Dear Mr. Craig. We have been following your career for some time now, and we've decided to make you an offer. We believe you have endless talent in the field of murder. Please send us a copy of your resume along with a dismembered human corpse and a quart of goat's blood.A Sub-Trope of Deal with the Devil, where Satan has something very specific in mind for this one mortal: offer them lucrative career opportunities! Why would the Devil make this particular offer? Perhaps they recognize this person's skills and think they would make a better servant of Hell than one of its prisoners. Or maybe he just recognizes how evil this particular human is and sees the offer as a reward. After all, if Humans Are Bastards, wouldn't they make the perfect talent pool for the forces of evil? Most will grudgingly take the offer just to get back to Earth. As such, this has a very high chance of backfiring on the Devil in a Faustian Rebellion. Often involves Super Empowering of some sort with the devil bestowing a whole set of infernal abilities upon his new minion. The deal may require becoming a demon in the process, but doesn't have to. If this happens after someone died and/or went to Hell, it overlaps with Resurrected for a Job. See also We Can Rule Together.
Asmodeus, Asteroth, Belial & Scratch Inc.
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Anime and Manga
- In the manga Beyond Evil (Aku No Higan), the protagonist, a high schooler named Terajima Gouta is confronted by Victor, a demon-like being who literally deals in lives by buying and selling years of people's lives and has supernatural powers and charisma. Terajima is in a situation where he is about to be murdered and Victor offers to save his life if Terajima signs a contract which makes him Victor's assistant/errand boy and aides him in his deals with humans and other demon-like beings. Terajima takes the deal.
- The man who would become the Saint of Killers from Preacher went to Hell for shooting through a hostage — but his hatred was so cold that it froze the flames to ice. The Devil couldn't stop his hatred — so instead, the Angel of Death, who was never really cut out for being The Reaper, makes a deal: the man will become the Saint of Killers, taking over the Angel's job, and leave Hell in order to serve as Heaven's enforcer. The Angel's sword is melted down and forged by the Devil into a pair of Walker Colt revolvers that will never miss, never inflict anything less than a lethal wound, and never have their hammers fall on empty chambers... And thus, the Saint of Killers is born. As he leaves hell, he kills the Devil himself!
- Happens as a major plot point in the 1990's Vampirella, where Vampirella is killed and ends up in Hell, which is fortunately ruled by her mother Lilith, who gives her a mission to fight vampires on Earth just before she is killed. (This was a mild retcon, since Lilith was killed, but this implied that she had been in Hell all along.)
- In Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, the story's Villain Protagonist Warren White goes from handsome Buttmonkey New Meat in the prison to a hideous but competent and powerful supervillain and in addition to his worldly "success", he manages to outwit some demons seeking to deal with him and so impresses Etrigan that he's offered a cushy job when he inevitably ends up in Hell after death.
- In the Good Omens fic Paradise Thwarted, the sequel to Manchester Lost, when Adam is killed, he ends up getting a job in hell. He didn't have a hard time getting the position.
Satan: *sneer* It's you.Adam: *sigh* Listen. If I'm gonna be stuck down here, I might as well make myself useful.Satan: We have the position of "Prince of Hell" still open.Adam: Brilliant.
- In Gravity Falls, Bill canonically offers a protagonist a chance to help him take over the world as part of his army of interdimensional "freaks." A popular AU for fanfiction/fanart is for the character to take him up on it in an act of self-sacrifice and then have to adjust to life as a super-powered villain.
- Angel on My Shoulder: The Devil recruits a recently murdered gangster, Eddie Kagle, to return to the living and inhabit the body of Judge Fredrick Parker, a crusading reformer and gubernatorial hopeful. The Devil hopes that Eddie can ruin Parker's reputation and further the cause of evil.
- In Dead in Tombstone, Satan releases Guerrero from Hell with a promise to return him to life if he can deliver the souls of his six betrayers to Hell within 24 hours. At the end of the film, Guerrero fails to meet his deadline by two minutes. Satan allows him to remain on Earth so long as he continues to send the souls of outlaws to Hell.
- The Windmill Massacre: According to the legend, the Devil was so pleased with Miller Hendrik's work that when he was eventually killed by a Torches and Pitchforks wielding mob, he offered him a job as gatekeeper to Hell.
- In Kenneth Oppel's Silverwing series, the cannibal bat Goth is sent back to Earth to re-teach the living cannibal bats about Cama Zotz. He may be a slight inversion in that he's not quite sent back by Zotz himself and just told about the two living bats in the Underworld so that he can kill one to take the life into himself and live again.
- In Anne Rice's Memnoch the Devil, Lestat is given a tour of the history of mankind and the afterlife, including Heaven and Hell. In Hell, the Devil (Memnoch, in case you missed it) offers him a job as his "right-hand man/vampire". Lestat declines and runs screaming out of Hell.
- In Liz Williams' Detective Inspector Chen series, in line with Chinese Mythology, Hell is a Celestial Bureaucracy. In The Demon and the City, one character ends up negotiating a cushy job there upon death.
- Brimstone: Ezekiel Stone, a tough-as-nails cop who went to Hell for the cold-blooded killing of the man who had raped his wife, is allowed to return to Earth to hunt down 113 damned souls who've escaped from Hell...
- The premise of Reaper. Sam's parents sold him to the devil before he was born and now the devil has come to collect - by making Sam track down souls who have escaped hell and sending them back.
- The Manowar song "Dark Avenger" is the story of a man who was horribly wronged by local village elders, and eventually killed. When he enters Hades, the "Guardian of Lost Souls", (voiced by Orson Welles) offers him a job. The man is equipped with a magic blade which was forged in brimstone and tempered in the tears of the unavenged dead, as well as a pitch-black horse with flaming eyes to carry him back to Earth. The Guardian tells him to "seek payment, not only for thine own anguish, but vindicate the souls of the Unavenged". The song then is told from the Dark Avenger's perspective, which he mostly spends listing the fates of his targets.
- Valkia the Bloody, a Warriors of Chaos character in Warhammer, entered the Realm of Chaos to present a demon's head to Khorne, only to die along the way. Khorne got so pissed off that she'd died before he wanted her to that, in an extremely rare turn of events for a Chaos God, he resurrected her and reshaped her to be a guide for the souls of worthy Chaos Warriors.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- During the events of the Horus Heresy, a World Eaters Space Marine known as Khârn racked up an enormous body count during the final siege of the Imperial Palace on Terra. He was killed during the battle, but Khorne, the Chaos God of war, blood and carnage, was so impressed by his showing that he brought Khârn back to life so he could continue to spill blood and collect skulls. It should also be mentioned that Khorne isn't particularly concerned about whose skulls Khârn collects, hence his nickname of "The Betrayer"
- Typhus and the entirety of the Death Guard are an example. Stricken down with a terrible plague on their way to said final siege of Terra, the entire legion of disease resistant super soldiers is struck down by Nurgle... until Typhus makes a deal. Nurgle restores them to life, with the caveat that they will never be free of their diseases and must spend all of eternity bringing Nurgle's plagues to others.
- Just in case you were thinking that was it, Lucius the Eternal of the Emperor's Children has this story. Renowned for both his arrogance and sadism, he was eventually slain, but his god, Slaanesh, approved of his debauchery so highly that he was returned to life, with the curse that anybody who dares kill Lucius will, if they take any pleasure in the deed whatsoever, be transformed into Lucius that he may live again.
- The character of Ahriman experienced this. When Tzeentch picked him to be his herald of Change, he simply 'arranged' matters into giving Ahriman a lifestyle that suited him — just like he did when he brought the rest of his legion into his fold centuries earlier. Having a Magnificent Bastard for a patron deity will do that to you.
- A close variant in the Forgotten Realms setting. Kelemvor, god of the dead, is sometimes known to punish the souls of the False (i.e. people who claimed fealty to a deity but didn't actually obey the tenets of the faith) by putting them into servitude in his domain, the Fugue Plane. The job varies, from guarding the realm against demonic incursions to acting as a local guide for living people who are just visiting the Fugue Plane for whatever reason.
- From Exalted, this is Abyssal and Infernal Exaltation in a nutshell. For Abyssals, the various devil-equivalents (incredibly powerful ghosts called Deathlords) come to them when they're about to die; the Deathlords offer immortality, powers, and whatever else they feel like throwing in, in exchange for the Abyssal working for them to destroy the world. The Infernals get the offer from the Yozis, the imprisoned Abusive Precursors of the setting, generally right after they've failed at or chickened out of something really awesome (the basic sales pitch generally goes something along the lines of "you could have done that if you only had the power I'm about to offer you..."). The Infernals also get immortality, powers, and various other cool stuff, in exchange for working to break the Yozis out of their prison.
- Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has a rather interesting example. Rather than dying, the player's character has been welcomed into the Labyrinth of Amala by Lucifer himself, who has a proposal for you, involving destroying the Ten Incarnations of Death. Once you reach a certain level in the Labyrinth and he has given you all the info he wants you to have, he makes you an offer - prove yourself to him, and get a job triggering a Class Z Apocalypse How by killing God's embodiment in the Vortex World.
- Tales of Destiny 2: Judas was offered a job by the resident Dark Messiah, but he rejected it and was just sent back to Earth instead of getting shipped back to Hell.
- Set up in AdventureQuest. If you're killed, The Grim Reaper will send you back to the starting town but tell you that you owe him a favor. (He has yet to actually collect on it.)
- Phantasmagoria 2: Curtis Craig's computer becomes possessed and he starts to receive strange emails; one of them includes a job offer from hell's recruitment department. However, these are later revealed to be hallucinations.
- Dominic Deegan
- When The Infernomancer (aka 'TIM') is sent to Hell by the white magic of Gregory Deegan, he strikes a (new) deal with Karnak to return to the land of the living. Actually, Karnak was bluffing, but TIM didn't know that...
- Lord Siegfried Gunther Aern Damaske von Callan (or Siggy) dies killing the Royal Seer and immediately becomes the lieutenant of Karnak, who had moments before killed every high level demon in Hell, so high-quality damned souls were in high demand.
- Darken: the main character, Gort, dies on the first page, killed because he cut a deal with Mephistopheles to serve him in exchange for a mortal victory, and then he needed to die so Mephistopheles can put his mark on him before being sent back.
- Sandra and Woo: Larisa is offered a Deal with the Devil in order to save Sandra's life, but is still apprehensive about selling her soul. The Devil clarifies that he doesn't want to buy her soul, he wants to hire it. When she dies, she will become a succubus whose job will be to seduce young men into a life of sin and hedonism. Cue Perverted Drooling from Lovable Sex Maniac Larisa.
- In The Boondocks episode "Stinkmeaner Strikes Back", the Devil allows the spirit of Colonel H. Stinkmeaner to leave Hell on furlough to get revenge on Robert Freeman for killing him, as the Devil was impressed by Stinkmeaner's evilness and newfound fighting skills (he got martial arts training and beat up a whole army of demons).
- The Powerpuff Girls: Him (who is technically Satan) brings back the Rowdyruff Boys to kill the titular girls.
- Looney Tunes: The "Devil's Feud Cake" short is composed of footage of previous shorts, all of them involving Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam, put together with story connecting them. The connecting story went as follows: After being sent to Hell after being outfoxed by Bugs, Sam was offered a chance to go back, so long as he sent Bugs there to take his place. After trying and failing several times, Sam got sick of it, and decided he'd rather stay in Hell.
- In one episode of Rick and Morty, Summer takes an after-school job in a curio shop run by "Mr. Needful," an expy of Leland Gaunt from Stephen King's Needful Things who is apparently the literal devil himself. She nonchalantly explains that fast food gives people diabetes and clothing stores stock goods created in sweatshops, so she'd rather work for an evil overlord who's at least nice to her. Unlike most examples, there's nothing particularly supernatural about her work; she sweeps up, minds the register, makes nice with the customers, and more or less acts as a normal store clerk who just happens to sell cursed items.