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Devil's Job Offer

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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.

Asmodeus, Asteroth, Belial & Scratch Inc.
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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.

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See also We Can Rule Together.


Examples:

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    Anime & 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 aids him in his deals with humans and other demon-like beings. Terajima takes the deal.

    Comic Books 
  • In Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, the story's Villain Protagonist Warren White goes from handsome Butt-Monkey 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.
  • The Golden Age Black Widow (Claire Voyant), was brought back to life by the devil in exchange for essentially becoming his debt collector. She'd go after those who had made deals with him and collect their souls once their contract had expired.
  • 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!
  • This is how Hellspawn are recruited in Spawn. If the forces of Hell see promise in you, they'll make you an offer upon your death to live again, in exchange for being one of the elite vanguard of Hell's plan to cast down the gates of Heaven.
  • During the Underworld Unleashed crossover, Neron offered Oracle the use of her legs back if she acted as his librarian - there was no soul bargaining involved, he just found her analytical skills that impressive. After debating for a while, she turned him down, fearing she'd lose her soul anyway if she accepted.
  • Happens as a major plot point in the 1990s 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.)

    Fan Works 
  • The RWBY and Attack on Titan crossover Attack on Titan A New Path begins this way. With the God of Darkness offering Eren Yeager the chance to be reincarnated on Remnant in exchange for getting rid of Salem for him.
  • 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/fan-art 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.
  • In The Hellbound Heart, part of Kim McFarland's Etchings set of fanfics (mostly Darkwing Duck-related), Lucifer reveals that he considers Negaduck "one of [his] best field agents" and that he has a job waiting for him when his time is up. That comes to pass some stories later at the end of Ahiru, and he's a demon in subsequent stories.
  • 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.
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    Film — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • In The Devil's Messenger, Satanya arrives in Hell having committed suicide, and Satan offers her a job as his messenger: delivering objects to mortals on Earth that will trigger their dooms.
  • Six Gun Savior: When Lane McCrae comes upon the outlaw who slaughtered his family, the ensuing showdown renders him mortally injured. Subsequently he is paid a visit by the Devil, who proposes a bargain that would spare the lives of both he and his brother Cody. The Devil employs him as a bounty hunter for Hell, and in this role replacing his predecessor.
  • 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.

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sandman Slim gets a job offer from Samael: become the next "Lucifer"...
  • 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.
  • Shizuka Satomi from Light from Uncommon Stars made a deal with the devil for musical talent, then to avoid her own damnation by condemning the souls of seven musical prodigies to hell. A chapter from her contractor's point of view reveals that this is how deals are expected to end, as it ensures a greater number and higher misery of souls than simply making a deal for one.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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...
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Whilst there is no devil in the show, women are recruited by the demon D'Hoffryn to be vengeance demons if they show potential, such as Anya (originally Aud who took on the name Anyanka when accepting the job). If a woman refuses, such as Willow after her break up with Oz, she is free to go and he gives her an amulet, which is the equivalent of his business card, in case she changes her mind.
  • Lucifer: Inverted in Season 1. When Chloe and Lucifer investigate a murder linked to a satanic cult, a killer gets involved hoping to impress Lucifer enough to take him on board as a lackey. Lucifer is horrified by this and wants nothing to do the man beyond stopping him. He's also alarmed by the reason why the man knows he's the real Devil at all. Amenadiel resurrects Malcolm to help him get Lucifer back to Hell, falsely promising to send him to Heaven instead of Hell when the job is done. Having experienced just 30 seconds of Hell, Malcolm's mind begins deteriorating; he starts identifying with the Devil and killing. When Lucifer finds out, he lampshades what a topsy-turvey situation they're in where an angel is making false, murderous job offers as if he's the Devil, while the Devil is trying to save human lives as if he's an angel.
  • 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.

    Music 
  • 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.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Warhammer:
    • Valkia the Bloody, a Warriors of Chaos character, 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.
    • Sigvald the Magnificent (the Champion of Slaanesh) was offered immortality and immense power in exchange for a lifestyle of depraved, sadistic hedonism. Being a character memetically (and not inaccurately) described as King Joffrey all grown up, this was not a difficult decision, and he's been plaguing the world for three hundred years since.
  • 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" (he got it during a battle where both his enemies and allies were too cold to fight, so he ran around with a flamer torching every shelter and insufficiently-motivated Space Marine he saw).
    • 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.
    • One Daemon Princess got her start when a sorcerer convinced her to entrap a Keeper of Secrets (the Greater Daemon of Slaanesh) inside her body. In just about every circumstance you can think of this is equivalent to making sure you leave the engine running and the doors open before getting out of your car in a bad neighborhood, but she somehow not only succeeded, she did it again, twice (to the horror of the sorcerer who'd counted on taking over the cult after she'd gotten herself killed). On the fourth attempt, Slaanesh hirself appeared before her and elevated her to daemon princesshood, punishing the three Keepers for being defeated by a mere human by letting her keep them to draw on their power.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 
  • 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.
  • Dominic Deegan:
    • When The Infernomancer (a.k.a. "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.
  • The central premise of I'm the Grim Reaper; 'Scarlet' starts the comic in Hell with amnesia, and is promptly offered a deal by Satan as the Grim Reaper, tasked with reaping one sinner a day. Or, of course, she could immediately start her sentence all the way down in the 9th circle...
  • 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.
  • Welcome to Hell: After Sock kills his parents and himself, Mephistopheles gives him an offer.
    Sock: So, what gonna happen?
    Mephistopheles: What's going to happen is that I'm going to give you an offer.
    Sock: Oh, you mean like a deal with the dev
    Mephistopheles: I mean like a job offer.
    Oh please, Mr. Sowachowski, I already have your soul, did'ya think I was gonna challenge you to a fiddling contest or something?

    Web Original 
  • This Tumblr post answers a writing prompt in which the devil offers a person their soul back in exchange for a favor. Said favor turns out to be modernizing infernal contracts and overhauling the system of deals with the devil. It helps that he's a lawyer.

    Western Animation 
  • 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).
  • Heloise from Jimmy Two-Shoes gleefully works at Misery Inc. (which is run by Lucius Heinous VII who is more or less a goofy, incompetent Satan), and invents all their misery-making products. It helps that she is far more evil than Lucius could ever be.
  • 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.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): HIM (who is technically Satan) brings back the Rowdyruff Boys to kill the titular girls.
  • 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.

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