Follow TV Tropes


Sold His Soul for a Donut

Go To
A donut to die for.
Selling one's soul to the Devil is an old plot. Usually, characters sell it for something extraordinary — life, power, riches — only to be blindsided by the other party when they least expect it. But sometimes, someone gets scammed into selling or willingly sells their soul for essentially nothing.

This is usually a comedy trope.

Sub-Trope of Deal with the Devil. Compare Mundane Wish and Wasteful Wishing, when a character who can wish for anything and get it requests something incredibly ordinary, Comically Small Bribe, when a character offers an incredibly small payment for a service, and Comically Small Demand, when someone with authority or power over others uses it to achieve something minor or mundane.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Hell Girl: By contracting the Jigoku Shoujo, you are able to send another person to hell, but in change, your soul will also go to hell once you die. In later seasons, a couple of characters send people to hell for very petty reasons, like the one guy who was upset that his car was accidentally scratched by another guy, sending the latter to hell just for that.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: In the original timeline, this is the deal Madoka made with Kyubey to turn into a magical girl, wishing for a cat that was injured to be healed again. Of course, at the time, no one really knew that making a deal with Kyubey essentially meant having your soul ripped out, made into a gem and becoming walking husks to later become Eldritch Abomination monsters once the gem was fully corrupted.

    Comic Books 
  • When various DC Comics villains were offered anything for their souls by the demon Neron in the Underworld Unleashed crossover, The Joker wished for a box of cigars. Granted, there is no doubt that Joker was going to hell anyway, and he makes it clear that they're good cigars.
  • In one Terry Fuckwit strip in Viz, God offers Terry Fuckwit eternal life in Heaven in exchange for taking his cakes out of the oven. The Devil interrupts and offers him an alternative deal: "why not sell me your soul for this dried up piece of dogshit?" Terry Fuckwit accepts the Devil's offer.

    Fan Works 
  • The MLP Loops: Played for Laughs in Loop 191.8, when Apple Bloom finds Grogar in her cookie jar, demanding souls in exchange for cookies (and apparently, it's not the first time this has happened). Luckily, the Time Abyss of the loops means Apple Bloom has some extra souls she can pay with.
  • Ultra Fast Pony: Rarity gives her soul to the demon Maud, and all she asks for in return is for Maud to pull a really petty prank against Rainbow Dash. Of course, this version of Rarity is such an over-the-top masochist, it would be totally in-character for her to want to end up in Hell anyway.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the main characters encounter a young musician who claims to have sold his soul to be able to play the guitar really well. Delmar, who recently had a religious experience, is disappointed by the idea of selling a soul for so little.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Angel episode "Double or Nothing", it's revealed that as a young man Gunn sold his soul for his pick-up truck. At the time he was so poor and in such despair about his lot and the state of the world it seemed a good deal. And to cap it all off, it wasn't even a particularly nice truck.
  • Supernatural: In the season 6 episode "Weekend at Bobby's", Bobby Singer confronts Crowley in order to get to his soul back after a deal he made with him in the last season. Singer in his last dialogue with Crowley brings up that back when the latter was a human prior to his death and rebirth as a demon, he made a deal with a demon in order to be "in the double digits below the belt".
    • Inches or centimetres?

  • In The Buoys song "Timothy," the singer and two others are trapped in a mine cave-in, when another person, Joe says he would "sell his soul for just a piece of meat."
  • Kris Kristofferson's "Best of All Possible Worlds" has the narrator wake up in a jail cell with a beer-drinking guard outside. He offers to sell his soul "for somethin' wet and cold as that old cell," but the jailer gleefully informs him his soul isn't worth even a sniff off a bottle.

  • The premise of Damn Yankees is that a guy sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for his favorite baseball team winning the pennant. Hilarity Ensues (and drama) when said guy becomes the star of the team as part of the pact.

    Video Games 
  • Zombidle: Devil Deals (powerups or bonuses every 5 or 10 minutes) are offered in exchange for your soul... or watching an ad for 15 seconds. And sometimes the ad doesn't even show up.
  • In Team Fortress 2's webcomic, Medic has died and finds himself in Hell. However, because Medic infused his body with eight more souls, he thus must go to Heaven. However, he negotiates with Satan instead to simply return to life for fifty years. Satan isn't terribly thrilled with this arrangement, as if he owns the majority of his souls, he can vote himself into Heaven, but Medic reassures him that it's almost a certainty that he will end up in Hell.
    Medic: That's a lovely-looking pen.. [beat] I said, that's a lovely-looking pen.
    Satan: Would you give me a soul for—?
    Medic: I would! Ohhh, what have I done? See, you're well on your way. I don't like my chances. At any rate, I should really get going.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 
  • One throw-away strip of Sandra and Woo has Sandra remark that she'd sell her soul for an cold glass of lemonade on a hot day. To her surprise a glass of lemonade materializes on the picnic table next to her.
  • This is the modus operandi of Santa Claus in Oglaf. He gets children to swear their souls to him in exchange for toys while they're too young to know better, and then enslaves their spirits in his workshop after they die as adults.
  • Demon Candy: Parallel: Jonathan jokingly offers to sell his soul to Noelle for a Klondike bar, not realising that she was serious. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Sinfest frequently portrays the Devil and his servants buying souls by posing as lemonade stands. One passerby even lampshades the stupidity of this, then mockingly tells the Devil to sign him up for a t-shirt (the final panel shows him burning in Hell with the shirt on).

    Web Original 

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy: In "A Picture's Worth a Thousand Bucks", Peter says that he'd sell his soul to be famous. The Devil hears him and is eager to buy, but his assistant tells him that Peter already sold his soul in 1976 for Bee Gees tickets, and again in 1981 for half a Mallomar.
    The Devil: Ah heck. Where's a lawyer when I need one?
    [all the damned souls currently doing hard labor stop and raise their hands]
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Treehouse of Horror IV" is the Trope Namer. Homer sells his soul to the Devil (played by Ned Flanders, of all people) for a donut. He tries to cheat the devil by not finishing it, but ends up going to Hell anyway because he finished the donut later after forgetting about the deal.
    • "Bart Sells His Soul": In an attempt to prove the soul doesn't exist, Bart writes "Bart Simpson's Soul" on a piece of paper and sells it to Milhouse for $5. Milhouse in turn trades it to the Comic Book Guy for Alf pogs. Bart, meanwhile, experiences some unusual happenings, apparently due to now being soulless, and spends the episode trying to retrieve the piece of paper.
    • "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" contains a clip cut from "Treehouse of Horror IV" where Bart says he'd sell his soul for a Formula 1 racecar. The Devil immediately appears and says he can arrange that, but Bart changes his mind.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Born Again Krabs", the Flying Dutchman bets SpongeBob that Mr. Krabs is so greedy he'd sell SpongeBob's soul for a nickel. The Dutchman then offers Krabs all the change in his pockets—62 cents—for SpongeBob's soul. Krabs accepts without hesitation. Even Squidward was disgusted by this.
    • In "Money Talks", Mr. Krabs sells his soul to the Flying Dutchman in exchange for the ability to talk to money. When Mr. Krabs' money talks him into spending them (specifically, on things he doesn't want, like corn dogs, fairy princess outfits, and diapers), Mr. Krabs tries to get his soul back from the Flying Dutchman, only for the Flying Dutchman to claim his soul anyway. The Flying Dutchman soon finds out that Mr. Krabs has already sold his soul to various monsters, as well as SpongeBob, who tells the Flying Dutchman that Mr. Krabs was five dollars short on his last payday.
  • One episode of John Callahan's Quads! has Riley sell his soul to the Devil in exchange for curing his erectile dysfunction. Of course, this being Riley, he never even considers to ask for a cure for his quadriplegia as well.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls (2016) episode, "Our Brand Is Chaos", Bubbles and Buttercup are a dollar short to buy a bobsled they want. HIM offers to give them a dollar... at the expense of something precious they care about.
    HIM: Technically they sold it for a dollar.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: