Think Before You Ink: Hilarious Tattoo Fails
Thinking of getting a tattoo? Before you join the ranks of permanently inked people everywhere, take a minute to learn what not to do. This collection of bad tattoos will show you just how incredibly wrong your longed for trip to the tattoo parlor could go.
From the dreaded face tattoo to the many dangers of discount tattoo artists, you better think before you ink to avoid hilariously bad tattoo fails that could turn you into the next viral meme. Take a look below for some laughs and to learn how to avoid tattoo disasters before you commit.
The Misspelled Tat: The Mother of All Tattoo Sins
When it comes to tattoos, the most important thing to remember is that you're basically purchasing an accessory you will wear every day for the rest of your life. Not intimidating at all, right? Here, you have a woman who failed to recognize the importance of spelling in her lifelong decision.
The Joke That Never Ends
If you've recently found more of your hair ending up in the drain than on your head, then the temptation to plunge headlong into a midlife crisis is understandable. Perhaps you're thinking about spending less time at the office and more time doing all those unchecked items on your bucket list.
Choose Lyrics from Songs You Actually Know
Ah yes, the infamous lyric tattoo. Many tattoo-loving folks out there have been so inspired by a particular song that they decide to officially make it a part of themselves. While this could be an inspired idea — totally depends on the song, of course — these tats should only come from songs you actually know. If you go the extra mile and include the singer’s name, make sure you actually know who sings it.
World's Worst Portrait Artist
When it comes to tattoo themes, some people are easier to please than others. Some enjoy rocking tribal tattoos that give them a bit of an edge, while others prefer simple names, dates or images. Of course, there are always those who prefer to put a bit more thought into their tattoos by selecting designs that are incredibly personal to them.
Approach Food Tattoos with Caution
If you've discovered a superfood that's proven to be the secret to helping you get the body you've always dreamed of, then feel free to share the news with friends. Telling the world about your love of kale isn't a bad thing, but rest assured that your friends won’t need a handy visual aid on your body to believe it.
People of Walmart: Behold Your King
Okay, you may really appreciate the efforts of Sam Walton in bringing affordably priced goods to people everywhere, but this guy proves that a tattoo isn’t the best way to announce your gratitude. This ill-planned ink is just creepy and takes the slang term "tramp stamp" to a whole other level.
Okay, you can obviously see the humor in this one. Having been stalked by this head mole for longer than he cares to admit — like since the days he had hair — this guy finally decided to take matters into his own... head, so to speak. On the one hand, you have to admire his sense of humor.
I Shall Call Him Mini-Me
In the annals of tattoo history, many people have used various body quirks as parts of tattoos. Take the last guy, for instance. That mole slamming Air Jordan is the stuff of unfortunate tattoo legend. Then, you have guys like this who just do things that seem to defy all logic.
When Poetry Isn’t Your Strong Suit
When selecting a tattoo subject, many people turn to their passions. Perhaps you want to give a shout out to your favorite basketball team or add a caricature of a beloved pet. As Dave illustrates above, if you want to celebrate a talent, it's important to make sure you actually have that talent before looking for a tattoo artist.
Never Lose Hoop
On second thought, never mind. Abandon all "hoop," ye who enter here. While it’s nice to think this person ultimately found some confidence, it definitely didn’t happen because of this inspirational tattoo gone horribly wrong. What can you learn from this blunder?
Eyes in the Back of His Head
Every move you make, every step you take, this creepy tattoo will be watching you. Whether it started out as this guy's idea of a joke or it was a seriously misguided creative endeavor, things have clearly gotten out of hand for this double-faced gentleman.
Put It to the Face Swap Challenge
The mystery of how so many bad tattoos have made their way onto people's skin is only made more mysterious by the fact that most tattoo artists sketch their creations before ever picking up a needle. Many even use transfer paper to show a client exactly what the tattoo will look like on their skin before doing anything permanent.
A-List Celebrity Ink Fail
There's certainly nothing wrong with searching for bargains to save a few dollars — on most things. One-ply toilet paper and discount cleaning supplies, for instance, can be worthwhile purchases. Permanent body art that needs to age gracefully with your body is not the time to cheap out.
The Dark Side of Permanent Makeup
All the makeup-wearing ladies out there fully understand the allure of waking up every single day with their makeup already in place. Think about how great it would be to never have to apply your makeup in your rearview mirror while running late to work ever again.
The odds are good that when Christopher Walken posed for this photo, he had no idea that some fan out there would someday capitalize on the creepy look of alarm. As far as what inspired this terrifying tat, maybe this guy couldn't decide between his love of Walken's work and his love of Frankenstein's monster.
Time to BBQ
Everyone makes mistakes, including celebrities. Singer Ariana Grande got inked with a tattoo inspired by one of her hits, “7 rings.” Unfortunately, the beautiful tattoo was misspelled. Fans who saw Grande’s tattoo instantly Googled it and found that the symbols meant Shichirin.
Unsure what to get your mom for Mother's Day? If you want to get her a gift she's sure to love, then look no further than literally anything but this. Although this kid's sentiment is admirable — and Mom tattoos are popular — it’s likely his mom would have been far more thrilled to see him devote more time to learning how to spell before going for permanent ink.
Substance Is Just As Important As Quality
If you're looking for an explanation for this questionable arm art, you've come to the wrong place. It’s doubtful anyone could find a McDonald's meal so mind-blowingly delicious they want to commemorate it — in receipt form, no less — for all time. Not to mention that if you take a close look at the receipt tat, you can see this gentleman was clearly overcharged.
You Sure About That?
Okay, kids, it's time to talk about the dangers of underaged inking. If you’re still too young to legally get a tattoo, it’s tempting to think you've struck gold when your friend tells you his cousin knows a guy who will do it in secret.
The Dreaded Face Tattoo
When it comes to selecting the best part of your body to have tattooed, your options are plentiful. Many men enjoy infusing a bit of ruggedness into their appearance with bicep tattoos, while many women prefer back, shoulder and arm tattoos for their new ink.
Ever see a tattoo that forces you to think about life's deeper questions? Well, this appears to be one of them, but for all the wrong reasons. Out of all the characters in The Lord of the Rings movies, who selects Golam when it's time to get a tattoo?
The C-Section from Hell
Actually, many people who have undergone surgeries or c-sections have chosen to cover their scars with festive tattoos, but this one seems to have missed the point entirely. Rather than artfully cover up an old scar to make it more appealing, this tat seems to have taken the shape of a year-round Halloween costume.
World's Worst Wrestling Tattoo
What exactly happened here? Even the wrestling world is at a loss to say. Clearly, a fan contracted a case of Wrestle-Mania that refused to be ignored. While this could transform into a fairly impressive back tattoo if done by a skilled artist, it seems that this guy's zest for following the world's greatest wrestlers did not translate into an ability to find a top-notch tattoo artist.
The Little Dinosaur Who Couldn't
This tattoo's history is unknown, but it sure brings to mind a few possibilities worth considering. First of all, it may be a testament to the fact that no matter how proud you are of your kid's drawing skills, your refrigerator makes a better display backdrop than your body.
What’s Your Angle?
Oh, boy. Another mom tattoo attempt bites the dust. Apparently, this guy has to hope his mom doesn’t realize he misspelled "angel." Of course, it’s always possible — but not likely — that his mom is a geometry teacher, and this is all just a clever math pun.
So Much Not to Love
Here’s an interesting tale that appears to tell itself. You'll note that while the bird outlines are complete in all their unartistic glory, the artist seems to have been interrupted midway through coloring the birds. At this point, it’s a good guess that one of two things happened.
Break-Up Begging to Happen
If you're a teenage boy who is still attempting to figure out the mysterious ways of women, rest assured that graphic art like this doesn’t tend to be the way to a lady's heart. Although most women tend to be fans of commitment somewhere down the line, a Mona Lisa-like arm portrait — especially at a young age — is not likely to inspire her to take the plunge.
Badly Drawn Benjamins
If you're the type who wants to proclaim your wealth — or love of money — to the world via a tattoo, then it's important to actually be willing to dish out some money to do it right. It seems this guy was trying to cover up the horrible truth about his lack of funds and ended up proclaiming them to the world instead.
The Misguided Back Collage
For many people, tattoos are a great way to celebrate their favorite things. From your kids to your hobbies, you can use tattoos to announce your love of pretty much anything to the world. However, that doesn’t mean you should attempt to mesh every single thing you love into one big inky collage on a single part of your body.
Not the King & Queen of Tattoos…
Getting a tattoo with your partner in crime can often go awry — and become, well, just a crime. Here we have some complimentary tattoo choices that do not reign supreme. Although the person on the right got out grammatically unscathed, the person on the left did not end up so blessed.
Tea Time in the (Tattoo) Parlor
When we say it’s time to spill the tea, we mean one should use their words — not the ol’ ink and needle. As reported by the New York Post, a 21-year-old man from Dallas, Texas ended up with a cherry blossom branch on the side of his torso, but not just any branch. Instead of bringing in a photograph, the man asked the artist to draw one from memory.
With Great Tattoo Ideas Comes Great Responsibility
Fans immortalize their favorite characters in ink all the time these days. Nonetheless, you’d probably have to be a super fan of something to commit to a giant back tattoo and five characters — oh, and a company’s name. Clearly, this tattoo victim needed to do a little more reading about the Marvel Universe.
Don’t Never Never Stop Re-Reading
In 2016, Andy Samberg starred in a mockumentary called Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, and that’s truly all we can think of when we see this tattoo fail. We’ve all had those Mean Girls Moments, where we try to say two words at once and then invent something entirely new (see: “grool,” a.k.a. “great” + “cool”), but this is something else.
Everything Is Not Awesome
It takes a bold, confident person to declare — in permanent ink — that they’re “awesome.” It takes an even bolder person to get such a phrase tattooed across their shoulder blades. You can’t really see what’s going on back there, so, to some degree, you have to trust the tattoo artist to really nail it.