Mephistopheles: Nnnnot exactly... You get to help people kill themselves.
Welcome to Hell follows the story of Sock, a sweet but unstable teen who commits suicide after the Accidental Murder of his own parents. In Hell, he meets Mephistopheles, the amicable manager of the underworld, who offers him a job: Sock is to become a demon, tasked with haunting humans and driving them to suicide. At first this seems like Sock's dream job—a way he can finally act on his desires without consequence—but after meeting his first target, a disinterested high-schooler named Jonathan, he finds himself with another desire that just might be stronger... and just might have a consequence.
Welcome to Hell started as a Webcomic on DeviantArt. Some pages are posted on DeviantArt and have garnered some really good responses as well as two Daily Deviations. It was then given successful funding through Kickstarter to make a fully-animated Short Film.
This series contains recurring examples of:
- Accidental Murder: Sock kills his parents while sleepwalking.Mephistopheles:This is Sock. He just killed his parents. In his sleep.
- Aerith and Bob: Napoleon Maxwell Sowachowski has a very weird name, while Jonathan Combs doesn't.
- Afterlife Antechamber: Mephistopheles' office acts as one for Sock, as he ends up there after he dies and Meph gives him his Devil's Job Offer.
- A Hell of a Time: At least for Sock it is. He gets to get people to kill themselves!
- Animesque: Early designs for the characters were drawn in a more anime style.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Meph's job offer.Mephistopheles: It’ll be your job to haunt, torment, pester, and be a general nuisance.
- Armor-Piercing Response: Jonathan asks why Sock is still here. Sock retorts why he is still here. Jonathan's "Because you suck at your job" gets to Sock.
- Black Comedy: This trope is somewhat par for the course when the short is a lighthearted comedy about a teenager killing himself after killing his parents, going to hell, becoming an demon, and trying to get another teenager to kill himself.
- Celestial Bureaucracy: Several mentions are made in the short of Hell being under renovations and demons having a quota of souls that they need to fulfill. The overall impression given of Hell is like that of a large, bureaucratic company.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Jonathan has a lot of gray and muted colors, while Sock's color scheme is basically made up of a rainbow.
- Dateless Grave: Played for Laughs: Sock's tombstones don't even have proper names on them, to the point where he marked his own tombstone as just "ME".
- Devil's Job Offer: After Sock kills his parents and himself, Mephistopheles gives him an offer.Sock: So, what's gonna happen?Mephistopheles: What's gonna 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.Mephistopheles: Oh please, Mr. Sowachowski, I already have your soul, did'ya think I was gonna challenge you to a fiddling contest or something?
- Demon of Human Origin: This is how all demons come into existence, according to Erica. Sock is a good example of this, as he gets a Devil's Job Offer to become a demon right after he dies.
- Dig Your Own Grave: The opening has Sock digging his own grave after killing his parents in his sleep. He then offs himself.
- Don't Fear the Reaper: Sock certainly wants Jonathan to believe that death is okay.Sock: Jonathan, come on! A little death never killed anybody!Jonathan: For the last time, stop talking to yourself and get out of my house!
- Driven to Suicide: Sock kills himself after murdering his parents and he is trying to convince Jonathan to follow in his footsteps.
- Evil Lawyer Joke: The gluttons and the lawyers are in the middle of a turf war in hell, apparently.
- Faceless Masses: The short does not put much detail into the extras in the high school scenes.
- Fangs Are Evil: When Sock tells Jon that he is a demon, Sock's teeth go all sharp for a second.
- Flipping the Bird: Jon is doing this in the page image above.
- God Job: More Accurately a "Demonary position", Sock is given the unenviable task of making Jonathan kill himself.
- Grave Humor: Sock isn't very good at making gravestones, as shown by the three graves he makes simply saying Mom, Dad, and Me.
- Grave-Marking Scene: The opening shows Sock making three graves simply saying Mom, Dad and Me.
- Gym Class Hell: Jonathan is seen playing basketball in gym class and he has a horrible time. Sock deliberately invokes this trope by messing Jonathan's throws.
- Happy Dance: Sock does little jig while Jonathan waits for the bus in the second montage, much to Jonathan's chagrin.
- Hearing Voices: Sock is told that only Jonathan can hear him. In turn, Sock is the only one who can hear Mephistopheles. Hilarity Ensues whenever Sock talks to Meph within hearing distance of Jon.
- High School: A good portion of the short is set in Jonathan's high school, FZS high.
- Insistent Terminology:
- Sock — who is a dead human — is not a ghost. He's a demon.
- Mephistopheles is very particular about people using his actual name. The creator says it's because he doesn't want to be associated with "rumors" that pop-culture has been spreading about him for centuries.
- Late for School: Jonathan is seen running for the bus to get to school with toast in his mouth.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Mephistopheles mentions that he hadn't planned on Sock's job lasting longer than a student thesis film.
- Lemony Narrator: Mephistopheles acts as this in the opening, which makes him being a rather offbeat narrator somewhat inevitable due to his Deadpan Snarker nature and non-objective point of view.
- Left Hanging: The animation ends without showing what Jonathan's ultimate fate will be.
- Lyrical Dissonance: The song, “I Will Never (Be Your Friend)”, which plays during the second montage, has a very bouncy melody.
- Male Restroom Etiquette: Jonathan embarrasses himself by yelling at Sock in a restroom.
- Mathematician's Answer: Jonathan's file lists that his age is "teen" and his hair is "animation".
- Meaningful Name:
- Part of Sock's name — Maxwell — is a reference to The Beatles' song, "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"... it's an upbeat song about a Serial Killer.
- Mephistopheles is named after the demon character from Faust.
- The band Jonathan listens to, Valhalla Soundbox, is named after an afterlife for heroes in Norse mythology (also named after a band the film's sound technician started in high school).
- Montages: The animated short has a series of clips showing Sock trying to torment Jonathan.
- Mundane Afterlife: Hell seems to be organized like a corporation.
- Odd Friendship: Sock and Jonathan have one of these. A friendly, homicidal demon and a dour teen.
- Offscreen After Life: In the animation, we only see Sock and Mephistopheles' reactions to what Hell looks like. The webcomic shows a little more, but not in great detail.
- Opening Monologue: Meph narrates one during the Grave-Marking Scene.Mephistopheles: This is Sock. He just killed his parents. In his sleep.
Mephistopheles: Now, of course, most people would be a little shaken after having just sleep-murdered their parent's, but Sock was not most people.
Mephistopheles: You see, Sock had been struggling to kill things all his life. You could say he had some slight homicidal tendencies.
Mephistopheles: No, what bothered Sock is what he'd have to do next.
- Our Demons Are Different: Here, they are just dead humans who have been offered a job.
- People Fall Off Chairs: Jonathan falls off his chair in class because Sock literally threw himself at him.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sock is usually excited and hyper, while Jonathan is much more cold and dour.
- Refrigerator Ambush: Sock talks to Jonathan while in his refrigerator in the opening segment.
- Shout-Out: When Mephistopheles is making Socks a deal, he asks, "Did'ya think I was gonna challenge you to a fiddling contest or something?", a reference to the song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."
- Suicide Dare: Sock's job is doing this to Jonathan, as he is trying to get Jonathan to kill himself so he will go to Hell. He's pretty terrible at it, though.
- Signed Up for the Dental: Mephistopheles offers a comprehensive benefits package, along with dental.
- Title Drop: Meph uses the title of the webcomic when he first meets Sock.Mephistopheles: Welcome to Hell! Wouldya like a hand?
Sock: Sure! Thanks mister.
- Vague Age: Sock's age is listed as 15-20, despite the fact that he could pass for considerably younger and Jonathan's age is "teen" according to his Hellfile.
- Welcome to Hell: The title. Also given a Title Drop when Mephistopheles introduces Sock to his afterlife.