This article was originally published on 24/7Mirror
Most people who have a tattoo will be familiar with the oh-so-common arguments against them; you're bound to regret it, you'll get bored of looking at it, you'll hate how it looks when you're older, and so on. There are times when listening to that disapproving aunt might be the wise thing to do as these, erm, not-so-successful tattoos will demonstrate - check them out and make notes on what not to do at the tattoo parlor.
When It's Far From Purrfect
Meow! When one imagines cat eyes, a very different image springs to mind. We can only assume that this lady knew what was about to be permanently tattooed onto her eyebrows and was happy for it to happen. But... seriously? Permanent eyebrows are, of course, a thing; it's just they usually resemble, you know, eyebrows. The expression on the lady's face suggests that in her opinion, the artist didn't exactly knock it out of the park.
The one positive here is the slim chance this tattoo has of becoming a viral sensation. After all, isn't it always cat pics that get the most love on social media?
It's My Life Decisions
A typo in a tattoo is always jarring to see, but two in just six words? Wow, that must be a record. The wrong record in this case, as this Jon Bon Jovi (or Jon Bovi) fan, now has a quote of a song title that never was. The problem with spelling mistakes in tattoos is that they're almost impossible to fix. The cover-up solution? How about Jon Bovi's face?
Right here is a great example of why it's good to have someone else present when either doing a DIY tattoo or having one done by a professional. Perhaps "professional" is the key word missing in this case.
Excuse Me, There's Something On Your Face
Sure, we may not be in the "but what's it going to look like when you're seventy" camp, but seriously, think of the poor grandkids! Anyone who comes into regular contact with this guy better get over any arachnophobia they might have fast because that spider isn't going anywhere. Maybe this was a Spiderman tattoo request gone wrong? Instead of inking Spiderman, the artist thought this guy wanted to actually become Spiderman?
This might also be one of the best examples of a tattoo that requires consultation with a partner before it gets done. "Nice Halloween face paint, darling!" It isn't face paint.
That's Not Cardi B
Some fans just can't get enough of their favourite artist, so take their level of appreciation to the next level by getting a permanent tribute. In this guy's case, it's one of New York City's most charismatic rappers, Cardi B who he wants to shine a light on. We're sure that the Bodak Yellow star would be flattered by this display of affection, but the artwork itself leaves quite a lot to be desired.
As a slightly cruel respondent to this photo has flippantly pointed out, the similarity to Cardi B is questionable, whereas the tattoo seems to bear more resemblance to legendary diarist, Anne Frank.
Mom's Wise Words Backfire
Most people would agree that moms know best, especially when it comes to their kids making spontaneous decisions that they might regret. In this case, mom's advice has backfired spectacularly, as her thoughts about tattoos have inadvertently become the inspiration for the ink itself. We think this is actually pretty creative and hope that mom sees the funny side too. At least the text message was spelled properly when it was transferred onto the skin!
Let this be a cautionary tale for all moms out there when sending a message to your kids, as you never know where it might appear. As the saying goes, the internet is written in ink!
The Recipient Was Feeling Chirpy After This Rescue
This is surely the tattoo equivalent of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, as what looked like one of the worst attempts at a blackbird (and framed mirror, for that matter) has been mercifully fixed by a talented artist. This is the perfect example of why it's okay to stop a tattoo artist midway through a session if you're concerned about the artistic direction — or, in this case, lack of it.
Either that or the first iteration of the ink was a sketch idea, with a view to something more permanent in the future. Whatever the scenario, we're just relieved at the final version!
Let's Hope Nobody From Sacramento Sees This
While tattoos have become mainstream in most parts of the Western world, their origins can, for the most part, be traced back to specific tribes and cultures. Traditional Polynesian tattoos (famously modeled by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson), for example, are incredibly meaningful in Polynesian culture, but are also popular globally for their unique, intricate style. As this image shows, different regions have their own stylistic traditions when it comes to ink. Sacramento, CA? Well.
Residents of California — aside from Sacramento — will no doubt find this hilarious, although we couldn't possibly comment. What's worse, the spelling mistake or the generally terrible tattoo itself? No comment.
When You're Just Nessin Around
Let's start with the positives, shall we? It looks like there are no spelling mistakes in this tattoo, so that's a good thing. Also, the caption is a heartfelt message. Aside from that, we're kind of struggling here. Let's assume this was a DIY job, hence why the text is lopsided and it looks like the handwriting of a 5-year-old. Okay, we're being a little harsh, more like an 8-year-old.
Also, what's with Nessie? The existence of the fabled Loch Ness Monster has been debated since the sixth century AD, but few have ever argued her propensity for inspirational quotes.
This One Will Make You Howl
Unless the tattoo artist received a very specific request to design a wolf that looked like it was frightened of its own howl, we're guessing that this customer left the studio less than impressed with their new ink. The funny thing is, the majority of the piece — the landscape elements in the distance — isn't too bad. The comedy really begins with the wolf's facial expression. Why does he look so... worried?
Fortunately for the recipient of this tattoo-to-forget, there is still plenty of space around the wolf's face for a decent artist to fix the mess and avoid any more howls of laughter.
Talk About Making A Meal Of Things
We get that it's nice to support your significant other with new passions that they have, but there are certain pursuits for which being the willing guinea pig is a little risky, to put it mildly. Step forward, mister supportive boyfriend who allowed his practising girlfriend to tattoo her homemade sketch of aspiring culinary rodent, Ratatouille on one of his limbs. We don't know how many cooks were involved, but this broth was certainly spoiled.
As the saying goes, love makes you do crazy things. Well, we just hope this couple are still crazy in love once this tattoo has healed and he's looked in the mirror!
Heavy Metal Never Sounded So Sleepy
There can only be a few explanations for this DIY scrawl. It's either a case of bad spelling, or it's an inside joke between friends, or it's an amazing example of branding for a mattress company inspired by the famous heavy metal group. We hope it's not the former, but can't be so sure based on the other works of "art" on this list. Whatever the reason, the tattooist responsible should consider themselves 'The Unforgiven'.
The good news for this Metallica — sorry, Melattica fan? The piece looks so tiny that a cover-up job should be easy enough. Perhaps they could get an actual mattress...
Running From The Wolves
There must be something about wolves being a difficult animal to recreate artistically as a tattoo. Is it their famed distant stare? Their calm yet menacing exterior? Whatever the reason, this artist needs to spend a little more time studying the pack before permanently inking someone's skin again. Sure, the general quality of this tattoo is poor, but it's the wolf cub — or is it a badger — that really has us LOLing.
This feels like the tattoo equivalent of purchasing an item of clothing online that looks stunning on the model in the photo, only for it to turn up in real life and look like a dishcloth.
Is That A Jackson Pollock?
You know that disapproving aunt everyone has, who thinks that tattoos are ugly no matter what? Well, in her mind, this is what every tattoo looks like. Even the most laidback "express yourself" types would struggle to find much positive to say about this piece. If we can even call it a piece, that is. The only hope is that not everything on this back is permanent ink — please let it be a Sharpie!
Obviously low on quality, this might also be the most chaotic tattoo or tattoos, we've ever seen. What's with the unicorn and the confused-looking love hearts? Clearly, we'll never know.
Now That's What You Call A Pinup
Ah yes, the tradition of pinup tattoos lives on, although this example leaves much to be desired. There's something ironic about a tattoo style that's supposed to showcase sensualness and seduction being anything but. Where do we even begin with this one? Aside from this "pinup" looking like an elementary school kid scribbled it, it's the crazy proportions that make the piece so amusing. Clearly, the long torso is the new long legs!
We also need to talk about what's going on with the chest area. Presumably, this is meant to be a bra, but it looks more like the poor pinup is being attacked by a pigeon!
Pikachu Did That To You?
Poor little Pikachu, we feel so terrible to see you in this state! There are doubtless thousands of excellent pokemon-themed tattoos out there, but this, sadly, is not one of them. Apparently, the left eye was drawn so badly that the unfortunate recipient of this piece asked for an eye patch to be added midway through. We're all for making the best of a bad situation, but surely stopping would've been the safest option?
Who knows, perhaps a talented artist can transform this forlorn little creature into the mighty Pikachu we all know and love. We're all rooting for you, little dude!
It's Time To Face The Music
No matter how questionable (aka terrible) a tattoo is, there is usually a method to the madness. The execution might be poor, but more often than not it's clear what was trying to be achieved. Not so much in this case. We've stared at this monstrosity for a long time and it's still a mystery! What makes this tattoo even more painful to look at is its location on the body — it's not easy to cover up half a face.
A face tattoo is a bold move at the best of times, so the stakes are even higher than areas of the body. Sadly, Ctrl+Alt+Del doesn't work for permanent ink!
A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing
What is it about tattoo artists and wolves? Okay, let's be fair. What is it about lousy tattoo artists and wolves? It would appear that the fearsome wolf is an Achilles heel for many an artist, as perfectly demonstrated here. To be fair, even bad tattoos of wolves at least usually resemble the animal! This looks more like the prey a wolf itself would be hunting. A sheep? Or a deer, perhaps?
This tattoo is almost so hilariously off the mark that it ends up working. If it were us, we'd just claim that we wanted a fawn poking its head through the trees all along. Embarrassment avoided!
Mermaids Sure Aren't What They Used To Be
Freshly taken post-sitting — you can still see the blood oozing from the tattoo — a penny for the thoughts of the poor guy who is yet to see the monstrosity that has just been permanently plastered onto his back. We can't see his facial expression, obviously, but it must have been a picture. Let's be honest, this "piece" is so awful it's difficult to review it in any meaningful way.
Is that creature a mermaid with two tails? What's with the reptilian creature intertwined with her? Or how about the object that looks like the sun in the sky? We have no words.
When You Run Out Of Money For The Whole Cast
To be honest, this is a pretty good tattoo. But what happened to poor Timon?! Or should we say, what didn't happen? It appears the tattoo artist wrapped up the session at which point the client pointed out that they'd forgotten one of the Lion King cast members, the hilarious Timon. Not to worry, we'll just add him in quickly. Poor little guy, he looks even more like a snack for a hyena now.
Having a tattoo that's 90 percent awesome must be pretty annoying. We hope this guy covers up his little lizard-looking Timon with a watch or something. Or maybe he's told himself: Hakuna Matata.
Is It A Bird, Is It A Former President?
Well, at least the person was brave enough to share this "interesting" tattoo with the hope of finding an artist to cover it up. There are presumably plenty of people out there who think this SuperTrump artwork is wonderful, but clearly not the owner, who sees it as a mistake. Mr. Trump would certainly love to be in possession of those abs. He'd be pretty happy with that jawline, too.
This is a great example of why it's always risky to get a political tattoo, especially of a living person. No matter how much we adore them at the time they will always be prone to mistakes. To say the least.
Someone Probably Smoked A Little Too Much
No, the irony here is not lost on us. Let's just call it life imitating art — or artwork in this case. We'd imagine that the person who got this tattoo is partial to a toke on the good stuff, but they probably should've outsourced their tattoo to somebody who can spell. Or who wasn't high? Let's hope this the typo is on purpose and part of a funny joke, which, to be fair, would be kind of amusing.
We have to say, however, given this person is a huge fan of marijuana, we're pretty disappointed with the size of those leaves. They look a little unloved, much like this tattoo.
Don't Look At It Directly!
If you're going to have a tattoo centered around perfect circular shapes, like moon phases (we think that's what they're supposed to be), it's kind of important that the circles are actually... round. To be fair, tattooing on a limb isn't the easiest job, given the uneven terrain, but this is especially terrible. Not only are the moons a funny shape, but the eclipse shadow is all over the place.
Maybe the tattoo artist was hoping they'd eventually manage a perfect circle, although it seems even nine attempts weren't enough. It's fine, this person can just tell their grandkids these are Oreo cookies.
Keeping It Real Classy
Who's going to tell him that his tattoo actually adds up to 489 and not party time? This is one of those tattoos you look at closely, praying that it's a permanent marker or biro pen, but alas, it is permanent ink. Still, if anyone ever asks what this guy's hobbies are, at least he doesn't even need to open his mouth and can instead simply roll up a sleeve.
We're assuming that this outrageous ink is the result of a lost bet or a bachelor party gone wild. At least, that's what he'll surely be telling people in years to come!
Nothing Wrong With A Bit Of Self-Reflection
Most people who regret a tattoo they got when they were younger tend to look into removal, or if that's too unrealistic, a convincing cover-up job. Less common is the disclaimer asterisk, but we're kind of here for it! This little piece of self-deprecation transforms what is a slightly tragic tattoo into an amusing comedy moment — in a good way. Instead of hiding from the past, this guy is teasing it.
Even though there's an underlying feeling of regret here, at least this tattoo serves as a useful cautionary tale for this guy's children, nephews, or nieces. Think twice before getting ink, kids!
Gotham Probably Doesn't Need A Hero Like This
Our first impression of this slightly scrawny version of the caped crusader is that it's a kid's drawing that's been made permanent by a proud parent. If that's the case, then we get it. Sort of. If this is designed by a grown-up, however, we have far less sympathy. There's something quite menacing about the set of razor-sharp teeth in Batman's wide-open mouth. He's supposed to be a bat, not a shark, right?
Also, we can't stop looking at his wonky ears — not a good look for the dark knight. We'd love to see what Christian Bale's reaction would be had he been given this suit...
No One's Idea Of A Happy Meal
This might be one of the most bizarre concepts for a tattoo we've ever seen. This re-imagined Ronald McDonald is giving serious Heath Ledger 'Joker' vibes and, to be honest, it looks like something out of a horror movie. Who knew that the mascot of the largest fast-food chain in the world was so jacked? Presumably, he isn't eating burgers all day every day. Or perhaps that's the secret to a six-pack?
To make things worse, those french fries poking out of Ronald's underwear look very questionable. If we collected our McDonald's order and the fries looked like that, we'd definitely be asking for a refund!
Judgement Day Should Be Interesting
It's very difficult to know where to start with this. The obvious place is with the typo — at least, we presume it's a typo? If this was on purpose then it really isn't clear what the joke is. Awkward. Once you're over the botched script, attention turns to the, erm, thing below it. What looks like a swollen hand with a ladybird resting on top is actually a fetus. Jeez.
We know what you're all thinking: why? Who knows. Perhaps only God knows. The artist also did this person dirty by drawing a broken middle finger, making the whole piece somehow even more painful.
Has Anyone Seen Brenda?
Oh, Brenda. You must be a very special lady indeed. Even though this tattoo is verging on the creepy or psychotic, there are at least romantic undertones. Right? We're pretty sure we speak for everyone when we say that we hope this guy and Brenda never break up, or that could be a pretty awkward reveal for his next partner. Unless, of course, that next partner was also called Brenda.
The tattoo artist responsible for this must find themselves writing "Brenda" in their sleep, unable to dream of anything else by the name they had to ink hundreds of times.
When You Have Eyes In The Back Of Your Head
Anyone with kids will know that convincing them that you have eyes in the back of your head is a very effective way of getting them to behave when no one's looking at them. Perhaps this was the thinking behind this slightly bizarre tattoo. In fairness to the tattoo artist, the accompanying haircut isn't doing much to enhance the artwork, which is actually incredibly realistic and pretty well done.
If there's a sentimental reason for this piece then it certainly doesn't rank as one of the most tragic tatts on this list, but we just can't get beyond the back-of-the-head placement.
That's A Little Bit Cheeky
Okay, so you're a proud parent. We get it. But seriously, this face tattoo? Maybe it's the color of the ink or the intense shading, but there is something kind of aggressive about this tattoo. It's a shame because the subject matter is so cute! This work of art can be safely tucked away in a folder along with thousands of other face tattoos that artists should have refused to do.
The question is, what will the subject of this tattoo make of it when he or she grows up? Check back in ten years and we might have an answer for you.
Stating The Obvious
Well, it's unlikely anyone will disagree with this statement! To be fair, jarring as this tattoo is, we love the irony and delf-deprecation of it, which automatically makes it slightly less bad than some of the shockers on this list. Searching for positives isn't easy, but at least all seven words are spelled correctly — a great success! Aside from that, we're struggling. Fans of the colors red and black might think otherwise.
Slightly concerning about the statement of this tattoo is the admittance of at least one bad decision. What can be worse than getting this tattoo? We'd rather not know...
A Not So Killer Queen
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Freddie would definitely be caught in an emotional landslide if he saw this artist's impression of him here, that's for sure. The thing is, this tattoo is taken from such an iconic image of the Queen star that it's immediately obvious who it is, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. What's happened to his left eye, for starters?
Another questionable decision is the background shadow which completely dominates the piece, drawing attention away from the wonderful Mr Mercury. To be honest, that might not actually be a bad thing.
Don't Stop Beliefing
A shoutout to all the kids who paid attention in elementary school, because this is why learning how to spell is important! There are many jobs where a basic grasp of the language is essential, and tattooing is certainly one of them. Even if a client sends over an idea for a tattoo, it's an artist's responsibility to double-check and make sure everything looks good. Unless they were doing this guy dirty: plot twist!
The reason this particular tattoo is so jarring is that it's not just one obvious spelling mistake, it's also a complete hot mess of a phrase. "I belief in God" would be painful enough...
Putting Your Best Foot Forward
This is what you call a terrible idea done well, as the execution of the design is excellent but the concept is... well, we have no idea why you'd want a sneaker permanently inked to your foot. Plus, who's going to tell him that a pair of Chuck Taylor Converse is cheaper than the substantial amount of tattoo time? That's not to take away from the craftsmanship of this artwork, which is pretty rad.
The owner of this ink might run into difficulties when visiting households with a "shoes off" policy. How do you convince someone that your sneakers are in fact an elaborate tattoo? Good luck.
Finding Direction In Life
Spelling mistakes are bad enough, but when the entirety of a tattoo concept is a compass then surely getting the directions correct is your first priority? Getting East and West mixed up is arguably forgivable (although it's permanent ink here, guys) but not knowing North and South? Wow, that's pretty impressive. Fortunately, it's unlikely this lady's compass will ever get her lost since she can't see it in the first place!
The good news? A decent tattoo artist could fix this pretty easily. Whether locating the tattoo studio will be a problem is another question...
Play At Your Own Risk
Oh gosh. If this is some kind of gambling machine then we sure don't want to be anywhere near it when it pays out! This has all the hallmarks of a bachelor party mistake, or perhaps the result of a losing bet — that would be in keeping with the theme, at least. We wonder how many people have actually tried to insert a coin into this slot. Bad thought.
With tattoos like these, does the artist promote them on their social media accounts? After all, surely no one wants to gain a reputation as the butt-crack slot artist extraordinaire?
We're Absolutely Owling
This hawk, or falcon, or whatever it is needs to cut down on the snacks or it might struggle to fly! Having said that, if it can't get off the ground then at least it will remain on the shoulder of its new owner and be a loyal companion. Perhaps the bird isn't as chunky as it seems, but it's the tiny beak accentuating its rather rotund body.
We have to admit, at first glance, it looked like a pigeon. But hey, there's nothing wrong with that, right? Poor old pigeons, they never get shown any love.
Anyone Know What Date Halloween Is?
Okay, so we're assuming this isn't supposed to be the Bride of Chucky, but who can it be? Avril Lavigne? Britney Spears? Amanda Seyfried's character in Mean Girls? Honestly, we have no idea, which isn't exactly a great endorsement for the tattoo "artist". Also, what is she supposed to be holding with those terrifying claws? It looks like either a tiny microphone or an enormous lipstick. Again, we have no idea!
Our polite suggestion would be to allow those beautiful roses to creep slowly north, until they cover, ahem, everything in their path. There we go, all sorted.
Going With The Love Angle
It's pretty obvious what angle they were going for with this tattoo, but a 180-degree turn might be the best option left. There's surely nothing more heartwarming for a parent than a permanent declaration of your child's importance to them. A permanent spelling mistake? Not so much. What makes this tattoo comedy gold is the fact that not only is mom now accidentally an angle, but the statement is also at, you guessed it, an angle!
What we haven't yet considered, is the possibility of this actually being a very deliberate "mistake". Perhaps, is a subtle way, the recipient is trying to call their mom obtuse?
Working From Home Went Too Far
Sure, we've all been there. When you can't be bothered to decide what to wear so you'd rather not have to wear anything at all. The thing is, we also know that civilized society doesn't really accept that kind of behavior, so you know, it's probably best to put a shirt on. Not this guy. He no longer needs to worry about buying clothes or getting enough sun on his skin. Genius.
Unlike the Converse sneaker guy, however, the level of detail in this sorry excuse for a shirt is sadly lacking. A little bit of color wouldn't have gone amiss. Next appointment, maybe.