtime rival and makes the same pact with her, giving her the recipe for Red Velvet Cake.
In one episode of Poltergeist: The Legacy, Nick's late older brother escapes from Hell pursued by a hunter from Hell called the Soul Chaser. At the climax, the Soul Chaser reveals to Nick that Nick's brother made a deal with him: Nick's soul in exchange for his, the only way to escape from Hell. His brother ultimately can't bear to go through with it and sacrifices himself to save Nick.
Inverted. Drake dè Mon, played by Billy Zane, makes a deal with a sorcerer to become human (as in, to gain a soul rather than lose one) but keep his demonic powers with the condition that using them offensively will cause him to be sent to purgatory (as in, he's forced to be good rather than bad). The deal only lasts for one year, after which Drake will die anyway (as in, the only thing this means for his place in the world is that he's now on a clock to die), but as it turns out the whole deal was made with help from Cole as part of a Batman Gambit to restore Phoebe's faith in love (as in, the underlying force behind the deal was doing something good).
Another inversion, Cole was willing to transfer the essence and powers of the Source to a Wizard. Only for the deal to be ruined by Phoebe under the influence of the Seer and the unborn Source kid.
In Doctor Who the Doctor's Companion Turlough makes a deal with the Black Guardian, the Anthropomorphic Personification of Chaos, to kill the Doctor in exchange for the Black Guardian helping him leave Earth.
In ''The Evil of the Daleks'' the deal Maxtible made with the Daleks seems similar to a deal with the Devil. He is helping them in the hope of getting the secret of turning base metal to gold. His eventual reward is to be turned into a human Dalek.