Tattoos have made a huge comeback in the last 20-30 years, and the number of tattoo parlors and brilliantly colored beings flaunting their artist’s work have been growing exponentially. Just because business is booming, though, does not mean that talent resides in everyone who picks up a tattoo machine. Like with most things in life, not all artists are created equal.
This is made evident nowhere more than the tattoo removal industry, which is raking in cash by the billions each year as people scramble their money together to get their tats removed. Whether it’s for a new job, or because their once-loved skin mural has become unappealing to them in light of the later years of maturity, people are shelling out roughly $400 bucks per square inch to erase that name or image forever.
With over 45 million people in America alone walking around with tattoos on their body, there are plenty of botched art jobs out there. Thankfully, a lot of these people still have their sense of humour and have shared pictures of their tattoo fails with us on the internet. With thousands out there to choose from, here’s 20+ photos of the most epically hilarious tattoo fails!
1. “This Guy’s Haircut”
Sometimes a tattoo is so bad that it’s actually funny. Such is the case with this guy’s crazy head tattoo covering the entire back of his skull. While it’s definitely silly, it’s also ingenious! He can change the facial expression of the brows and stache every time he trims his hair, or even grow “sideburns” for it. Though, I guess that would technically be considered backburns? Regardless, this tatt is laugh-out-loud awful!
2. “Some Guy Tried To Copy My Tattoo Artist’s Work=Nipple Tattooed On His Arm”
Just because someone else’s tattoo turned out to be a brilliant piece of body art doesn’t necessarily mean that the same image can be pulled off on you. Especially if you don’t bother tracking down the original artist. So, if you’re going to get a copycat tattoo (just don’t, btw; it throws the meaning of artwork right out of the window), make sure there aren’t any anatomical bits of the original wearer left in the drawing before you get it inked in. Otherwise, you can easily end up sporting the distinct image of someone else’s nipple on your skin.
3. “I’m Speechless”
If you’re going to go to all the bother of getting an iconic photograph tattooed on your body, make sure the artist knows how to shade and achieve symmetry in his work. This tatt looks like Marilynn just took a long trip though Zombieland and is rising from the dead, and not in a cool way so much as an “It’s so bad I can’t look away” way. The inkwork here is proof-positive that putting in the effort to locate and pay a good tattoo artist is beyond worth it in the long run!
4. “Third Into Fourth Always Gives Me Trouble.”
If you’re going to get what basically equates to a cheat-sheet tattoed on you, then you are going to want to make sure it’s displaying accurate information, first. The would-be shift-pattern inked into this kid’s wrist is one of the most epic tattoo fails of all time! Unless someone points out the error there, he’s going to be blowing A LOT of his money on transmissions (we’re assuming the tatt means he’s a die-hard fan of the stick-shifts).
5. “A FB Friend Wanted A Very Specific Tattoo, I Think The Artist Really Nailed It.”
We are really hoping that this poor chap got his money back for this botched up piece of “artwork”. On the other hand, his misfortune equates to our laughter. The tattooist is particularly good at getting those fingerpainted-by-my-toddler birds down to a T. Granted, it doesn’t hold a stick to those wispy, detailed trees in the original picture, but the idea comes across the same…Right?
6. “My Uncle’s New Tattoo. Christmas Will Be Awkward This Year.”
What are you supposed to do when you know you have the heart of an eagle, but can’t master that piercing stare? Why, you tattoo an actual eagle staring out from its lofty perch on your forehead, of course! It looks like this Reddit user’s uncle passed out around the wrong buddy, but I bet nothing gets by him now! Christmas doesn’t have to be that awkward. Just give him an eagle-feathered headdress to really set his new ink off!
7. “Happy Meal”
This is just wrong in so many ways that it’s right! Going to McDonald’s is going to give you a whole different type of feeling when you see good old Ronald dangling his happy meal in front of you from now on. We won’t even try to touch on all of the dirty innuendo’s that this tattoo drums up (more salt on your fries, anyone?). Suffice it to say, this is an epically hilarious example of why some people shouldn’t be allowed to ink their skin, and yes, we know we just ruined McD’s fries for you!
8. “This ‘Artists’ Work Comes Across My FB Feed Daily, Quite The Treasure Trove”
Have you ever found yourself wondering what Tinker Bell would look like if she was cracked out and high as a kite? Well, you can stop wondering now. With a distorted face and a missing fairy wing, we can see that hard drugs don’t seem to mix all that well with the pixie dust of mythical forest creatures. At least she waited until Peter grew up before going off the deep end. I wonder if Captain Hook is her dealer, as he controls the ports of Neverland…
9. “Spotted On The Chicago Subway. A Paw And Bow Tie Or….”
Who knew that Hello Kitty has a much naughtier side to her? This angry little kitty isn’t really fit for child viewers, so you might wanna cover up their eyes if not the person’s tattoo. Word to the wise, always ask to see an artist portfolio before giving him the go-ahead to lay down the ink. If he can’t separate paws from penises, you might want to keep looking for an artist who can, unless you’re in to that sort of thing…
10. “I’ve Got A Hunch That He Isn’t ‘Wrongfully Convicted’. Call Me Crazy But….”
Ya know, even if you are innocent of any crimes you might be summoned to court for, tattooing that you’re “wrongfully convicted” in place of where your eyebrows should be probably isn’t going to convince the judge that you’ve been wrongfully accused. In fact, seeing that this is clearly your mantra plea bargain, he’s probably going to assume the worst. Maybe next time just go with a heartfelt plea and a good lawyer? I’m sure his inmates believe him, though.
11. “Okay, Buddy, Okay”
You know you have a bad tattoo when you have to formulate an entire argument to justify why you “chose” to have it done a certain way. Like this guy who supposedly had them purposefully misspell the two bottom words of his tatt because he hadn’t “achieved” it yet. If you’re going to go about explaining your worst decisions this way, at least try to come up with an argument that makes some kind of sense. Or better yet, just don’t get the final words of the phrase added until you feel that you’ve achieved whatever it is you’re trying to boast about.
12. Must Use Joystick To Play
A lot of people get tattoos that have some sort of meaning to them personally. Others get tattoos to send a visual message to onlookers. That is exactly what this guy did. If people have any questions about his favorite pastime activity, displaying his nipple as a joystick for a gaming controller should clear that up entirely. The guy just wants his nipples to be played with.
13. “Once You Go Black..”
It’s unclear if the owner of this massive back tattoo really understands the meaning of the top phrase here. One key thing to remember when deciding to permanently ink your skin with a bold statement piece is knowing where to stop. You love Africa? That’s fantastic! A tattoo of an almost spot-on continent? Also cool. A phrase that associates all of Africa with a racial sexual preference? You should probably get back to the drawing board!
14. “Dog Tits”
This picture is probably one of the best examples of why you should never make drunken bets. At least, we’re seriously hoping that’s what happened here. Otherwise, there’s just really no explanation why anyone would get something this awful tattooed on themselves forever. Odds are, if you have to label what your tatt is supposed to be, it’s probably not a good one to have. Although, when his skin starts to sag a little bit more his “dog tits” will appear more lifelike.
15. “Close, But Not Close Enough”
Nothing says “I have a strong sense of direction” more than an enormous tattoo of a compass. Similarly, nothing screams “I’m lost” as much as an enormous tattoo of a compass with mislabeled directions, either. Let’s just hope this young lady never relies on this artist’s sense of direction if she’s ever lost in the woods.
16. “Maximum Facepalm”
The message behind this tattoo is a wonderful thing, no one’s knocking that. On the other hand, when you have to read behind the message of a tattoo that is written in actual words and should be the message, then it is an epic tattoo fail. Based on the placement of the tat, both artist and customer get an F for attention to detail and spelling, though the two people may be one and the same.
17. “This Tattoo Was Apparently Supposed To Be Of ‘Stars'”
The only way this mess of ink pricks could be considered stars is if the artist and human skin canvas were aiming for a photographic negative look. At the very least, include some familiar constellations in the expanse of black freckles. With the right subject matter she might be able to get a good cover-up, but we really hope she didn’t tip her tattoo artist for this one.
18. “It’s Supposed To Be A Galaxy…”
We know what you’re hoping, but no, she didn’t get inked in marker by her kids while she was snoozing. That ink is real, heavy, and permanent! It doesn’t look anything like, or even remotely close to a galaxy! At best, this looks as though it could be some children’s coloring of a defunct brain. No one deserves this…no one!
19. “It’s Is My Life”
Please, guys; always, always, ALWAYS make sure that your tattoo artist can spell before agreeing to let him lay ink into your epidermis layers so deep that it will never come out. Tattoos really are permanent, they don’t go away. So, if you must have that favorite quote branded on your body, it is well worth the effort to make sure that everything is spelled out correctly before allowing anyone with ink and needles anywhere near you!
20. “My Friends Chinese Tattoo Literally Means ‘Turkey Sandwich'”
There are a few key factors that can determine whether or not a tattoo is “bad”. It could be the artwork, the placement, or the message. Sometimes, though, a tattoo is just bad because it is straight up stupid. This tattoo falls under a couple of those categories. Namely, not only is getting the words ‘turkey sandwich’ engraved into your skin just ridiculous as an idea itself, but if you’re gonna do it you should at the very least make sure the artist does a good job on the lettering.
21. “So My Buddy’s Step Sister Got A Tattoo Of Her Mother..”
I don’t know if I’d be in much of a rush to show this “portrait” off to mom, unless you were intending her to end up looking like she got bit by the zombie bug. The word “broken” inked in cursive above the face is particularly fitting in this tattoo. Hopefully she didn’t pay too much for it, because it’s going to cost a fortune to do a cover-up or removal!
22. When You Really Love The Nerd Look
What do you do if you never want to be caught outside of your typical nerdy-but-hot style of fashion? You get the frames of your glasses permanently inked into your skin, of course! Not just any glasses, either. They’ve got to be the classic black framed box-lense style to truly let your inner-nerd shine!
23. “The Girl With The Vegan Tattoo”
While it’s true that etching the word “vegan” into the side of your skull will most likely get the message across that you aren’t a meat eater, it probably won’t deter an onslaught of other questions. Now that everyone knows you’re a die-hard practitioner of the vegan lifestyle, you are clearly the person to ask all about it. This is not to mention all of the “didn’t that HURT?!” questions people will ask you every other minute. On second thought, maybe answering questions about veganism when prompted is easier than walking around as an advertisement for the lifestyle.
24. “My Poor Drunken Choice”
When you love a cartoon character, sometimes you want a constant reminder of them emblazoned on your skin. “Sometimes” usually involves a night where you have imbibed all the alcohol at the nearby bars before you drunkenly stumble into the tattoo parlor and give the artist on shift a nice laugh. His Pika looks like he had too much to drink, too…or maybe he just needs to poop.
25. “Getting A Tattoo Of Your Newborn”
Sometimes when you have a new baby, you want to do something extreme to commemorate what their newfound life means to you as a parent. This is especially common with your firstborn (which means you have to continue the tradition with every other baby that comes bouncing into your life). What’s not all that common is to get a portrait inked into your back of what your child will look like in 40 years from now, as a drunken monk who has passed out on his own wine.
26. “This Guy’s Argyle Sock Tattoo”
Apparently, when you’re a die-hard golfer, you just go ahead and tattoo your argyle socks right onto your legs. It keeps costs low and you’ll never be turned away from the course for not having all the right attire on. On the other hand, they might question your judgment and your sanity, and you could find yourself being escorted off the property. At least the execution’s good!
27. “Impressive Dot Work, But Why?”
This guy safeguarded himself against losing the look of his physique as his metabolism starts to slow. While indeed, it’s “impressive dot work”, it’s highly doubtful this genius is going to be impressed with the aftermath as his belly starts to grow and his skin begins to sag. On the upside, it’ll be a great conversation starter.
28. “Dude Sure Loves His Turtle”
There’s a reason that tattoo artists transfer the image to your skin and ask you to take a look before proceeding. It’s to avoid regrets like this one, where a silhouette of your kid turns out looking like one of a tortoise. Granted, the gent could actually be a turtle owner, in which case this tattoo is epic and indicates that the guy has a very long and slow journey ahead! It’s doubtful, though.
29. “Unfortunate Tattoo Placement In This Engagement Photo”
If you can’t keep yourself from ironically getting a word like regret tattooed on your body, try to get it in a more discreet place. Otherwise, you are going to end up with photos like this one. Already have bad tattoo emblazoned on your wrist or hand? Try taking the picture from a different angle, or just get used to your photo-bombing tattoo and save up for laser removal.
30. “Friend On Facebook Seems Proud Of This Gem”
Oh, the pin-up girl! Is there any tattoo more iconic in America than that of a sexy woman in a provocative and welcoming pose? Apparently, this guy thinks that there is no one more desirable than a zombified version of Bette Midler with backward ankles and disproportionate legs. Nice rack, though!
These are only 30 of the thousands of examples of hilariously epic tattoo fails! If you take away anything from these pictures, let it be that you should always research your tattooist’s work and consider what it will look like in the long run, and never, ever, get a tattoo when you or your tattoo artist are hammered! Please SHARE this with your friends and family.