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God-Karting with Beelzebub

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Game of Life by Hu Zheng

"I like, at times, to hear The Ancient's word,
And have a care to be most civil:
It's really kind of such a noble Lord
So humanly to gossip with the Devil!"

God and Satan, in modern Christian mythology, are adversaries, with Satan rebelling against God at the birth of creation and striving to overthrow Him ever since. But what if that wasn't the case?

Maybe Satan isn't so bad. Maybe he's fulfilling an important function, or just a guy doing a job. Maybe God is no better than Satan to begin with. For whatever the reason, some works portray Satan and God as allies, colleagues, or even friends.

Portraying Satan this way has more basis in fact than might be obvious at first glance; in Jewish and early Christian mythology, Satan was God's employee, responsible for testing human souls through tribulation to strengthen their dedication to God. The modern version of Satan isn't drawn primarily from The Bible, but rather from Paradise Lost and The Divine Comedy, and to a lesser extent the early 20th century writings of Cyrus Scofield, creator of the philosophy of dispensationalism, the idea of The Rapture, and the pop-culture version of The Antichrist.

Compare Go-Karting with Bowser, from which this trope draws its name, and Heaven's Devils, which is when all demons are working with or for God.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ah! My Goddess: Hild, the ruler of the underworld, had a relationship with Tyr, the current Almighty of Heaven that resulted in Urd being born. (Had, because due to failing the test of the God of Judgement, they can no longer see each other. Hild violated this restriction to visit him one last time using a curse, meaning that they can no longer meet without her dying.) Urd herself is sort-of friends with Mara, and Belldandy, Friend to All Living Things, would happily have tea with anybody, divine or demonic.

    Comic Books 
  • In the vampire comic book series Crimson, Satan is closer to God than the other (Knight Templar) Archangels, who both God and Satan disapprove of.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • At the end of Bedazzled (2000), the Devil and God himself are seen playing a friendly game of chess in the park... although true to form the Devil does cheat.
  • A "friendly bet" version in Constantine (2005). This isn't actually proven to be the case, it's just Constantine's own impression of the situation. The pair also seem to be intentionally antagonistic with each other.
    Constantine: What if I told you that God and the Devil made a wager, a kind of standing bet for the souls of all mankind? No direct contact with humans, that would be the rule. Just influence. See who would win.
    Angela Dodson: Why?
    Constantine: Who knows? Maybe just for the fun of it.
  • In Oh, God! You Devil, God and The Devil are adversaries, but it's a rather friendly competition.

  • In the Incarnations of Immortality books, JHVH is Satan's friend (when he first became an Incarnation, JHVH provided him with valuable advice and assistance. Satan later repaid his kindness by manipulating another Incarnation into making sure the holocaust doesn't happen). At the end of And Eternity..., Goddess(who is a separate Incarnation from JHVH) is Satan's stepdaughter, as it was his ultimate goal to give her the job. Note that this isn't because he's planning on doing anything evil: it's just the former holder of the position is a useless idiot not doing His job.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Job: A Comedy of Justice, the protagonist finds out that God and Satan are actually brothers and part of an entire race of divine beings. Earth is something akin to a school project that Satan was helping his brother on. But God went on a power trip and rewrote all the rules, making his brother the evil force in his universe and demanding complete loyalty from creatures he had designed to be anything but obedient. He specifically wrote out the apocalyptic prophesy to make his brother look like a jerk and come out a hero for his own ego boost. Satan, quite flatly, tells the protagonist that he isn't going to attend the end of days to deprive his brother of the satisfaction. In short, Heinlein was a Gnostic.
  • Mikhail Bulgakov's treatment of Woland (the Devil) in The Master and Margarita. He likes to tempt mortals into traps. And though he does not meet God or Jesus 'onscreen', they're neutral at the very least. Woland punishes sinners, mocks atheists and obviously supports Christian worldview, and he fulfills Jesus's request on the Master's fate.
  • In Steven Brust's To Reign in Hell, Yaweh, Satan, Michael, Lucifer, Raphael, Leviathan and Belial are all friends and basically brothers (born of the 'First Wave' of order and chaos from which they created themselves and Heaven). The Second and Third Waves created the archangels and angels (including Beelzebub, Lilith, Harut, Ariel, Asmodai, Mephistopheles, Uriel, Abdiel, Gabriel and Zaphkiel), and aside from worrying about the Fourth Wave, they're pretty much all good friends (though Lilith has caused some tension by being the first to take a female form).
  • The Vampire Chronicles: God and the Devil are on good although misunderstanding terms on the fate of humans in Anne Rice's Memnoch the Devil. This ties into an event told to Lestat by David Talbot about him overhearing God and the Devil speaking at a cafe. After his experiences in Memnoch the Devil, Lestat doesn't think that David hearing the conversation was a coincidence.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! had a sketch in which God (played by Billy Crystal) and Satan (played by Dave Grohl) have long buried the hatchet, now they get together every week to have brunch and play Fortnite.
  • Lucifer (2016): At the end of the series Lucifer's brother Amenadiel has become the new God while Lucifer has chosen to remain in Hell to help the damned souls there find forgiveness for themselves and get to Heaven. As the two of them patched things up over the course of the series, they are on quite good relations.
  • The Grand Finale of Touched by an Angel sees Monica trying to get a promotion to supervisor by assisting in one final case: defending Zach, a good-natured drifter accused of causing an accident that killed most of the children in a small town. When Zach goes on trial, Monica discovers that the prosecutor is Satan in human form, and though she's able to convince the citizens to forgive Zach, he's still found guilty thanks to Satan's tricks. Monica declares that she'll become Zach's personal guardian angel to defend him, even if it means giving up the supervisor job—at which point it's revealed that the real trial was a Secret Test of Character for her. Zach is actually Jesus and knew Satan's identity the whole time, and the two clearly cooked up the plan together, with a friendly relationship between them as they work for the same side.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Judaism, the Devil is traditionally not seen as God's enemy. Instead, he works at God's request, tempting mortals to test their faith in God (see the Book of Job), and after their deaths pointing out the sins they've committed in life that might prevent them from getting to Heaven (essentially working as a prosecutor in God's court). Many Christians take this view. Others see Satan as evil.

  • The plot of Faust: First Part of the Tragedy is set off by God and Mephistopheles having a friendly conversation in Heaven, which ends with God betting that Mephistopheles cannot turn over the scholar Faust to eternal damnation, and giving Mephisto free rein to tempt Faust.

    Video Games 
  • Near the end of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness it's revealed that Seraph Lamington (leader of the angels) and King Krichevskoy (the late ruler of the demons) were close friends and the entire game was one big gambit to bring about peace between their two races.
  • The Gray Garden has God and the Devil as partners and arguably a romantic couple.
  • Done interestingly in the Shin Megami Tensei series, due to taking the characters from the myths instead of compressing them into a singular devil character like is often done today. Though most are aligned against YHVH, one of the components of the modern devil — Satan, the snake who tempted Adam in Eden — is not only aligned with Him but is actually even His second in command and carries out His will in the second game. Amusingly, the second half of the trope namer, Beelzebub, very rarely actually has any form of either direct or indirect interaction with YHVH despite being aligned against him.
  • Super Paper Mario has Grambi, ruler of the Overthere, and Queen Jaydes, ruler of the Underwhere, as husband and wife, respectively.

    Visual Novels 
  • The devil and god races in SHUFFLE! are both are on equal ground with each other, completely without strife, and the leaders of both races are even shown as being good friends. In addition, the races have completely intermixed with the human world to the point that they can often be found going to the same schools as humans.

  • The devil in Casey and Andy is God's daughter. She was made ruler of Hell during her rebellious teenage years, but they've since reconciled.
  • Occasionally, The Devil's Panties shows "JC" and the Devil hanging out together.

    Web Videos 
  • Hellsing Ultimate Abridged seems to have this dynamic between God and Satan, with Satan merely being socially awkward, affable, and super-apologetic about "that business with [God's] Son." God just seems more slightly uncomfortable around him than anything.
  • Mr. Deity and Lucy(fer) tend to be on relatively friendly terms. What antagonism does exist between them is more down to their on-and-off relationship than any major rivalry.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Family Guy, God and The Devil are seen at a bar together.
  • Often done in God, the Devil and Bob. One episode has The Devil throw a strop and remove evil from the world because God "forgot" his birthday. They make up by the end.
  • In Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil, the devil is torn between wanting to kill Jesus and force his daughter to marry a corrupt politician instead, and befriending Jesus.
  • The Simpsons, in the Halloween Episode in which Lisa creates little people who think she's God. "The Devil [i.e., Bart] is your brother?!''
  • One episode of South Park has Satan go to God for relationship advice. Note that they are portrayed as enemies, however — Satan is rather nervous about seeing God for the first time in thousands of years, and God seems perplexed that Satan's visit isn't about universal domination. Amusingly, when God hears the details of Satan's problem (having to pick between two different guys), He actually calls him out for going from a "headstrong rebel" to a "whiny little bitch" who can't stand up for himself.
  • In Tripping the Rift, God and Satan are often found chatting with each other.