Tattoo Artists Share The Absolute Worst Tattoos They've Ever Done.
These stories are the reason I've always just stick to temporary tattoos. I might be a loser, but I have no regrets.
This piece is based on an AskReddit thread. Link on the last page.
1. I think we can all relate to this one.
This guy in his 80s comes to the front desk, and asks for me. Confused, I meander up to the the front. He fumbles into his request. "Now Im not here to offend you, he says. Or to make light of the wonderful work you do, but I have a strange request for you. Here's where it gets weird.
I was watching this young guy take a pee the other day, and he had just the most beautiful bee tattooed on the head of his penis. And I wanted to request the exact same bee tattooed on my penis.
Slightly taken aback and slightly amused, I told him that we can definitely do that, but that there are extra costs involved. Once I told him the price, he almost fell over, didn't respond and mumbled his way out of the shop.
Never will I forget: I was just watching this young guy take a pee.
2. Love you forever?
A guy came in and got his wife's name covered up with a portrait of his new girlfriend. My coworker used part of her shirt in the picture to cover up the name. Then two months later he turned his now ex girlfriends portrait into a demon.
I started working at another shop and in came the same guy with a third girl and they were getting matching tattoos on their hands. When I walked to the front and saw him he totally pretended he didn't know me.
3. My little phony.
Guy got a "cutie mark" tattooed on his butt. In case you dont know, a cutie mark is the marking the ponies have on their rear in the My Little Pony series.
4. Rocket man: burning out his pubes out here alone.
Guy came into the shop I work at wanting a coverup of a previous regrettable tattoo. Pretty normal until he casually mentioned it's on his penis, and it's a red rocket. None of the dudes in the shop wanted to cover it up or even see it. The only person who stepped up was one of the female artists. She was like, "I don't think I have a penis tattoo for my portfolio. Lets do it! (continued...)
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The only possible way to cover it up was to add so much black work, so she freehand drew a tuxedo onto his junk. Dude ended up with a dapper penis and he was happy with it. Weirdest day at work ever.
5. Need for speedo.
Asked my artist (25+ years experience) what his weirdest request was during my last piece. His most notable was a guy who wanted a solid bright blue "speedo" tattooed on. Over every square inch that a speedo would cover. Said it was super awkward as it was one of his first tattoos but he made good money off of it. Nothing has really fazed him since.
6. It my be anatomical, but it's not correct.
A drunk man came in and asked for an anatomically correct vagina on his butt cheek, with the words "Hot P****, Cold Beer" above and below it.
The shop doesn't usually allow drunk people but it was slow, and the artist was like "why not? So he did it. When he was finished, the drunk man was so moved by it, he wanted ANOTHER anatomically correct vagina, on the other cheek. Above that one, he wanted the words, "It is what it is."
He paid and tipped, and we never saw him again.
7. Prisoner of love.
I actually refused to do this one. An 18-year-old girl came in wanting her boyfriends name on her lower back. She had never met him;she was his prison pen pal for a month, and he was being released in a couple weeks and she wanted to get it to surprise him. No judgements on ex-cons or 18-year-old girls, but I got the impression the relationship wasn't going to last!
This girl tattooed a Wu-Tang 'W' on her upper thigh. Only after she finished and looked in the mirror did she realize that she had done it so that she could see the W but to everyone else it looks like an M.
9. Honey bunny.
One day a woman came in to buy her soon-to-be 16-year-old daughter a tattoo. The owner says, sure we can sort something out, what does she want? The answer was not what you would expect from a mom. (continued...)
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The mother says, she wants to get the Playboy bunny on the inside of her wrist. The artist refused and said, I don't want to be responsible for something so cliche and visible on such a young girl. There was an argument, but the woman left yelling that she would go elsewhere where her money was good enough.
This owner had strong views on neck, face and hand tattoos. Didn't stop him from doing a fast food character orgy on a guys back one time though!
10. Better cover that up with a sweater.
Had to tattoo a picture of Bill Cosby to a dude's back in the mid 2000s. Bet the poor guy regrets that now.
11. Donald duckface.
Dude came in and asked me to tattoo a portrait of his girlfriend. Only the portrait was a duck face snapchat selfie. I jokingly suggested adding her holding the phone, taking the selfie, but he thought it was a great idea. They've only been dating 6 months and he didn't tell her he was going to get it.
He came back a month later to add her name above it.
12. Knuckle sandwich.
A man came in to the shop my husband works at on his 18th birthday and got a pentagram with a goat on the front of his throat. First tattoo in a very visible spot that is satanic. I don't know that kid but I'm pretty sure he's regretting that decision. My husband refused to do this tattoo but someone else in the shop did.
On another note my white trash biological father had "let's f**k tattooed on his knuckles when he laced his fingers together. I never knew what they said when I was a kid. I finally realized at his funeral. I'm pretty sure he got it in prison.
13. Cheaters never prosper.
Guy comes in with girlfriend, of course they want each other's names. I protest, they insist. We know they'll get it elsewhere and I'm in a walk-in shop so I decide to take the job. He goes first, gets her name across his stomach in old English. The moment we're done she yells: "next time you'll think twice before banging some skanky trailer chick behind my back!" and runs away.
It was awkward to ask for the money...
14. That throws a wrench in things.
A guy in the stall next to mine got a tattoo of three wrenches on his forearm. His tattoo artist was asking why wrenches, like was he a mechanic or an engineer? (continued...)
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Nope, dude was a chef.
Maybe he wanted to be a mechanic? Or it was a hobby or something? Nope, dude had always wanted to be a chef and loved his work.
Then why the wrenches? Turns out the dude just really likes wrenches.
15. Banana bone.
I know a tattoo artist. He said the weirdest thing he'd ever had to do was tattoo a banana peel onto some guys dick. How, you may wonder, does he incorporate a phallic shaped fruit onto his rod? By demanding that the entire thing be tatted to look like the aging peels were being pulled back and the head was the actual "fruit" underneath. Whatever my friend was being paid for that, it wasn't enough."
16. He's hungry!
I have a friend with the Ice Age Squirrel tattooed on his inner thigh reaching for his nuts.
17. Proud papa.
My ex tattoo artist tried to convince me to get a broken condom with the word "Whoops" above it, obviously I declined.
He ended up tattooing it on his own upper arm with his son's birth date below.
18. Bald chicken.
My artist told me a story about a guy who was balding and wanted his bald spot tattooed over in black. The artist coloured the bald spot in with a sharpie and told the guy to come back after he'd showed it to his wife. Guy didn't come back.
19. Under the sea.
Not an artist but a receptionist at a shop. I've only been working at this place for a few months, but wow we have some stories. Most recent, a woman called up and inquired about getting her vaginal area tattooed. You know what she wanted? (continued...)
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Tentacles. She wanted tentacles coming out of her vagina and was wondering if any of our artists would be willing to do it.
20. No soup for you.
My friend recently got , the Mandarin word for soup, tattooed on his ankle.
He'd been planning it for like 3 years. He reportedly did his research to make sure they didn't tattoo "truth or beauty or some other bull."
He didn't get this from The Big Bang Theory. He first proposed this idea like 3 years ago. Neither of us have even watched an episode.
21. What happens in Portugal...
Last year, while doing a guest spot in Portugal, I had a guy come in while he was on holiday for his stag party. The guy wanted all the names of his friends tattooed on his butt cheeks. 13 names on each cheek. Sure buddy. You got it.
22. There's actually story behind this one.
I have an anti-nazi tattoo with the cross-out circle over a swastika as part of a memorial tattoo to a friend. I'm pretty sure I'm the reason the staff at my job can't go shirtless anymore at the pool with the kids we work with. Also, my fiance's parents laugh and call me a Nazi when I wear sleeveless shirts.
No regrets because, for those curious why this image is in a memorial tattoo, my friend got beaten to death by a neo-nazi gang.
23. Every time a bell rings.
Friend wanted angel wings tattooed on her back and asked me to go since I was the only person she knew with tattoos. We walk into a pretty well known tattoo shop in LA and she explains to the artist what she wants. As she explains, it gets even more elaborate with the wings starting to decay the farther down her back they went and the artist shows us some pretty sweet wings he'd done before.
He explains how it will be done, he'd do the outline first and after a few weeks she could come back and he'd start the detail work. Fast forward to 3 days later and she's topless lying on his chair/bed? and he's laying a stencil down.
He asks her what other tattoos she has besides this one and she tells him that this will be her first one. The guys face drops instantly. (continued...)
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He starts saying how he's going to end up tattooing some of the most painful parts you could tattoo (the ribs mostly) and he asks if she can handle it. She says yes and after a little more talking it happened. She cannot take the pain at all, she's crying and griping the cushion like she's about to die. Artist looks at me like is she really going to do this the entire time?
After half an hour of tattooing with the occasional break, he says he can't deal with her screaming in the shop so he stops. He had probably 10% of the outline done on the right wing. We leave with another appointment set so another person could help her with the tattoo and make it something smaller. I didn't go back but she went with 2 female friends and from what I heard, after another 10 minutes of tattooing she had a nice wave outline on her back.
24. Don't get ink on the dress.
Some guy came in and told me he wanted a picture of Monica Lewinsky on his lower stomach.
25. Hi, my name is...
I used to work at a prison and had to document the scars and tattoos on all new inmates coming into the prison. One guy had the words "Slippery When Wet" tattooed around his butt.
Another tattoo I documented in prison was on a guy's penis. It read: "YOUR NAME". I told him I thought that was weird. Inmate told me he had made a lot of money from it. He said that any time he was broke, he would just go up to someone he had never seen at a bar and bet them $50 he had their name tattooed on his penis. Since the mark didn't know the guy, he would figure that was a sure bet. Into the bathroom they would go and the guy would show him his penis and collect his winnings.
26. Fine China.
I got a tattoo in China and still follow the social media page of the artist who did it. The amount of generic English tattoos people get there makes me laugh, it's the exact same as people getting Chinese tattoos in the west. Just had a look on his page now and in the last two weeks he's done tattoos saying "guts over fear," "smile," "harmony" and "born to play hell."
People are all the same.
Breaking up is hard to do.
And when you get the law involved, it's even worse. But sometimes people don't need the law's help to make things overcomplicated, they just have a grand ole time making that happen themselves.
People on the front lines of human cruelty include divorce lawyers. These are their stories.