[[quoteright:206:[[Literature/TheOdyssey http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SummoningRitual.jpg]]]]

->''"Do not call up that which you cannot put down."''
-->-- '''Simon Orne''', ''Literature/TheCaseOfCharlesDexterWard'' by Creator/HPLovecraft

As all [[WitchSpecies witches]] and [[BlackMagic warlocks]] know, summoning creatures from another plane of existence requires a bit of ceremony. [[HumanSacrifice Sacrifices]] and [[EyeOfNewt exotic materials]] may be required along with [[RitualMagic elaborate ceremonies]], but a simple [[GeometricMagic geometric figure]] and a few candles will often be enough. Of course, there may be a [[DealWithTheDevil whole other price to pay]] if the ritual succeeds. Keeping the {{trickster}} [[TheLegionsOfHell demons]] and other unworldly apparitions can take a great deal of concentration or chanting; if the protective pentagram should be disturbed... (Never... EVER... break the circle.)

If we're talking about demons, the road to summoning is not easy. You need to learn the magic circles, the {{true name}}s of various demons, every conceivable precaution against the demon once summoned (as it's a rare demon who likes doing a summoner's dirty work). All told, it takes years of serious study... and heaven help you if you decide you're ready for a ''real'' demon midway through your training. Remember, EvilIsNotAToy!

With an experienced EvilSorcerer or SorcerousOverlord; the relationship is a bit different. Said sorcerer is probably already going to {{Hell}}, so their soul isn't as valuable; or else they have the demon's playbook on DealWithTheDevil. Thus, it becomes a contest of who can benefit more from each other. The Sorcerer gets tidbits of advice and power while negotiating; while the demon manipulates the sorcerer into doing the most evil possible (usually because HumansAreSpecial, it's different if a human does it) or else getting free. (Humans can usually summon Demons because of Free Will, which a Demon often feels is easier gotten past than from where they came.) ...and even if the sorcerer is ''perfect'' in their maintenance, the demon may manipulate any passing heroes into freeing them.

A good rule of thumb when dealing with things from beyond is never to call up what you cannot put down, or summon anything larger than your head. Most people seem to make the grade [[SummonEverymanHero with just a random mortal from another plane]] at any rate. Mind you, even if everything goes right, you might end up [[InconvenientSummons summoning someone out of the shower]]!

The classical name for a scene in which some chthonic being is summoned up is a ''nekyia'' (''νέκυια''), which is to be distinguished from a ''catabasis'' {''κατάβασις''} or descent into the underworld.

Contrast BanishingRitual. Sometimes banishing that which was summoned can be as simple as reversing the ritual.

!!Screwing Up Summoning

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In the ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' series, mages can summon up and form contracts with legendary spirits using a summoning circle, invocation, and an artifact related to said hero's legend. Of course a lot can, and inevitably does, go wrong. Messing up (or deliberately screwing with) the invocation might make your hero [[CameBackWrong come back wrong]]. Summon a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilles_de_Rais shining knight]] under the wrong class and you might end up with a [[Literature/{{Bluebeard}} dark, twisted, aspect of their legend]]. And even if you ''do'' manage to get everything right, it doesn't necessarily make the resulting spirit either [[DesignatedHero heroic]] or even [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder loyal]].
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', Human Transmutation (i.e. [[BackFromTheDead resurrecting the dead]]) resembles a summoning ritual. [[CameBackWrong The results are rarely pretty]]. [[spoiler:It also ''never works''. Turns out that the dead ''can't'' be brought back to life. Ever. No amount of sacrifice can overcome that basic law.]]
* ''Manga/FushigiYuugi''. Depending on how strong the Miko's will is, it can be successful or disastrous.
* In ''[[Manga/AxisPowersHetalia Hetalia]]'', England gets mad at America for some ill-defined reason and decides to summon a "twisted creature of monstrous size and strength ... with the power to crush America" as revenge. [[GloriousMotherRussia What he gets is not exactly what he was hoping for]].
* Shouta from ''Manga/MissKobayashisDragonMaid'' performed a demon summoning ritual to get a {{Familiar}} and prove to his father that he's a strong wizard. Lucoa sensed the ritual and -feeling that it would be bad if a demon showed up in the middle of a Japanese suburb- teleported herself in and formed a familiar contract with him instead. Since the ritual was specifically for demons, Shouta is convinced that Lucoa is a succubus, and her ComedicShotacon tendencies don't exactly help her attempts to convince him otherwise.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' volume 1, they were fishing for Death and caught Dream.
** Dream claims they got lucky by missing Death, even as he provides them with a FateWorseThanDeath.
* In the second volume of ''Comicbook/MsMarvel2014'' as last resort Bruno and Mike attempt to summon Loki based on advice they collected off the internet and doesn't fit into standard belief systems at all. It doesn't work. But they manage to [[DoubleSubversion attract his attention]] because they to choose a place Loki [[SurveillanceAsThePlotDemands keeps an eye on]] and the ''shear ridiculousness of the attempt''.
* ''ComicBook/BlackMoonChronicles'': There are various rituals available to mages to summon different demons. One of them gets one hell of a surprise when the demon turns out be Satan himself, who was looking for a doorway to reach mankind [[spoiler:after they had abandoned the previous world to escape its destruction.]]
* ''ComicBook/DoctorStrange'': Before attempting to covertly travel to the Dark Dimension, Strange summoned entities from the realm of Satannish. The idea was to expose himself to them enough to temporarily taint his aura and avoid detection. His assistant knocking on the door and interrupting his concentration turned that into a serious struggle, since he had disabled some of the protections that would normally have shielded him from their presence.

* This trope is the entire reason the plot of ''Fanfic/StarWarsTheSithZero'' exists. Louise fails [[note]]It was actually sabotaged by someone else...[[/note]] the Springtime Familiar Summoning and is transported to a [[Franchise/StarWars Galaxy Far, Far Away]].

* At least two demon summoners in ''Literature/{{Belgariad}}'', sequels and prequels were stupid enough to draw pentagrams on ''water''.
** This is partly a means of showing off: "Yeah, I can draw letters of glowing energy on water!" It even works if the water in question is standing still. Drawing your pentagram on a ''river'', on the other hand... that's getting into IdiotBall territory.
** One of the ones who drew it on still water still didn't think it through - she drew it on the sea, and got punished soundly for forgetting about ''waves''.
** Even without this fault, demon summoning is certain to go awry if the magician loses his concentration for even a moment. Which the captive demon will do its absolute best to make happen. Magicians have short lifespans.
* In Creator/DianaWynneJones ''Literature/DarkLordOfDerkholm'', the wizard Derk has to summon a demon to fulfill his titular role. Unfortunately he drops a syllable and accidentally calls up a much more powerful one than he can control.
* In one of the first stories ever set in the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' world, Tasslehoff Burrfoot is brought to a wizard's tower by a teleporting ring. There, he interrupts the wizard's summoning of Demogorgon, allowing the Demon Prince to break free of its bindings and carry the wizard off. [[spoiler:Turns out Demogorgon had created the ring eons ago, specifically to free it if it ever became subject to a mortal's control.]] Given how strong Demogorgon is, this was one of the few documented times that a kender actually felt scared.
* The [[Literature/TheLegendOfDrizzt Drizzt]] novels have featured this a few times. One was an apprentice who screwed up the pentagram and let out a balor. Cadderly also summons up demons and kills them, which inconveniences them... [[{{Retcon}} somehow]].
** Pasting demons on the material plane sends them home, and prevents them from coming back on their own for 100 years. Summoning them, of course, breaks this prohibition.
* In James Blisch's ''The Day After Judgment'', the summoning goes horribly wrong, even tho the initial intent was for the demons to cause some chaos. Two evil protagonists contract with the most powerful evil wizard around to set loose some nasty demons, just for kicks. Trouble is, [[spoiler:Theron Ware, the black wizard, does his job too well, and actually removes all the pre-existing restrictions on the demon's actions, literally setting loose all the hordes of hell on the mortal world, undoing the balance of heaven and hell, and directly causing the apocalypse. Which Heaven loses, as God never shows up.]] Oops.
* In ''Literature/AWizardOfEarthsea'', Ged decides to show off by summoning the spirit of Queen Elfarran from the dead. He succeeds, but also inadvertently calls a "Shadow", which promptly tries to kill him, then stalks him for the next several years trying to finish him off. On the bright side, it gives him the [[BreakTheHaughty taking down a couple pegs]] he badly needed; on the downside, it leaves him [[GoodScarsEvilScars badly scarred]].
* A large part of several ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' books. Don't summon something you can't hold (like the Erlking almost was), or something when your enemies hear (like the demon from the first book), or repeatedly in obvious places, because Harry will sic it back on you.
** Harry summons a bunch of entities for information over the course of the series but, unfortunately, knowledge correlates with power. Be careful.
* In ''Literature/TalesOfKolmar'', demons live in their own world within the normal world. Demon summoners call them up out of it with complicated rituals, often sacrificing something to bring a demon into the circle, sacrificing more to bind it and get it to do things. Demons will quite happily escape the summoning circle and kill the summoner, then go on a rampage, if the summoner is careless. The demons can encourage this by making the summoners feel overconfident and more likely to skip steps. In ''The Lesser Kindred'' Berys decides to summon something he doesn't know how to dismiss, reasoning that he can bind it indefinitely while alive and doesn't care what happens to the world after he's dead.
* In ''The Double Shadow'' by Creator/ClarkAshtonSmith, the wizard Avyctes is an expert at summoning every kind of spirit and demon. So when he discovers a summoning spell from a hitherto-unknown [[{{Precursors}} precursor race]], he casts it the first chance he gets. This despite the fact that the spell (a) doesn't say ''what'' it summons, and (b) doesn't come with a matching rite of exorcism to make whatever it summons go away again. It doesn't end well.
* In Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/ThreeHeartsAndThreeLions'', Mother Gerd tells Holger she summoned up a sprite to question. Given that she warns him against praying or crossing himself, and recites the Lord's Prayer backwards, it's clearly a devil.
* In Creator/MercedesLackey's ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Oathbound]]'', a young and incompetent mage accidentally speaks the name of a major demon rather than the imp he was trying to summon. The demon seduces him into dropping what protections he does have, and then kills him slowly and painfully.
* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/{{Eric}}'', the titular Eric - the Discworld's first demonology hacker - attempts to summon a demon. Instead he gets Rincewind. Much to Rincewind's annoyance, he's still trapped in the magic circle until he grants Eric's wishes; as the [[PollyWantsAMicrophone parrot]] puts it "If you come in through the door marked 'wossnames', you get treated as a wossname. Demon."
** Albert became Death's manservant due to one of these. Reasoning that the Rite of Askh Ente summons Death to the caster, performing the ritual in reverse will keep Death away forever! Instead Albert(o Malich) found himself whisked away to Death's domain, while the wizards put up a big statue of him in Unseen University.
* In the Creator/FredricBrown short-short story ''Naturally'', a student summons up a demon wanting to be better at mathematics, except he draws a hexagram instead of a pentagram on his protective circle...
* In ''[[Literature/ThousandSons Ahriman: Exile]]'', Ahriman and Astraeos summon a daemon through an elaborate ritual (involving ninety-nine mirrors set to float in precise patterns, complex spirals carved into the floor, and a personal blood sacrifice on Ahrimanís part) in order to gain information on [[BigBad Amonís]] plans. [[spoiler:Unfortunately for them, Amon anticipated that they would summon this particular daemon and bound it into his service pre-emptively; it pretends to be under Ahrimanís control, then attacks him when he lets his guard down.]]

[[folder:Live Action Television]]
* In ''Series/AshVsEvilDead'' the titular hero has an ally use the ''Necronomicon'' to summon Eligos the demon so that they can question it on how to banish the Deadites. Surprisingly, the ritual works perfectly until [[spoiler:a detective trying to arrest Ash]] breaks the circle and Eligos is free to attack everyone.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', the second episode Anya is in has Anya tricking Willow into trying to summon her power source from when she was a Vengeance Demon. Instead, they get the Vampire Willow from the alternate universe they were trying to get the necklace from. [[FetishFuel The BDSM loving, all leather wearing, overtly bisexual, insane Vampire Willow]].
** Another episode had Giles and his group of friends screwing up summoning the demon Eghyon during Giles' teen years. The summoning was used to produce a drug-like high, but someone screwed up and Eghyon killed him, then spent the next few decades hunting down the rest of the group, jumping into various sleeping and dead human bodies.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', the Master's plan in "The Daemons" is to do one of these and summon [[BigRedDevil the Devil]]. This turns out to be an [[StupidEvil absolutely terrible idea]].

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/BookerT, upon receiving the necessary ingredients from a bokor, did successfully summon another undead being to protect himself from Wrestling/TheUndertaker on Smackdown. However, Booker T got scared and ran off before whoever he called rose from the grave, making the whole process moot.[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The backstory of [[CuteWitch Yoriko]] and [[EvilWeapon Mike]] in ''VideoGame/ArcanaHeart''. Yoriko tried to summon a minor demon, but thanks to Lilica, her [[OurDemonsAreDifferent half-demon]] friend, playing a prank on her by tweaking the magic circle, Yoriko got the Demon King Michelangelo instead. Then, thanks to Yoriko screwing up the incantation and [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld Kamui]] having secretly been ordered to seal Mike, the Demon King got summoned in the form of a [[SimpleStaff kitty-staff]]. Now they're stuck together until they could figure out how to get rid of their strange curse.
* Magus of ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' attempted to summon the EldritchAbomination Lavos in order to defeat it. In order to get the resources to do so, he convinced a race of Imps that he was really doing it to TakeOverTheWorld. The heroes hear this, and engage him in battle right at the point of summoning. Fortunately this didn't release Lavos, but it did scatter the combatants through space and time.
** It also went considerably better than the timeline in which the BigDamnHeroes ''didn't'' interfere. Turns out Magus overestimated himself and/or underestimated Lavos.
* The Envoy of Shadows in ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' is said to have been summoned this way, but the PlayerCharacter only arrives in time to see the aftermath. (Oh, the aftermath...)
* ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'' starts with one of these, with the hero and his family attempting to summon Overlord Zenon, only to get his daughter Rozalin. [[spoiler:While it looks like a failure at first near the end of the game it turns out Rozalin is the real Overlord. It was the fake Zenon they wanted to summon, but since they didn't ''know'' he was a fake, let alone his real identity, there was no way they could've succeeded.]]
* A quest in ''VideoGame/FableII'' involves two guys who have [[spoiler:summoned the legions of the undead with a book called "the Norminomicon", or "The Book of the Extremely Dead". Naturally, you must kill said legions and recover the book.]]
** They don't learn their lesson. [[spoiler:If you do that quest, you get a later one where they've summoned a banshee into Bloodstone. This time, you take them home to their mother, who takes the book. Then Fable III happens...]]
* The freeware GBA RPG, ''Horrible Demon 2'', starts with the hero and his sister, a witch, attempting to summon a demon in order to defeat it and get half the kingdom. The demon can be defeated by throwing a rock at him. Unfortunately the main character doesn't have a rock. The demon proceeds to burn down their house and kidnap the girl.
* In the text-adventure ''VideoGame/TheLurkingHorror'', the evil professor of Alchemy traps you inside the summoning circle (which apparently acts as a force field for humans as well, as summoning a demon requires a sacrifice to be on hand when it arrives. To escape, you must use a knife in your pocket to scratch away enough of the circle to break it and then you are free to flee the room at the last second before the summoner notices. The demon arrives and devours the summoner instead before leaving.
* Recipe for fun times in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'':
--> '''Step 1:''' Go to a heavily populated area.
--> '''Step 2:''' Cast the "Gate" spell without first casting "Protection From Evil."
--> '''Step 3:''' RUN LIKE HELL
* The plot of ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' consists of a massive Summoning Ritual to bring an EldritchAbomination to Earth. The main characters also gain the ability to summon their own demons.
* In ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryIV'' the cultists who lived in Mordavia were trying to perform a ritual to summon the [[EldritchAbomination Dark One]] into the world, and almost succeeded before the beginning of the game.
* The Mara summoning in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'', which would certainly [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar not have gotten past the ESRB]] (or maybe it would have) if it had gone right. It was borderline anyway -- imagine getting attacked by a giant green blob who happens to have a glans for a... head (to be fair, this is easy to miss if you don't know what SMT Mara is ''[[GagPenis supposed]]'' to look like). Other summoning rituals were the Seraph summoning in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'' (the Angels got it done ''right''), and Mekata attempt to summon minions from the Abyss in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiII'' (which somehow ended up ''worse'' than the Mara ritual). Every fusion technically is this, as mentioned below, as you are tributing two or more existing entities to summon another, greater one.
* An odd, possibly unintentional example in ''VideoGame/BaldursGate II: Shadows of Amn'': A drow elf wizard near the very end of the game uses that game's version of the ''Gate'' spell to summon a Pit Fiend to fight for him. The fiends summoned by the spell will attack anyone who does not have the spell effect "protection from evil" cast on them. The wizard of course casts this on himself before doing the summoning, and a good way to beat him is to dispel it to set the devil on him. The odd thing is that sometimes, only sometimes, the Pit Fiend itself will use one of its spell-like abilities to dispel the effect. You'd think that if they were allowed to do that, they'd always do it and never get summoned.
** This reflects a larger AI flaw with wizards in the game. While they always cast Protection from Evil, thus making whatever demon they summon unable to attack them, it still registers as an enemy. Many an fight sees a wizard summon a demon and instead of trusting it to attack their enemies and get on with blasting them itself, the wizard instead spends all their energy fighting the demon ''they just summoned''.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVI'', a king is desperate to protect his kingdom from attacking Dread Fiends, so he calls on the bigger, badder demon Nokturnus to take care of them. [[EvilIsNotAToy No points for guessing what happens next.]] But Nokturnus is a BonusBoss; and if you track him down in his lair and prove yourself stronger then he is, then he'll do your bidding and take out the BigBad for you. While being able to beat Nokturnus means beating the normal FinalBoss would be no problem for you, it's still amusing to watch the GreaterScopeVillain beat down the BigBad for you.
* Rico the summoner in ''VideoGame/DuelSaviorDestiny'' pulls both Taiga and Mia from their world to hers at the start of the story. Or at least, that's what people assume, but Taiga wasn't supposed to get dragged along as well and it doesn't seem as though she really intended to grab Mia either. Still, neither of them is evil or anything, so despite the mistake everything goes well enough.
* The events of the ''VideoGame/ChzoMythos'' series are set in motion when the druid Cabadath performs one in an attempt to call the titular {{Eldritch Abomination}} into the human plane to fight off the Roman invaders. [[FateWorseThanDeath It doesn't end well for him]].
* At the end of a linked game of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames'', Link stops Twinrova from completing the ritual to bring Ganon back by sacrificing Zelda. They sacrifice themselves instead, leading to a CameBackWrong Ganon.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Sundered}}'', a botched ritual plays a major role in the gameís backstory. The Eschaton high priestess Ishaela Bhaígor attempted to summon [[spoiler:her god [[EldritchAbomination Nyarlathotep]]]] through a portal in the Cathedral in order to destroy the invading Valkyries, only for Valkyrie General Waters to interrupt her ritual. The two of them were squaring off to fight when the portal suddenly exploded, [[spoiler:killing them both and]] tearing a hole in reality.
* Poor, poor Wilfred Fizzlebang in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', all he intended to do was summon a mere doomguard to challenge the adventurers at the Trial of the Crusader. Instead, [[BigHam HE FACED JARAXXUS, EREDAR LORD OF THE BURNING LEGION!!!]]

* The spiritual barrier for a demon summoning collapsed in the third strip of ''Webcomic/{{Hellbound}}'' when the old guy's new apprentice distracted him. That ensured the death of the old guy (who never even got a name) and set off the events of the rest of the comic.
* In [[http://talesofpylea.comicgenesis.com/d/20070603.html this strip]] of ''[[http://talesofpylea.comicgenesis.com/ Tales of Pylea]]'', a witchkin had summoned a demon to answer a master vampire's question as relayed by some minions. One of the minions accidentally knocks over one of the candles, and HilarityEnsues.
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' a botched summoning on Bun-Bun's part [[http://sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/20020414 gets him stuck]] with a really, ''really'' annoying LivingShadow. When he tries to get Gwynn to summon the shadow off of him, she summons [[http://sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/20020417 a bunch of evil, clothes-eating moths instead]].
** On account of being drunk.
* [[http://roaming.comicgenesis.com/d/20101108.html One of these]] seems to set off the plot of ''The Roaming Thicket''.
* {{Subverted|Trope}} with the ritual to summon a demon lord in ''Webcomic/TheYoungProtectors''. The MagicalIncantation, CelestialDeadline, and {{Human Sacrifice}}s are the active components. The elaborate, lengthy ritual with black-robed cultists and a giant circle of bones is redundant, but a very convincing distraction.
--> '''[[spoiler:Sircea:]]''' Oh, sweetheart, it already ''was'' [cast] -- as soon as you spoke the words, and with several minutes to spare, I might add. I ''have'' had decades to plan this.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'' example: when Bloodworm tries to sacrifice Sara Waite for a dark boon, he gets the wrong hell, calls up the wrong demon, and ends up getting knocked into that hell dimension for a literal fate worse than death.
* Curls from ''Roleplay/{{AJCO}}'' manages to mess up summoning not only once but ''twice''.
** The first time she attempts to summon a friendly spirit, and instead ends up with the former owner of the goggles she wears on her head - a vengeful bandit that she had killed several years prior. Under normal circumstances he would have been harmless, but [[ISeeDeadPeople Egg]] happened to be passing by and got possessed. He manages to fling Curls across the room and shoot Nights in the shoulder before being exoricised by Kaja, leaving Egg unconscious for most of the following day.
** The second time she attempts to summon a weak demon and instead ends up with Finn - who is undoubtedly a weak demon as demons go, but is now bound to her soul and can't leave or be killed without also killing Curls. [[ImAHumanitarian He also eats people]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The BackStory for ''WesternAnimation/CountDuckula'' is that during his Summoning Ritual they used tomato ketchup instead of blood, resulting in a vegetarian vampire duck.
* ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' parodies this. Linus seems to have grown tired of waiting for the Great Pumpkin and him not showing up. So, he decides to preform a satanic blood ritual to summon him to the pumpkin patch. Of course he didn't count on the Great Pumpkin being a hideous, blood-thirsty demon.

!!Other Examples

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* This is done in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' to bring forth the SealedEvilInACan using Konoka's power. Unlike most summoning rituals, which bring pain to the sacrifice/vessel, this ritual felt good, according to Konoka.
* Not really summoning per se, but Third Impact in ''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion End of Evangelion]]'' might count. If one can watch it without immediately being reduced into a whimpering wreck, that is (since it's '''the''' perfect MindScrew in a few-minute package). First, the MP Evas fly up into orbit, align themselves into a Kabbalistic Tree of Life and use the resulting anti-AT field to ''lift the entire geofront into space''. In the meantime, Gendo sticks his right hand-fused-with-Adam into Rei. Next, Rei absorbs the arm and flies up to Lilith who absorbs her into its chest. Finally, Lilith falls down from its cross, morphs into Rei and starts growing. The MP Evas change formation to resonate their AT-fields with that of Lilith. The result is '''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWmJfX2AI2Q#t=1m45s REALLY FUCKING HUGE]]'''. If that's not a big enough MindScrew yet, the ugly bastards stab Unit 01's S2 organ with the Lance of Longinus, transforming it into the real Tree of Life then ''[[TooKinkyToTorture orgasmically stab themselves]]'' one-by-one, unleashing Lilith's power and reducing humanity into a HiveMind before the Tree and Lilith merge.
* ''Manga/BlackButler'' subverts this, which is pretty unusual since a Faustian Bargin is the focus of the show. while the exact circumstances of Ciel summoning the demon he names Sebastian aren't really revealed, he obviously did not perform a ritual. The most likely explanation seems that the cult who kidnapper Ciel summoned Sebastian using him as a sacrifice, but Sebastian found Ciel a more attractive prospect and made a deal with him, not them.
* In ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}!'', a group of alchemists, having been unsuccessful with the more accepted methods of seeking {{Immortality}}, perform an elaborate incantation (with magic circle) to summon a demon and ask it to grant them eternal life. The demon answers, and promptly chides them for wasting its time with such bibble-babble when it can read all their minds and just willing it to appear would have been sufficient.
-->'''Demon''': The words you use to summon me are mere trinkets... The very thought of my being brings me instantly to your midst.
* Rituals and sacrifices are part of the Duel Monsters card game in ''Anime/YuGiOh''; stronger monsters can be summoned only by sacrificing weaker ones.
* In ''Anime/{{Naruto}}'', some shinobi make contracts [[ThePowerOfBlood in blood]] with animal spirits, which require a small [[BloodMagic blood and chakra sacrifice]] to summon. Special mention goes to:
** Naruto himself, following his mentor Jiraiya's footsteps, makes a deal with the Toads, but to win the Boss Toad's respect, has to stay on his head while the [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever giant Boss Toad]] tries to throw him off. But the Toads turn out to be a good, loyal bunch, once you win their respect. They're basically a benevolent version of {{yakuza}}.
** Tsunade [[GeniusBonus can summon slugs]], [[FlightStrengthHeart useless as it may seem]]. But it ''is'' useful when your slug companions can distribute your chakra easily to everyone else in the village and heal them quickly, ''especially'' in the middle of a tremendous attack.
** Orochimaru and Sasuke's partners, however, the Snake family, do not seem so friendly. When Orochimaru calls the giant snake, [[ReptilesAreAbhorrent the reptile says he'll have to serve up a hundred humans to pay for this summoning.]] Not that Orochimaru minds those terms.
* The Summoning Ritual in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' and ''Literature/FateZero''. It requires a magic circle made of blood, a long incantation, and a catalyst for the Servant that they want to summon -- something closely connected that Servant. If it goes right, there is a reason it is also in the 'Screwing Up Summoning' above.
** One does not absolutely ''need' something connected to the Servant. That's useful if you want to summon a specific Heroic Spirit but technically the summoner can use themselves as a catalyst. This has the advantage that you will get a Servant with a compatible personality at the cost of not being certain to get a powerful servant.
** Special mention must also go to the ''Fate/Zero'' version of Caster who's special ability is summoning [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abominations]]. Smaller ones can be summoned with a few words but larger ones take full rituals comparable to summoning a Servant.
* ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero'': The Tristain Academy of Magic has their their second-year students summon familiars with familiar-summoning rituals.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', during the [[spoiler:[[PartyScattering Straw Hats' separation]] episodes]], the villagers of Harahettania (Hungeria, in the English dub) attempt to summon {{Satan}} through a ritual to get revenge on the [[CreepyLongArms Longarm]] tribe. While the devil doesn't show up, Brook coincidentally falls exactly into the circle. [[DemBones Of course]], they mistake him for the devil, and Brook (or "Satan-sama") helps them instead.

* The silent movie classic ''Film/TheGolem'' has the Rabbi successfully summon the demon Astaroth.
* ''Film/FaustLoveOfTheDamned'': A rather grandiose one is performed near the end by the satanists to summon an apocalyptic demon serpent, involving human sacrifice, an orgy, and shoving a snake down someone's throat.

* In the first novel of ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'', the apprentice summons the title djinn correctly but makes the serious mistake of [[IKnowYourTrueName letting him find out his name]]. Luckily for him, like Aahz, Bartimaeus' bark is worse than his bite.
** Except it's not. Bartimaeus would kill Nathaniel in a heartbeat given the chance.
*** Although the thing is, the one time he could've let Nathaniel die, he convinces someone to save him anyway...
* Larry Niven's short story "Convergent Series" is based on the idea that people have forgotten how to properly summon demons over the years. Then a college student rediscovers how almost by accident, and scrambles to find a way to not be damned.
* In Thomas Gray's ''The Descent of Odin'' (imitated from the ''Völuspa'', the "Song of the Wise-woman" in the ''Literature/PoeticEdda''), the eponymous god summons up the spirit of a giant-prophetess for information on the coming Ragnarök.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** In ''Discworld/MakingMoney'' The [[strike: necromancer]] Professor of Post-Mortem Communications performs rites with all the dribbly candles, pentagrams and such partly because of tradition and partly because people called from beyond the grave expect ceremony and want to see that you've put the effort in.
** Another "Literature/{{Discworld}}" parody of the Summoning Ritual is the Rite of [=AshkEnte=], used to summon Death. Much is made about how the more traditional wizards want pentagrams and dribbly candles and mystical mumblings, when it could actually be done with three bits of wood and four cc. of mouse blood, or two bits of wood and a fresh egg. This is definitely done for the ''summoner's'' benefit, as Death is really quite a practical person and wouldn't be bothered by a lack of ceremony. What bothers him is that they're always summoning him when he's right in the middle of something.
*** Also inverted with the character of Albert, who performed the Rite of [=AshkEnte=] ''in reverse'' hoping it would keep Death away from him. [[spoiler:It didn't work; as might reasonably be expected, it sent ''him'' to Death.]]
** In the Adventure Game ''Discworld II: Missing Presumed...!?'', the Death summoning ritual requires three small sticks (of equal length), 4 cc of mouse blood, dribbly candles, a vile stench, glitter, and a performance of ''Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)''. Death appears dressed in a cork hat, apparently having been on vacation.
** A [[TheParody parody]] of this was the ritual that the witches used to summon that poor demon in ''Discworld/WyrdSisters''. No pentagrams or candles, to [[LampshadeHanging Magrat's dismay]], but Granny and Nanny generally thumb their noses at that stuff. They just used the ''sharp and terrible copper stick'', the ''rather old washing soda and some extremely hard soap flakes'', the ''balding scrubbing brush of Art'', and ''the washboard of Protection'' to summon a demon in a laundry boiler. Irked Granny a bit that they went through all that trouble instead of just flat out calling the demon since she felt they were pandering to it and making it feel important. And then the demon was disappointed when they didn't bother to properly banish it once they were done asking their questions, instead merely telling it to go away. Magrat was glad to oblige with the proper sequence of dramatic phrases. Note that the witches threatened said demon with being boiled when it refused to answer in a simple manner.
* Harry Dresden of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' should really know better than to do this; he rather lucked out in his second book, ''Fool Moon,'' when the demon he summoned got a bit overeager about Harry's eternal damnation.
* The summoning up of the demon Mephistopheles is one of the traditional features of the {{Faust}} legend, in all its various literary and dramatic treatments.
* In "The Tale of Sir Lancelot" in Sir Thomas Malory's ''[[KingArthur Le Morte Darthur]]'' a hermit conjures up a fiend to tell him if a certain knight has been saved or damned.
* A [[SubvertedTrope subversion]]: Robert Asprin's ''Literature/MythAdventures'' series begins with the mentor wizard of the protagonist being killed in the middle of the standard demon-summoning ritual. His death messes up the diagram just as the demon arrives, meaning the demon is free. Fortunately for the protagonist (Skeeve), the demon (Aahz) is actually quite a decent fellow. His species just has a very bad rep, deliberately cultivated for the most part. They form an alliance to get back at the guy who killed Skeeve's mentor -- and Aahz's friend. The whole ritual was completely unnecessary to bring Aahz from his home dimension, and had been set up just to impress the mentor's gullible new apprentice.
* In ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' this is combined with a descent into the Underworld, as the eponymous hero must go to its entrance to summon up the spirit of the prophet Teiresias and learn from him how he can return home.
* Subverted in ''[[Literature/{{Nightwatch}} Day Watch]]''. A series of sinister events lead most of the characters to believe that Zavulon, the head of the Moscow Day Watch is willing to resurrect a powerful deceased dark mage/dragon Fafnir. It turns out, however, that he had a different plan and simply masked its stages as preaprations for the summoning ritual.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's Literature/ConanTheBarbarian story "Literature/ThePhoenixOnTheSword", Thoth-amon's RingOfPower can do this, with blood and incantations.
* Aya Nishitani's ''Literature/DigitalDevilStory'', the origin of the famous ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' franchise, came to be when the protagonist and genius programmer Akemi Nakajima realized that a summoning ritual --with all its standardized rules, incantations, and rigid procedures-- could be automated and written as executable code on a computer. He then proceeds to do exactly that, creating the very first Demon Summoning Program. After successfully summoning the demon Cerberus as a guardian beast, he tries to go for broke and summon a Demon King, Loki himself, who only plays by Nakajima's rules for as long as it's convenient to him.
* ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'' are required to summon the angel Raziel, a ritual that can only be done once every millennium. Once they have all three, Raziel will come to them and will grant any single wish the summoner wants. Or rather, he won't smite them the moment he appears and might consider granting that single wish. Well...
* In the final ''Narnia'' book, ''Literature/TheLastBattle'', some Calormenes decide to "summon" their god Tash as part of a big religious sham they've got going on. Notably, none of the people doing the summoning even believe Tash exists. Tash shows up anyway, to everyone's horror, and turns out to be a demon. The narration notes: "People should not call for demons unless they truly mean what they say."
* ''Literature/TheBalancedSword'' trilogy:
** Poplock's debut adventure in the first book involves preventing a massive attempt to summon a powerful demon, featuring many cultists, ritual movement, chants, symbols carved into the floor, and human (technically, in this case, non-human sapient) sacrifices. He manages to create a huge explosion that disrupts the ritual and sends cultists fleeing in all directions. The demon, which has manifested insubstantially in the center of the ritual circle, orders the wizard who was leading the summoning to say the phrase that will allow it to enter the physical world; the wizard demurs, pointing out that with the ritual incomplete the demon will have no limits on its actions and might just eat him on the spot. The demon approves of his caution and they negotiate terms -- which gives Poplock a chance to catch the wizard unawares and render him incapable of saying anything. The demon then tries to tempt Poplock to summon it on the same terms, even telling him the summoning phrase when he points out that he doesn't know it, but Poplock rejects the temptation and the demon is forced to depart.
** During the climactic battle in the last book, the BigBad summons the same demon to deal with Poplock. Only the end of the summoning is shown, but it's notable that the BigBad apparently managed it single-handed, without even any human sacrifices, a sign of how much more powerful he is than the wizard leading the earlier ritual.
* In the Creator/JohnBellairs novel ''[[Literature/TheHouseWithAClockInItsWalls The Letter, The Witch and the Ring]]'', the villain successfully masters the powers of the eponymous artifact and summons the demon Asmodai, but then (probably) falls victim to a LiteralGenie- she wishes to be young and beautiful and live a thousand years, and later the heroes see a young willow tree growing in an atypical place..

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Summoning is a somewhat common occurrence on ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', as it's an accepted magical way to find or get a hold of certain supernatural beings. While summoning rituals themselves are not botched by the characters, the act of summoning can still be extremely dangerous depending on just who or what is being summoned. Even extensive prep work may not make the summoning completely safe -- angels and demons can be summoned into circles of holy oil or devil's traps respectively to limit their movements and abilities, but a sufficiently clever or powerful opponent can find a way to break free. A [[IKnowYourTrueName name]] is also required for the summoning to work. Probably the most notable summoning in the show is [[OurAngelsAreDifferent Castiel's]] first appearance and EstablishingCharacterMoment, when Dean and Bobby, only having a name and not knowing what to expect, spend hours painting various wards and sigils on the walls of a barn and have multiple weapons available in preparation.
* Special mention goes to ''Series/{{Angel}}''. A particularly unusual one would be the demon Sajhan using a ritual to release the completely human Holtz. And getting bored and looking at his watch because it wasn't happening fast enough.
* Similarly to ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' which had so many summoning rituals through its run that it would be insane to list them all.
* Subverted in ''Series/{{Reaper}}'': You can summon the Devil by calling him on his cell. (The area code is Phoenix.)
* Used memorably in the episode "And The Children Shall lead" of ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', in which the child survivors of a colony massacre pump their fists and chant to summon Melvin Belli, an evil entity which calls itself Gorgon the Friendly Angel in order to win the kids' help taking over the galaxy.

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* Used in Creator/NanaMizuki's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZFfOaZ993E music video]] for ''[[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs Eternal Blaze]]'', where an adorable little girl with golden hair summons TheGrimReaper in a room filled with candles so it can send her to the place where Nana's character is bound in chains.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/KevinSullivan is famous for these, his most famous example being his ritual for summoning [[Wrestling/MarkLewin the Purple Haze]].
* The Disciples Of Synn, taking a cue from Kevin Sullivan, summoned a [[Wrestling/{{Batista}} Leviathan]] in OVW.[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** Divine spellcasters can cast the risk-free but expensive ''Planar Ally'' spells to summon a servant of their god or a philosophically aligned Outsider. Arcane spellcasters must resort to the more versatile but vastly more dangerous ''Planar Binding'' spells, which, among other things, involve bargaining with the summoned creature and require several other spells to stop it from escaping.
** Downplayed by the "Summon Monster'' line of spells, which take all of six seconds (and no fancy components) to cast and produce an utterly obedient [[FightingAShadow projection]] of the desired creature for a very limited time.
** Fourth Edition took away general summoning spells for all caster classes, but has a few classes with the mojo, such as the invoker (a divine class that summons agents of their god), shaman (a spirit summoner), and a new build for the wizard that allows the summoning of animate spells.
** There's also some non-core summoning rituals, such as Adjure, Summon Elemental, Summon Demon, etc, which can summon a powerful creature to fight for you. Adjure is particularly risky; if you fail the skill challenge, you have to serve the creature instead!
* ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' has several summoner builds, mainly involving an understanding of the Death (ghosts and zombies) and Spirit (elemental forces and primal concepts) Arcana. There's also a set of systems for summoning beings from the Supernal Realms; unlike standard summoning magic, however, this merely serves as the means for a pact that gives the summoner a number of slight benefits as long as it holds to the terms of a bargain.
** Its predecessor ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'' also had access to a number of summoning rituals, mostly revolving around some aspect of the Spirit Sphere (with occasional forages into the Correspondence Sphere). Furthermore, unawakened Sorcerous Paths provided access to slightly more specific examples, with rituals existing for the summoning of angels, demons, spirits and all manner of other beings.
* Summoning monsters in ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' is usually done just by playing them or tributing other monsters for them. However, there are some monsters called Ritual monsters that have to go through a specific ritual (i.e. playing a particular spell card) in order to get them out.
** There's also an entire Archetype based around Ritual Summoning, the Gishki/Ritua Tribe from the Duel Terminal series, to the point that in-story when [[spoiler:they revive the first BigBad when end up joining the Verz.]]
* Half of all TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu plots involve a cult conducting a horrible ritual to summon an EldritchAbomination to Earth and the players have to stop them.
* ''{{TabletopGame/Exalted}}'' has a whole suite of summoning spells, for [[ElementalEmbodiment elementals]], [[OurGhostsAreDifferent ghosts]] and [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demons]] of [[DemonLordsAndArchDevils varying ranks]], all of which require a ritual of some kind. {{Necromancer}}s have an easier time summoning ghosts than sorcerers, who in turn are better with demons and elementals (in fact, Necromacy can't call elementals at all), and thaumaturges can summon a lot of different spirits, but can't control them. Oh, and Summon Elemental takes the form of a [[CelestialBureaucracy letter to the elemental in question, who can send a subordinate in their stead if said underling is up to the task.]] And then there's Pattern Weaving, whose spells are tailored to the spirits of [[EternalEngine Auto]][[GeniusLoci chthonia]], and is the only branch that can reliably summon minor gods.
* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'''s Eldritch Moon expansion the [[EldritchAbomination Eldrazi Titan]] Emrakul is summoned to Innistrad, with a fairly impressive [[http://www.mtgsalvation.com/cards/eldritch-moon/27248-coax-from-the-blind-eternities summoning circle]]. Controlling a titan isn't possible but there was no need to do so. Emrakul's mere presence will hideously corrupt and consume the entire world, which was the point. On the other hand Emrakul turns out to be less than happy about being tricked and [[spoiler:provides the heroes with a method for banishing her presence]].
* In TabletopGame/Warhammer40000, Kheradruakh the Decapitator spent the past eight thousand years collecting skulls to perform a ritual to summon a section of the shadow-realm of Aelindrach into the Dark Eldar city of Commorragh. He finally succeeded in the dying daus of the 41st Millennium and now rules a realm of living shadow within the Dark City.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/GrimGrimoire'', demon summoning is just a class taught to students in the WizardingSchool. You basically call low-level demons up with a rune inscribed with a pentagram.
** Special mention goes to Lilet's final plan, which is [[spoiler:Summoning the BigBad Demon Lord ''before'' he escapes his prison, letting him kill the ''other'' villain trying to summon him, and then tricking him into a FateWorseThanDeath.]]
* ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' is a long-running series - which has guested a huge variety of consoles, and also includes the ''Persona'' sub-series - is based entirely around summoning demons --or, rather ''daemon'', entities that can be good, evil, or completely beyond human morality. A demon summoner can thus call upon Goetian demons alongside holy angels and even legendary heroes whose fame (or infamy) has given them a cult and a following. And like in its ''Literature/DigitalDevilStory'' origins, most of the summoning is done by [[MagiTek combining it with the latest technology and Demon Summoning Programs]]. In fact, the ceremony of summoning is so central to the games, the franchise has consistently used Seals of Solomon and pentagrams as ''brand logos''.
* Warlocks in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' can summon a variety of demons to do their bidding, and can even use a summoning ritual to summon other players to their location (with help).
* In ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}'', Sokolov tries a lot of bizarre and disgusting rituals in the hopes of summoning The Outsider to him. The Outsider is not impressed by these efforts and finds them vaguely insulting.
* ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'': In the ''Dark Crusade'' Eldar stronghold, GameplayAndStorySegregation sets in to allow the Eldar to summon the Avatar of Khaine by sacrificing an Exarch. Not that while this is how it happens in the fluff, in-game he's built like any other unit.
** From that expansion onwards, Chaos Lords can be turned into Daemon Princes and Bloodthirsters summoned from an Aspiring Champion or Sorcerer after the appropriate (and expensive) research. If they die, they need to be researched again.
** The Dark Apostle Eliphas is brought to the planet via one of these.
** In ''Winter Assault'', one of the Chaos Levels has you mind control enough Guardsmen as sacrifices to summon a Bloodthirster to take out the Avatar of Khaine summoned by the Eldar.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}'', [[BodyofBodies The One Reborn]] is summoned by a group of [[{{Necromancer}} Chime Maiden]], ancient Pthumerians employed by the School of Mensis via airdrop from the [[WeirdMoon Paleblood Moon]].
* In ''VideoGame/GemsOfWar'', the thing which Ferit [[AmnesiacResonance vaguely knows]] must be stopped turns out to be an attempt to raise Abhorath, an evil god-like thing. More generally, the warlocks of the region seem to have a thing for summoning ancient horrors; finding ruins where this can be done is apparently their main reason for being there.

* ''WebComic/EightBitTheater'' has a different take on the summoning ritual:
-->'''Garland:''' I ''should'' be upset, but I can't help taking this as a huge compliment. You can't summon something as powerful as hell lords without sacrificing what's most important to you in the world! This is probably the nicest thing Drizz'l has ever done for us.
-->'''Drizz'l's note:''' 1. Lead morons into basement. / 2. Kill them. / 3. Summon nothing because it was a lie.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2904 Lil' E aims for a hellhound]].
* In the ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' story [[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=970920&mode=weekly "Demon Summoning Week"]] Torg and Riff do one of these on a lark.
* ''Webcomic/StandStillStaySilent'': A lot of Finnish magic requires reciting a spell, but the powerful summon that Onni sends the crew long-distance in Chapter 13 involves playing some MagicMusic before reciting the spell.

* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', the [[PathOfInspiration Clergy of Artemicia]] summons a magic crystal from the earth during the Day of the Damned festival in the city of Reign and release the being inside it which they hope to enslave and use in the war against the [[TheAlliance Grand Alliance]]. The plan doesn't exactly worked out as intended because instead of releasing the Destroyer as the clergy had hoped, an [[MysteriousWaif amnesiac Yamatian girl]] appears instead although it quickly becomes apparent that the girl in fact has [[ManipulativeBastard Laverna]], the Goddess of Thieves, trapped within her body. The clergy then decides to go for Plan B and just take the girl by force and sway the goddess to side with them, but the sudden arrival of several thieves guilds and [[AxCrazy Shakkan]], the God of Beasts, ends up complicating matters as they all have different plans in mind for Laverna. Ironically the Destroyer ''does'' end up being summoned after all but in a different city. It turns out that the [[TriadsAndTongs Dwarven Triad]], one of the thieves guilds, deliberately manipulated events with their moles to make the clergy believe that they were summoning the Destroyer instead of the goddess, the Triad's objective, who they ended up with.
* In ''WebAnimation/IfTheEmperorHadATextToSpeechDevice'', when faced with a berserk demon Magnus, Kitten, as a last resort, swipes Magnus' book and flips through it. Then upon finding something that seems reasonable he grabs a Dreadknight and a cauldron of Sororitas blood, then chants praises to the Grey Knights backwards in order to summon [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Kaldor]] [[BewareTheSillyOnes Draigo]]. Who defeats Magnus in about a millisecond before drifting off back to the Warp.

* In the ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' episode "Dreamscaperers", Li'l Gideon finds a ritual to summon a "dream demon" named Bill Cipher to journey into Grunkle Stan's mind and steal the combination to the safe where Stan keeps the deed to the Mystery Shack.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLionGuard,'' of all shows, has a television special wherein Janja (the series regular hyena villain) and Ushari (snake villain) summon Scar from Hell, who has become a fiery demon with the VoiceOfTheLegion. [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar This is in a show meant for 5 and under.]]See it [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ed0FrRihYMI here.]]