A good tattoo is an incredible story, a beautiful picture, and a piece of your personal style. A bad tattoo is a stupid story, a stupid picture, and a piece of your stupid style.
What follows is a huge collection of some of the worst tattoos we’ve ever had the displeasure to see, and now you have to see them too.
Wake Me Up When the Tattoos End
While this tattoo has the words Green Day at the bottom, it looks like Vince Vaughn, my friend Anthony, and Chuck Norris at the top.
The design is a bit childlike, with a big cloud-bomb-burst that might be an explosion. The band wasn't that bad!
This is definitely cringe-worthy, but it also looks like it is planned, in a wonderful bit of tattoo irony.
The designer or artist could plainly see what space is required, so odds are this lady got big, Gothic letters on her eight fingers as a joke that will last forever.
This lady loves her beef, chicken, pork – yum! She and the hot dog Fonz guy should hook up. It's a great look – better than some of the others we've seen, at least – and will get your mouth watering.
Ah, no, ew, maybe we should move on.
Guilty of Good Taste
There are some bad tattoos on this list, but this one isn't one of them. This one is well-done, has an eye-catching style, and is definitely unique enough.
It's the kind of thing you might want to cover with a long-sleeved shirt but bust it out at barbecues to big applause.
One of Those Early Styles
This could be almost anywhere on the body, but hopefully, it's somewhere they can hide. It's kind of a cool design if you look at it long enough.
It won't really work as a bike, and it doesn't look all that comfortable, but at least it's small.
Maybe Marilyn Monroe
Or, maybe it's what happens when you mold an eggplant into a face shape. While the thought is there (again, maybe), the execution just didn't cut it.
She looks like she got into a fight with Mike Tyson. I hope the subject knows you can get tattoos removed.
Maybe Try Some Deodorant
Another food armpit tattoo and this one brings along with it a personal note. Is her personal body odor just that bad? Or does she really like onions? Or both?
She and the avocado armpit person are building a super team of armpit foods, which they will combine to make a taco, I think.
He's Finally Emerged From His Cocoon
Everyone should have the chance to look their best. This worker has done his best, calling himself a beautiful butterfly with a classy tramp stamp.
The iconic "tramp stamp" plus, the oh-so-common loose pants that contractors seem to have, shows us this unfortunate choice in all of its...detail. Fly, butterfly, fly.
I Don't Think We Can Make Fun of This It's self-referential and already doesn't like itself. Our work is done here.
Even if this is a true tattoo, and not just kids playing around with a marker, we aren't truly certain if this tattoo will be the source of a life-long regret, even if it says it will be.
I can understand a band, or a brand, or even a chair, but laundry? It can be therapeutic, even relaxing, to listen to the dryer rumble as you fold up some laundry, but why get a tattoo?
Even worse, our subject has CLEARLY not separated the colors – it looks like a flashlight pointing at a prism in there.
Still Acting Like A Monkey
Darwin may approve, but that might be all. This person decided to get the classic “Evolution of Man” idea.
It's got an understated design with a simple line-drawing style, but, again, wrinkles will turn this classic imagery into something a little bit less recognizable.
What's the Tradition, Exactly?
Maybe all of his male family members have a big, bushy mustache, and he just can't manage more than child-molester scruff. Which, when you look at it, wouldn't be too far off from this guy's chosen style.
There are a few other questionable tattoos about, but the “Family Tradition” takes the cake.
This guy should think of a better way to talk about his dreams. He should, also, dream a little bit longer about his spelling. It's another tattoo regret for the ages – he could have at least asked the tattoo artist to center it on his chest.
But no time for that – he's off to make his dreams reality.
The Konami Kid
This takes a bit of thinking to get, but bear with us. This is the Konami code, which originally granted a bevy of extra lives in Contra. Since then, it's appeared in hundreds of games, and even websites.
I think that this young woman is excited about being a mom, and represents a pregnancy as an extra life. Or, she could just like video games.
Ah, yes. Eric Stoltz from Mask. The kind of character everyone wants on their body. Everyone except every single person on earth, minus this guy.
Even if you know who this character is (I do) and why he might want it on his person (I don't), this person will still probably have plenty of explaining to do.
He's the king of tattoos, and he's ready to make his move. Even his lips and eyelids are tattooed, which is not only a pretty intense time requirement but rather painful as well.
This man suffered for his sense of style. And now we all have to suffer, too.
Who Did This to Her?
The first tattoo they did the art for, at least. Is this really a tattoo? It seems more like this unlucky lady fell asleep at a party and received some new back art thanks to her friends.
If it is a real tattoo, she either deserves it, or she deserves to get her money back.
The Most Dangerous Nip Tattoo
The guys love the nip tattoos, but this one has a twist...it includes danger. A little bit of under-the-sea monster imagery (lobsters are monsters, you can't tell us otherwise) adds an unknown element that will get the blood pumping.
Will the claw snip shut, and fill this man's body with pain? We may never know.
Yeah, We Know
This is the kind of picture that shows up on social media, and then for the rest of this person's life, he's trying to get rid of it. We kind of hope this is a temporary tattoo because this guy doesn't deserve that kind of life.
We also hope it's real, so everybody he meets is warned off.
Sometimes These Are Just Too Easy
Just...too easy. Like, they spelled school wrong. We get that it's a bit of a funky word, but most kids see it every day of their lives! Was this an artistic choice? Is it intentionally ironic (the hipster phase has passed, my friend), or is this genuine?
At least the school bus looks genuinely bad.
Blue Screen the Tattoo
This guy got the message from the blue screen of death (Windows edition) tattooed on his arm. Why would he do that? I bet he's the one responsible for it.
He's the one that wrote the message that we see whenever our computers fail us. And he has such a...collection of art, too. Truly a man of the people.
I've Got My Eye on You
We're confused, the kid's confused. The only one who looks pleased is Mom who, to her credit, is now a mom, so congratulations! Not on the tattoo though, which is very confusing and we'd like to know why.
It's just a line that goes all the way down her face, with a circle around her eye. Is this even a tattoo? Maybe it's a hospital thing.
The Name is Also the Quality
Well, here's this one. This one MUST have been a debt that had to be paid off, because what else would possess someone to get a big pile of stinky dog poop on their back?
We at least hope it was the madam's decision, and not someone else's. It's big, so it must have taken multiple trips to the artist. Hope she likes it.
Another Music Oops
Ah, a Bon Jovi quote. There are probably a ton of those...oh, no, wait, it's actually “Jon Bovi.” He's my favorite Toronto-based country-metal singer-songwriter. And of course, the quote: “it's is my life”. It sure is is.
And you only have yourself to blame for this tattoo.
More Friends Wanted
This guy likes his friends so much that he got their names tattooed on his leg. It could also be a family member, but the important part is that it's a tattoo.
Patsy, Ritchie, and Alice can be happy knowing their friend or dad or whatever, likes them this much, and look at all that space! This guy has a bright future.
Kind of Don't Know What to Say
Okay, let's see what we have here. It looks like a mermaid, but the kind of mermaid a drunk sailor, still with his sea legs despite back on land, and trying to draw a picture of the enchanting creature he saw during his long, thirsty months at sea to his friends.
But man, it's bad. I could probably do a better job, and that really means something.
More Sweet Feet Treats
Another sneakerhead wants to rep his favorite brand even when he's going bare. The iconic Nike swoosh emblem may catch the eye on a jersey or pair of sweet kicks, but here it looks like an oil stain.
Keep the tattoo money, and maybe invest in a pair of jeans the right size.
At Least It's For a Good Cause
This mom auctioned off her forehead space to the highest bidder, receiving a cool ten grand from Goldenpalace.com. The money went to pay for her son's schooling.
We will need to make sure he thanks his mom, not only for providing for him but for giving him the school he needs to avoid making stupid decisions of his own.
All Dads Have This
His kids didn't believe him, so he got his head shaved (and tattooed) to prove it. He really can see them when they're goofing off in the backseat or trying to sneak to the kitchen for an extra dessert.
The mustache adds a fun detail – they won't know which direction big bad dad is looking, as long as he keeps things trimmed.
Something about this misshapen blueberry sparks a bit of recognition in the brain. It looks like something made intentionally bad – the backward feet, the dopey eyes, they splayed-out hands at the ends of shortened arms.
It could be a child's drawing, it could be a very first tattoo, it could be a nightmare. (It's a nightmare)
Not the Brightest Star in the Sky
We're going to be asking this question a lot: What Could Have Possessed This Woman? While the star work is...okay...covering her face with them is a strange choice.
Whether it's to give her kids something to do on long car rides, or just because she likes the night sky that much, it just didn't work.
These planes are on their way to something exciting, but we can't help but wonder if they have some sort of personal meaning.
They look like cartoon planes from the fifties and are angrily headed for a mid-air collision a bit further south. Maybe they're just itching for the landing strip.
Loving it a Little Too Much
This man had a McDonald's receipt tattooed on his arm. Now, I can understand a Five Guy's receipt, but why do this? Did he want to remember the perfect meal he had, that March night in 2014?
Did he hit up a liquor store afterward? A Big Mac is good, but not tattoo on your arm good.
A Six-Pack on a Keg
Nothing like beer and NASCAR for a fun day at the races. This brilliant big boy decided he'd add a little visual joke to his appearance and has unfortunately given up on having a six-pack of his very own.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. should be proud to have this guy on his side.
Go Ahead and Make Fun of It
We dare you. Tell this world-famous face-puncher that his tattoo looks stupid. Tribal tattoos were out long ago, but you know what? Mike Tyson can pull it off.
In fact, it looks so good I'm going to get one just like it, but please don't hurt me.
Shoes That Do it All
Converse are classic shoe styles that are great for light strolls, skateboarding, and weightlifting. Getting a Converse tattoo on your foot is great for nothing. Well, it's great for something, but not really anything good.
Hey, at least the tattoo is well-done. Maybe just the star, next time.
The Biggest Thing in Bad Tattoos
Aaron Carter, once famous thanks to his cool, fun pop songs, is now the proud owner of a huge medusa tattoo.
He took a picture and put it on social media with the caption “IM THE BIGGEST THING IN MUSIC RIGHT NOW. I CAN'T BE DENIED.” Sorry, Aaron, 0/2.
Just, Like, Sit
A weird tattoo trend is getting something you're a fan of, despite the banality, on your person. This one espouses a love of comfortable loungers with included footrest, made of charming dark leather and handsome wood frame.
I'm starting to agree with this guy, actually. That thing looks comfy.
We Hope She Said Yes
Because if she didn't then this guy has to live with a big, stupid heart and bad lettering on his shoulder (or knee, maybe?) with nothing even to show for it.
“Marry” is misspelled as “merry,” so we might have a clue as to what lucky Nina gave as her answer.
Leave Us Alone
Britney Spears' mega-meltdown was tabloid treasure, but this tattoo is celebrity creepy. Somebody had the bright idea to immortalize this terrible moment for Britney with a special tattoo, somewhere on the body.
We're trying not to think about where. It's too real, honestly – we half expect her to start ranting at us.
Work it, Baby
Very classy, that look, wonderful. But, at the very least, points for creatively combining a bad tat with a bad nipple piercing into something approaches “okay.” Not acceptable, or good, but he might get a laugh out of friends every once in a while.
And hey, nipples are for milk, I guess, and, you know, cows. Milk. You get it.
The One That Started Them All
You've probably seen this one before, but in case you haven't, here's one of the original, legendary bad tattoos.
The typeface is classy, and the idea presented isn't bad, but the typo's added irony just turns this into (chef's kiss) masterpiece. No matter what you do in your life, have no regerts.
True Blue Style
What stellar style we see with this piece. It evokes The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Hokusai. This man took a deep dive into his personal tattoo style, covering his entire face, his eyelid, and his ears.
It looks like he's lost an eye – maybe it's his way of drawing attention away from that fact.
It Took a Lot of Coarage
“Coarage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” We can understand the sentiment – it even makes a little bit of sense – but come on, man, get a spell check.
And a copy editor. And finally, for what should be the first and last time, tame that armpit hair.
We All Know Who This Is
Hon, it's not fame if a hundred guys have seen your chest. Ah, and we have another misspelling. Throw in the...collarbone piercing? Neck piercing? Whatever that painful thing is, we've got a classy gal to bring home to mom.
Don't worry Mom, she's famous. Famously something, anyway.
The Star of the South
Lots to talk about here, even though we wish we didn't have to. Okay, so, there are stars in the shape of Australia, which look pretty new, stars recreating the Southern Cross constellation, which looks a bit faded, and a boxing kangaroo, which looks even older.
This guy's proud to be from the land down under.
She's Beautiful on the Inside
The art itself might not be anything special, but if this is a husband getting a tattoo of his wife on his arm, there's not much else negative to say.
I mean, sure, it's a bit tacky, but why not celebrate the love of your life? We'd like to think that this lucky lady was touched by the gesture.
Nature's Perfect Food
Working the burger fields is a hard job, but somebody has to do it for us to enjoy the fruits of their labor. There's nothing like rising in the morning, walking to the rows of burger bushes, and giving the ripening sandwiches a squeeze.
You know they're ripe once you see the cheese get a deeper yellow color, and when the tomatoes are a little smaller than the lettuce.
Wow, This Lady Really Likes Ducks
A drake is a word for a male duck, and this lady has gotten a huge, garish tattoo that talks about how much she likes ornitho- No, hold on, we're getting new info.
What? She did that for a rapper? Oh, honey. Drake, if you're reading this article, maybe make sure this lady doesn't get too close.
The Classic Avocado Skull
Kids these days love their avocados, but any love can be maligned and twisted. Your guess is as good as ours for where this tattoo is (armpit perhaps?) but the subject matter is truly bizarre – a red skull instead of an avocado pit, all surrounded with purple ooze.
Give me avocados or give me death.
Plenty of Space for More
Now, this isn't such a bad idea for a tattoo. A list of the bands you've seen live! Let's see: Green Day, Nickelback, okay, I guess it is a bad idea. Nickelback twice? Wow.
Also, what part of the body is this tattoo on? At first glance, it looks like the wrist, but the concavity at the bottom evokes a lower back.
A Picture Worth A Thousand Words
We know so much about this person, just from a picture of his nipple. He's an advocate for disabled people, he's interested in keeping himself healthy, and he makes BAD decisions.
If he's disabled, there must be easier ways to let people know. Well, take your pick, this nip tat, or the cow nip tat from earlier.
A Face on a Face
This guy is really pleased he's a father. A little too pleased. Yeah, he got his kid's face tattooed on the side of his head!
Was Mom a part of this process (No)? Was he drunk when he made this decision (Yes)? But, and most importantly, does he love his kid (Yes. Aww)?
There are lots of failed presidential candidates these days, and we'll only get more as we get closer to Trump term number two. This brave man decided he wasn't going to betray his conscience.
He got a big Jeb 4 Prez on his chin-neck, and he's sure to enjoy looking at it in the mirror when he's old.
She Knows What It Means
The miss loves Africa, good for her. She's even got a heart of Africa there. And the incredibly meaningful phrase above it lets us know she isn't what you might call entirely altruistic in her love.
But we shouldn't spread rumors, maybe she just enjoys the long stretches of thrilling scenery, the wide rivers, and the throbbing hearts of the people she's met.
He Can Be Harsh Sometimes
They say only God can judge, but they don't say anything about him as a juge. And, you know what? We're calling you out, dude. That's some basic-ass lettering, not all that straight, and a way-too-cool-for-you grim reaper floating there, so you know what?
We're all "juging" you right now, and there's nothing you can do about it.
We Told You So
Remember the adage about imagining how a tattoo looks when you're old and wrinkled? There's a reason for that. This old guy is probably regretting his choices of personal style, but that's probably not the only thing since this looks a lot like a mugshot.
Stick to woodworking, sir.
Panda Party at the Parlor
There's nothing wrong with a little bit of Asian flair, but maybe work on the art a little bit, bud. We got some classic Chinese pandas, tasty bamboo, and what looks like a Hindu symbol, but the bears are misshapen and lumpy.
Our subject was clearly proud since it looks like he took a picture as soon as he got out of the chair, but maybe wait until it looks good before sharing.
Coldstone Tattoo and Creamery
Another famous face! Gucci Mane is a...rapper. That's it, got it. And Gucci Mane loves him some tasty, cold treats. So much, in fact, that he got a tattoo of an ice cream cone on his face.
He's a man who keeps updating his style to higher and higher heights, and this is just one step on his way to memorable greatness.
He's Got a Nose for Pizza
Michelangelo is ready to jump out of the sewers and take on ninjas, except he's confined to a nose on a guy's face. We get that you like TMNT, but how about something on the arm?
The forearm maybe. You could probably fit the entire turtle on there, and not just half of the head.
Let's Put a Smile on That Chest
Man, that's a lot of teeth. This guy is clearly a dentist, which is why he...why he has so many...so many teeth. On his chest.
No, wait, maybe he's the tooth fairy, and the bigger the smile, the more teeth he's collected. Sweet dreams, kids!