There was a time when tattoos were very taboo. Anti-inkers were convinced that if you had a tattoo you would not be able to get a job, find a spouse or make anything of yourself, really. Of course, not of this was or is true, aside from the fact that there are anti-inkers who do exist and still believe if you have one, you’re either a musician or in a gang.
However, over the years, the rest of the sane society have come to accept tattoos as art–or at least have become more open to seeing them on people from all walks of life. The number of tattoo artists has also grown significantly. In most decent-sized cities in the US, you won’t have a hard time finding a tattoo artist at a decent price.
That said, just because a tattoo artist is affordable, doesn’t mean you should hire them. There is a reason that a good tattoo artist is a little on the pricey side. You’re paying for their skill, talent, advice and expertise. You should always check out their work on Instagram or read online reviews before entrusting them with a permanent piece of body art.
Too bad these folks didn’t do any due diligence before they got inked up. A reliable and profession artist wouldn’t let any of these fly!
1. The Problem With East Asian Characters/Symbols
It’s becoming increasingly common for Westerners to have Chinese or Japanese characters/symbols tattooed onto their person. The problem with this is, unless you speak an East Asian language (or can at least read it), you really don’t know what your new ink will say. Of course, you hope the tattoo artist knows what they’re doing and that they are actually tattooing what you think they are. In other words, don’t be this guy.
2. Not To Be *That* Person But…
If you’re going to get a tat of your favorite song lyrics, quote or any kind of words, really, it’s highly advisable to make sure they’re spelled correctly and utilize proper grammar. Spoiler alert: This won’t be the first misspelling/grammar mistake you’ll see.
3. This Is So Bad, It Doesn’t Look Real
It takes a lot for us to criticize someone’s art skills, but we have to say something about this. Did this guy employ a real tattoo artist? And we’re using “artist” very loosely here. It’s so bad we can’t stop staring at it. Context clues tell us that this is a tiger. Or, supposed to be. But our eyes say “WTF?”
4. But Is It Worse Than This One?
We’re going to say, yes, yes it is. For starters, the tattoo-giver (we just can’t bring ourselves to say “artist” again) made an attempt to use a shading technique. Secondly…okay, that’s it. That’s all we got. This isn’t good and there’s no way this guy saw the finished product and said, “This is exactly what I envisioned!” At least, we hope he didn’t.
5. This Is Allegedly The Galaxy…Allegedly
The Redditor that posted this pic claims this unfortunate mess is supposed to be the galaxy. Which galaxy, we couldn’t tell you. We may not be astrophysicists but we do remember what we learned in second grade science class and this ain’t it, chief. To make it even worse (if that’s possible), this looks like it’s bleeding or infected–we can’t tell and don’t want to look that closely to find out.
6. What in the World…?
This tattoo looks nothing like Marilyn Monroe. We get it’s supposed to be artsy, with the flowers replacing her body but yeah, no. This poor lady looks like she’s screaming for help, which may not be too far off (if you’ve read or seen “Blonde”). It does the beautiful Monroe such a disservice that we hope this person found another artist to fix it. If that’s possible.
7. From “Galaxies” and a “Star” to…the Milky Way?
Here’s another cosmic-inspired tat, that according to the Redditor that posted it, is supposed to be stars. Like the ones you see in the sky on a clear night. What is actually looks like is the tattoo-giver (no way we’re going with any professional term here) had a medical emergency while inking this young lady’s chest up.
8. “Believe in Youself and Never Lose Hoop”
Right then. So, this is another example of why it’s important to use a spellcheck of some kind. Heck, even ask a literate friend to proof the quote you want permanently inked onto your body. How the tattoo-er didn’t catch the spelling mistakes is anyone’s guess. Maybe you can chalk “Youself” up to a tattoo typo, but what about “Hoop?” The most baffling thing about this one is they got “Lose” correct.
9. That’s Not How That Works
It’s been a hot minute since we drove a car with a manual transmission, but our vivid memory clearly does not remember going from third to fourth gear being that difficult. We also can’t recall a sixth gear–although a handful of models do have six-speed gearboxes. Maybe this is an ode to their car that does have one, but we guarantee this goofball doesn’t own a Porsche 911.
10. Close, But Not Quite There Yet
You know that saying “All who wander are not lost?” That quote doesn’t apply to this gal. You can put money on it that if she is wandering, she is definitely lost. It may not be her fault, though. The tattoo-er could be responsible for not knowing the directions on a compass. To their credit, they did get North correct.
We have no idea why this man decided to get this tattoo. We really hope they’re either odd or on a bender. Because the alternative is 100% problematic. One could argue that the other tattoo on this man’s chest isn’t very good either. However, it’s the best tiger tat we’ve seen so far, so there’s that, we guess.
12. This One’s Bananas!
Is this insanely bizarre? Yes. But it’s also insanely executed. From looking at her arms, it’s clear she’s no novice. We assume the artist has inked her before, or if not, understamds she knows what she’s doing. She clearly loves cats. And bananas.
13. So, It’s a Tattoo of a Tattoo?
Come on. You’re going to sit there and tell us that the ink on the right was supposed to be the tat on the left? And this person brought the photo into the tattoo shop as a reference? No. We don’t believe it. This doesn’t even resemble living creatures. It looks like something their 5-year-old drew in kindergarten. At least then, we’d have an “awe” moment instead of “ew.”
14. …We Wonder What It Would Say About This?
If a tattoo artist doesn’t have a guide image or drawing and try to free hand something, okay, then it would make sense why something like this would come out looking the way it does. But this is a picture of someone on US currency. He’s one of the most famous founding fathers. Heck, he discovered electricity with his kite! How do you mess it up this badly? Oh money talks, alright, and it’s probably saying “help.”
15. The Intent Was There. The Execution Was Not.
This entire article should be a warning of why you should never go cheap with a tattoo. But nothing demonstrates that more than when your intent is to get a tat of your newborn baby. Because what you might end up getting is a portrait of your great uncle Earl napping after Thanksgiving dinner. If there is ever a time where you should refrain from asking Facebook for a recommendation on a “cheap tattoo place,” this is it.
16. Why Is She so Proud of This?
The world is filled with many types of different people. After all, it takes all kinds to make the world go ‘round. Even those with a slight BO problem. That doesn’t mean you should ever be as proud of it as this young lady. Does she think it’s something else?
17. One of Life’s Biggest Mysteries
At first, this may appear to be the handiwork of someone armed with a Bic pen. After all, it does have a purple hue to it. Beyond that, Redditor were really confused as to what it is. It seemed the two most popular guesses were Chuckie and Leatherface. So, suffice it to say, this one really threw the internet for a loop, until her cousin confirmed it was real. He also said his cousin told him it was just a zombie.
18. “Angel Wings”
Where do we start? The caption on Reddit explained that this guy told the poster how badass his back piece was for 30 minutes. He finally takes his shirt off. This is what he revealed. A very poor representation of a heart with a sword/knife going through it and “angel wings” (or half a christmas tree, drawn by your six-year-old nephew, Nathan).
19. Meet the Guy Who “Invented the Spiral”
No, no funny euphemism for something else. Ya boi Zakk here claims this is his “own design” but really it’s just a spiral. Which has been around since 225 BC when it was discovered by Greek mathematician and inventor Archimedes. Sigh.
20. Oh No, More Kids 🙁
Before you call us out for being negative about tattoos of people’s kids, let’s keep it in perspective. The photograph used as a reference for the ink shows that these are lovely boys. However, they used a groupon or online discount code to get this “art” done. The one on the left looks demented and listen, you can see in the photo he’s old enough to know this ain’t it, chief. The other one is just really sad and looks like this little fella is in pain or has wolf teeth or both. These little dudes are probably wondering what they did to their parent to deserve this. Honestly, we don’t blame them.
21. Tigers Are Back!
Deductive reasoning tells us that this is probably supposed to be a “tiger lilly.” Or at least, that’s our best guess. What it looks like is a confused Bengal tiger with six oversized bandaids coming our of its head.
22. This Is Isn’t That Bad Except For…
At first glance, you may think, “Hey, this really isn’t that bad.” But then you look again, this time a little longer, and you see it. What is “it”? It’s the tigers nose, maybe. Maybe not. We’d bet money that this tattoo is a cover up. The original poster only refers to her as “a girl I went to high school with.” We’d love to know what it is and why its there.
23. Make It Stop
Why are there so many bad tiger tats? Does that many people hate this magestic feline? Are they envious of their strength? Dominance? Beauty? Nevertheless, this guy wanted blood-fire bursts shooting out of the tiger’s body and a neck like a giraffe. Strange.
24. We Know What “Concept” Means But Do They?
- A plan or intention; a conception.
The excuse “well, it’s just a concept” doesn’t fly because that would be a “rough draft” or “general idea.” This looks like a heck of a lot of time was put into it. So why the tattoo-giver decided to go rouge and basically invert the original concept design is beyond us. Like, the thought here was great; this really good have turned out to be pretty good. But then Mr. “Let’s Give This Lion a Shrek Ear” over here really screwed the pooch. Or, lion. Frankly, the entire country of Italy.
25. The Most NASCAR Thing You’ll See Today
If you live in the South or know someone who is a huge racing fan, this will make perfect sense to you. If you answer “no” to both of those, just keep scrolling; you’re not missing anything.
26. We Assume This Is Another Attempt at Marilyn Monroe
Okay, so we assume this is another attempt at Marilyn Monroe. We can’t know for sure if it’s her or a drawing of a person wearing an Ed Gein woman-mask with feet deformed from torture. If it is Marilyn, is she the most messed-up celebrity tattoo portrait ever?
27. This Is Supposed To Be Darth Vader
We want to make it crystal clear that this tattoo is of Darth Vader. Yes, that Darth Vader. According to the original poster, his buddy bought a tattoo gun off Amazon for £100 and decided to tat ol’ Anakin on himself. I guess it’s better than some of the “professional” ones on here, but sheesh.
28. Ohhh an Actual Baby Did This One Now It Makes Sense
For a second, we thought she meant “baby” as in boyfriend/husband/spouse. But noooo she meant an actual baby gave her this ink on her birthday. That is so sweet! And this is really well done for a baby! A little alarming if they knew what they were tattooing on her but still.
Not only does this not really make a lot of sense, family is spelled incorrectly. And what is the background an image of? It that a slice of bread? This person clearly loves God, their familey and money. Spellcheck? Not so much.
30. But Will It?!
Truth be told, it will take a lot to make this look “good when it is done.” Like, an immediate coverup tattoo, for starters. This is probably supposed to be a yin and yang symbol. It isn’t, but it’s probably supposed to be.
31. No, You Spelled It Wrong
Clearly, this guy is full of crap. If he was going to get the “last two” after he accomplished them, then why didn’t he leave those banners blank? Why put something there that’s spelled wrong. Even the fake defense story he gave is bad. Just like his spelling.
32. What Not To Use as Your Dating App Profile Pic
If you want to remain single, by all means, continue using pictures of your terrible tats as your profile pic. Actually, yeah go ahead and keep doing that. It’s nice when women have obvious red flags from the beginning.
33. Flaming Nips
Someone thought this was a good idea. Someone else seconded it. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not even the color of fire. It’s just an outline of what is obviously intended to be flames.
34. What Are These “Artists” Telling People?
The only thing we can surmise is that the clients are getting upset when these tats aren’t coming out how they envisioned and the tattoo “artists” are telling them to wait until their done, in hopes they become 100% blind in both eyes by the final session.
35. What’s the Opposite of an “All Star”?
In other words, what words would you use to describe this guy? He must really love Chuck’s. Or, he loves being barefoot but also wants people to think he’s wearing shoes. It not only looks painful, it looks like crap.
36. Remember That Movie, ‘Spirit’?
We’re going to let Redditor Nicaara handle this one:
This looks exactly like the drawings I did of Spirit when I was obsessed with that movie however many years ago. He looks rather girly here though.
Fun fact: In the Spirit DVD, there are extra features that includes a tutorial of the animators’ process of how to draw Spirit. Where the line of his belly meets his thigh is supposed to point towards the tail, and a horse’s knuckles and ankles should be on the same straight-line plane. Helped me a heck of a lot to understand horse anatomy (even though we had horses and I was with them every day).
I think this is a great drawing if it is originally by, say, an 11 year old. My only qualm is where are the hooves? And the kid that is delighted about this now is not going to be in a few more years when they look back on their own work and cringe. I know I did.. I tried to burn all those drawings.
37. It’s the Prinicple, Maybe?
First of all, diabetics to draw blood like that; they inject themselves with insulin. Second, if this person wanted a permanent message to share with the world that they have diabetes, we can sort of get it. Medical emergencies happen all the time and it’s helpful for first responders/emergency medical services to know what they’re up against. But why is it done so poorly?
38. Who Did This?
This is so dumb. The only logical explanation is his buddy bought a tattoo gun off Amazon for £100. After he was finished tatting Darth Vader on himself, he wanted to try an equally difficult piece of art on another human. So, here we are.
39. Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should
This is a pretty lovely thought. However, it’s an odd choice of placement. Furthermore, those beautiful pastels just come across like the person has a skin disease or a bruise. Again, we love the concept. It’s just the rest of it that we’re not fans of.
40. Poor Aiden
Imagine you’re name is Aiden. Your loved one tells you that she got a tattoo of your name with a special design. She can’t wait to show you! The day comes. She lifts up her shirt and this is what you see. It’s just a jumbled mess. It’s hard to read. It’s hard to make out what it’s even a tattoo of. We assume that’s a feather so those strangely shaped little paper airplanes are actually birds? Poor Aiden.
41. Yeah, Maybe Don’t Do This
We’re not going to give you a history lesson on why this is in incredibly poor taste. We’ll let you google it (if need be). But we will say that regardless of how strong your convictions about something are, keep in mind that you have to walk around with it forever if you opt to get it tattooed on you.
42. By Any Chance, Is This Mr. Cool Ice?
We really can’t be sure. All jokes aside, what is happening? Why does he have “ICE” tattooed so many times? And why are they so thick and dark? It’s comical and confusing all at once.
43. At Least We Understand This One
…It doesn’t make it any better, but we do at least get it. It’s not a good tat and it’s not even that clever. If anything, it’s just embarrassing. And we’ve seen a lot of embarrassing tramps stamps in our day.
44. It’s Not a Tiger But Is It a Liger?
It could be, we guess, but we’re pretty sure this is a lion. At least we think it is. Its body very well could be mistaken for what looks to be a mane. They both have similar faces so we can’t go by that. Awesome, okay, we’re going with Liger, since I can’t be sure.
45. Doing the Dew
This is actually executed pretty well. The problem is that it’s just a silly idea for a tat. This is going to be on him for the rest of his life. If he loses his teeth or gets diabetes due to his excessive Mountain Dew consumption, this will become a warning label for the trailer park.
46. Portrait of Ozzy Osbourne Or…?
We really don’t know. To us, you can flip a coin and regardless of which side it lands on, you’re correct. Maybe it’s Ozzy. Maybe it’s your niece, Mary Sue Sullivan. Is it the worst tat on this list? No. But it looks so much like Ozzy, it made the cut.
There are a ton of jokes here. Out of respect, we’re going to stay away from them all and just leave this here…
48. Phases of Poor Execution
It never ceases to amaze us how many people are just out to get some quick ink for cheap. This is going to be on your body forever. This is not something you use a Groupon for. Again, the concept here isn’t awful but the work itself is meh.
49. The Irony
This is either the Dunning Kruger Effect at its finest or the most ironic tattoos in history. Very similar to the OG tat fail, No Regerts.
50. From Bad to Brilliant
See, this is how you fix a bad tat. This person probably got this ink done decades ago. As time progressed, they realized how terrible it was and decided to get someone to fix it. And they didn’t go cheap! They found a reputable artist, who incorporated the original into this new, updated version.