20 Tattoo Artists Share The Worst Customer They’ve Ever Had To Deal With.

Tattoo artists of Reddit were asked: "What is the worst reaction you've gotten from a client?" These are some of the best answers.

1/20 Once we had a girl throw up EVERYWHERE about 5 min before finishing her tattoo. Myself and another artist cleaned everything up. She never bothered once to help clean, and didn't even tip the artist.


2/20 I tattooed a gumdrop-ice-cream on the underside of a guy's shaft, he couldn't control his erection and leaked pre-cum all over the place. I was a 19 year old girl in the middle of an apprenticeship, and didn't realize there were things I could say "No" to for any reason except not being confident technically.

Woops. Live and learn. :\


3/20 I was 15 doing work experience in a Tattoo studio in Ireland.

My boss at the time was a French dude. My boss tattooed an outline of the shape of Ireland on some middle aged dude's arm. Once it's done the client thanks him and leaves. It must have been a day or two later the guy comes back f*cking furious and claims he tattooed the map backwards. Everyone in the shop starts giving him funny looks as we explain that its perfectly fine but he starts freaking, storms over to the mirror and is like "No look! Its f*cking backwards!" We try explaining to him its only backwards because of the reflection in the mirror. The dude doesn't understand and starts calling me an idiot and my boss "A f*cking stupid frog". We figure there is no point arguing with the dude and we tell him to get the f*ck out, he does but claims he'll be back with a lawyer. We never heard from him again.

To sum up: People still don't know how mirrors work


4/20 Wiping away excess ink, customer looks down and says "NO NO NO you're doing a good job, don't erase it!"


5/20 I've been tattooing for 3+ years now, and the one that really sticks out at me was a small blonde girl who was lovely and chatty, but as soon as we got a few minutes into lining, she went quiet, completely white and proceeded to faint. I work in my own private, licensed studio alone so I had to just hold her up in the chair til she woke up. Anyway she was fine after that and we managed to finish it, she praised how well I dealt with her and I had a few of her friends come in after that.

Fast forward a year later she comes back for a larger tattoo on her back, now this time she didn't faint, but she proceeded to sing at the top of her voice for the entire forty minutes she was under the needle. Not that I'd really mind apart from the fact she was singing "10 little ducks went swimming one day," y'now, the nursery rhyme. I worked and she slowly sang her way down to 2 little ducks and then one, and I'd hoped she'd just stop. Nope, she started again from the start of the song. Heard 2 full repeats of it before we finished. Never been so happy to complete a tattoo.


6/20 Had a very methed-out seeming lady who came for a walk in with a morbidly obese friend and her 5yo son. My station is pretty small but all 3 of them had to be in there while I tattooed her. She was obviously getting sexual pleasure from it and was not holding back at all despite her son being in the room. Orgasmic wailing and cries of "Don't stop." Plus her kid was getting into my sh*t the whole time. Really creepy and unpleasant experience.


7/10 Tattooed a few of my sister's friends from work. One girl was a very dark skinned black girl. I couldn't make out the hectograph ink from the stencil, so I darkened it with a surgical maker (felt tip). The tattoo was on the small of her back, so she couldn't see. I didn't want her to feel self conscious, so I didn't announce what I was doing. When I started teaching over the design, her while body tensed and she let out a shriek! I asked what was wrong, thought maybe a cramp? She said that everyone told her that tattoos hurt, but she was unprepared for this kind of pain. She said that it felt like "a f*cking epidural". When I showed her the marker, we all had a good laugh. She wanted to know if the needles hurt more! We stopped, had some water, some banter, and I disassembled the tattoo machine so she could understand how it worked, and that the needles only go in about a 32nd of an inch. She turned out to be a pretty good client.


8/20 The worst fainter I got was a lady getting a tiiiiiny little fairy on her hip/backside area. She had her 12-ish year old daughter in there with her who was doing her school project/presentation about her mum getting a tattoo (aww!). When the mum fainted halfway through, after being caught and laid down into the chair etc she didn't come to for so long that I was getting the phone to call an ambulance. She just made zombie eyes and noises, seemed to wake up a bit, moan a little, and would slump back down unconscious, over and over like half a dozen times. Her kid was in HYSTERICS, understandably. But, she came to, promptly threw up, and finished getting the tattoo like a champion (lying down, though).


9/20 I tattooed a pair of handcuffs and initials on a middle aged lady's ass (she and her husband were part of the local BDSM scene). Her uncle-vernon-esque husband stood on her other side, taking a million photos and periodically smacking her other ass cheek till it was red raw.

We were shut behind curtains in a busy shop and it was super uncomfortable to be present in their sexual game (Other BDSM people getting similar things manage to be perfectly well behaved, those two were just rude.) You could tell easily they were straight off to f*ck like crazy afterwards, they barely listened to aftercare info and could hardly get to their car quick enough. As uncomfortable as it was it's kinda awesome that people in their '50s can be like a couple of horny teenagers, couldn't help but laugh and be happy for them.


10/20 Well I'm sitting here waiting for a lady to come in so I can fix a wrong date I put on her. She looked at the stencil before we started, had her triple check everything like I always do, had her boyfriend check it, the works. Got a text this morning saying the year was wrong.

So this has got to be right up there as far as worst experiences go.


11/20 Not the worst but I had a couple come in, the girl had just turned 18 and the guy looked late thirties. She said that he was going to pick whatever he wanted for her to get tattooed on her. He chose to have his name and then 'owns me' written across her lower stomach. Nowadays I'd turn that sh*t down but this was when I'd first started tattooing. I was working in a real scumbag shop where my boss was just a massive money grabber, so I didn't really have much of a choice but to do it. So she's getting the tattoo done, all the while he's saying about how they're coming back the next day for him to get her nickname on his neck 'Princess Bubby'. He keeps going out on the phone, and when he comes back she was going 'I know you're talking to other girls, don't lie to me' and he's just laughing in the most cocksure way. Towards the end she looks at him with big puppy dog eyes and goes 'I love you' and he just replied 'I know'.

Safe to say he never came back for Princess Bubby.


12/20 "You misspelt your tattoo. It doesn't say 'Angel', it says 'Angle'."

"I'm aware of that now."


13/20 Worst experience, had to work on a 40 year old, autistic woman who had a fit about needles, and people touching her (fun times). She kept moving and freaking out. NO SOLID LINES AT ALL, I did my best to conceal the moving mistakes but she absolutely loved the honu (turtle)! I understand the client's limits but her caretakers were the worst people ever. Two 20-something medical workers that went behind the shop to do coke and smoke weed (I know because they offered). Couldn't tell which was a nurse or social worker but after we were done, the caretakers decided hey... let's go in the bathroom and try to f*ck. So me and the client are getting to know each other, I'm surprised she was willing to talk and socialize with me considering how the session went. Music changes in the shop, 10 seconds of loud sex noises, client says, "They always have fun like that in front of me." heartdrop want to beat both their asses

Caretakers get done, girl has jizz on her scrubs, guy has the largest wet spot on his pants, and they both stank like weed/sweat/hot garbage. Client gives me the biggest hug ever and all I feel is hate towards the caretakers.


14/20 Think for me, it was when I had a small name in on someone's back. She told me at the beginning she was prone to fainting and she stated it on her consent form too. I nonchalantly brushed it off and told her she'd be fine.

I get to the last letter and she asks if we could have a quick break because she felt light headed. It was around halloween at the time so her friend brought in the pumpkin bucket of sweets we had out in the waiting room.

I thought she was just leaning forwards to have a look at what goodies were in there, but instead it was more her doing a Luigi style torpedo forwards off the chair onto the floor. I luckily sprinted around and caught her before her head hit the floor. She had a small fit and came around about a minute later.


15/20 Maybe not the worst but the most recent odd thing to happen. This kid was having a really rough time and kept moving, and I told him to knock it off and stay still. I think he was on some drugs because he was acting really strange, but to keep still he tensed up and just started chanting "take it, take it, take it, take it" and it was really, really uncomfortable. I was about to tell him he had to cut that out too when he finally decided he had adequately taken it and stopped.


16/20 A couple comes in, sober as a judge. They been dating two, maybe four weeks and they want each others names tattooed....on their anuses. Ring around their anuses with the other person's name. Girl's...thing won't stop twitching while I'm doing it, I don't know what to do. Guy says 'Put your thumb in there, that's what I always do.' God help me, I did. $500 for ten minutes work.


17/20 The customer who became known around the shop simply as Rough Rider. A woman who set her appointment up online to get a tattoo on her... Lady bits. What she wants? Rough Rider in simple tattoo script. All the other artists were males so I got stuck with her.

The day of the appointment comes around and in walks this woman, all 6ft something and 300lbs of her. Accompanying her? Her 15 year old daughter. I had argue that her daughter couldn't be in the room watching, I had to go so far as to tell her I would refuse to do the tattoo unless her daughter waited in the waiting room.

Tattoos on lady bits are HARD, the skin is stretchy as hell. I swear to god, I had to stretch these small, half inch letters to the size of my hand to get the ink to take because there was just so much... Flesh. What should have been15 minutes of awkward conversation ended up as me spending almost hour of personal time with this woman's genitals while she told me about sex with her boyfriend between screams and twitches.


18/20 Was working on top floor of tattoo studio, tattooing a bloke early one saturday morning. He goes pale and says he need to pee quickly point him in the direction of the bathroom.

10 minutes later get worried he has passed out on the toilet (it happens) go to walk down the stairs. Notice a super gross stench, look down at the stairs and see tiny little piles of diarrhoea on each step. Guy has sh*t himself on the way to the toilet and run away, never saw him or his money again!

Thank god for apprentices.


19/20 Ugh. I once had a guy who I tattooed a couple years back. I was still learning, and he offered to be my "guinea pig". I tattooed a lotus flower on his wrist, and we were both really pleased with how it came out. 2 weeks later it turned out he'd picked it all to pieces, and he was left with really red, inflamed skin, and loads of the ink missing. I refused to ever ink him again. Asshole.


20/20 When I was a senior in high school I worked at a large shop and basically just cashiered, cleaned, ran to the back to get sh*t for the artists, and kept customers out of the work area. Also did some distracting for the people that had no business getting them.

Anyway one day I was talking to this chick that was getting a shamrock of some sort on her arm, and I was in convo with her because she was nervous and sh*t so I engaged her mind off the needle a bit and told her "your puppy dog is looking great so far" as a joke. Well... she jerked hard and freaked and the artist drew across the shamrock because of it and the tat was basically ruined.

I stopped telling jokes for the rest of my senior year working there.


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