Faust is the protagonist of a German legend; a highly successful scholar but one dissatisfied with his life who therefore makes a pact with the Devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. Faust and the adjective Faustian imply a situation in which an ambitious person surrenders moral integrity in order to achieve power and success for a delimited term. The most famous versions of the Faust story include those of playwrights Christopher Marlowe (which heavily uses psychomachia in the form of Good and Evil angels) and Johann Wolfgang Goethe, and the opera by Charles Gounod.
- In The Muppet Show episode 307, guest star Alice Cooper, moonlighting as a servant for Satan, offers the Muppets a contract promising "fabulous riches and worldwide fame" in a Faustian exchange for their souls. Kermit sums up the tale specifically ("you know the Faust story?") but shudders at the idea, Miss Piggy gives it a test run but ultimately decides it's not worth the sacrifice (or the makeover), and Gonzo spends much of the episode looking for a pen to sign the contract. He becomes so desperate that he, in quick succession, offers to trade the Vile Bunch Drummer a chicken, all of his chickens, and finally his soul for a pen before realizing that he has "other plans for that."
- In the Dinosaurs episode "Life in the Faust Lane", Earl Sinclair sees a commercial for a mug advertised as the key to happiness, and sells his soul to the Devil in order to obtain one.
- In Muppets Meet the Classics: The Phantom of the Opera, the Gounod opera is performed with Johnny Fiama as Dr. Faust and Piggy Daaé as Siébel (a male character, but traditionally played by a female soprano). It also forms a chapter title, "The Faust and the Furious."
- The August 10, 2010 issue of the Farscape comic book was titled "Who's on Faust?" (combing the Faust legend with an Abbott and Costello reference).
Other deals with the devil
- The Muppet Show episode 420 featured "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." Rather than a direct exchange, the soul is presented as the stakes of a wager between the Devil and Johnny.
- Rick Moranis, in episode 202 of Muppets Tonight, is implied to have made such a deal. He uses an incantation to summon his agent Morty, a devil, as is his lawyer Phil. When threatened plagues fail to keep Kermit the Frog in line, they remind Rick they still get ten percent, "or your second born, whichever comes first."
Many artists with Muppet/Henson participation have worked in adaptations of the Faust story (including versions of the aforementioned plays).
- John Baddeley played a horse courser and a scholar in The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus (1995, radio)
- Sean Barrett played Valdes and one of the Seven Deadly Sins in The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus (1970, radio) and the earth spirit and Thales in Faust (2010, radio)
- Christa Berndl played the Samaritan woman in Faust part 4 (1964, German radio)
- Denise Bryer played a she-monkey, nymph, Euphorian as a boy, and a boy in the serialized Faust (1949, radio)
- Paul Bürks played Belial in Mon Faust (1950, German radio) and a will-o'-the-wisp in Faust (1952, German radio)
- Uwe Friedrichsen played a scholar in Faust (1960 film) and Mephistopheles in De holsteensche Faust (1978, German radio)
- Mark Gatiss played Mephistopheles in Faust (2008, radio serial)
- Richard Griffiths played Cornelius and one of the Seven Deadly Sins in The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus (1970, radio)
- Derek Jacobi played the Lord in Faust (2010, radio)
- Toby Jones played Wagner in Doctor Faustus (2007, radio) and Mephistopheles in Faust (2010, radio)
- Edgar Ott played the fifth voice in the Easter day excerpt from Faust (1956, German radio)
- Christian Rode played the angel Gabriel in Faust (1960 film) and the archangel in part one of the German radio version (1964)
- Heinz Schubert played a student in Der Urfaust (1963, German radio)
- Beverly Sills played Marguerite in the Gounod opera for several companies between 1963 and 1970 (stage)
- Elizabeth Taylor played Helen of Troy in Doctor Faustus (1967 film)
- Gisela Trowe played Lust in Gespräch mit dem Teufel (1951, German radio)
- Robert Townsend played the devil figure Mr. Five in I Was a Teenage Faust (2002 film)
- Peter Ustinov played Mephistophilis in The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1949, radio)
- John Wood played Wrath and Frederick in The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1956, radio)