Not Worth It – Tattoos That Help You Know What Not to Get for Your Next Ink

Tattoos have been a form of self-expression for centuries, with many people choosing to adorn their bodies with beautiful and meaningful designs. However, not all tattoos are created equal and there are many examples of bad tattoos that leave their owners with regret and embarrassment. Bad tattoos can result from poor artistic execution, inadequate research, or simply bad decision-making.

They can range from misspelled words and poorly drawn designs to offensive or inappropriate content. While some bad tattoos can be covered up or removed, others are permanent reminders of a poor decision or a moment of poor judgment. 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.

Mom Knows Best

Some people are always on the lookout for a good idea when it comes to their next tattoo. They even ask their moms for advice, hoping to get some inspiration. That’s exactly what this guy did. Sadly, he didn’t quite think it through and thought he’d be incredibly original.

So he ended up choosing his mom’s text message and now he has a terrible tattoo that’s supposed to be a joke. Joke tattoos can be a way of telling a story or commemorating a funny memory, but that doesn’t mean it will be as funny as you think it is!

Maybe Intentional

This is definitely cringe-worthy, but it also looks like it is planned, in a wonderful bit of tattoo irony. This is a good lesson for life, not just when getting a tattoo. We get that they might have thought this would’ve been funny but all it really says is that you don’t care about what you put on your body.

The tattoo 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. We bet it won’t be funny in ten years when she has to meet her fiance’s parents or when applying for that lucrative job.

Nothing Else Matters

Getting a tattoo is a time-honored way to immortalize a loved one lost, a seminal life experience, or a current obsession, and the latter is almost always a terrible, horrible mistake. Cruelly celebrating that fact, here’s the classic “I got a tattoo of my favorite band’s name” mistake and it’s not even spelled correctly.

Some people are so in love with their favorite bands that they think this is a great idea, but that’s rarely the case. Especially considering the fact that this wasn’t even spelled correctly. When they grow up and their enthusiasm inevitably fades, they’re left with a permanent reminder of their mistake.

That’s a Great Drawing, Sweety

In the pantheon of terrible tattoos, this one might be the clear winner. There’s been plenty of ink spilled in the name of tattooing a child’s drawing on their parents’ skin. And this must be one of the worst the internet has to offer.

Deciding to tattoo what your kid drew needs to be handled in one of two ways: doing it on a small, inconspicuous part of your body, or waiting for the kid to develop some better skills and only then getting one of his or her later pieces tattooed on yourself. Until their late teens, their drawings can go on the walls or the fridge.

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. While the execution could have been better, at least we know it’s a bike. Clearly, this person wants everyone to know how much they enjoy cycling.

There is a particular mania that comes along with wearing your heart on your sleeve, i.e. your favorite thing as a tattoo. But is it really worth it if it looks sub-standard? Rather wait it out until you’re 100% sure your design and tattoo artist can do a decent job.

Pin-Up Monster?

Have you ever seen a tattoo that makes you wonder, “What were they thinking?” Well, let us tell you about a guy’s tattoo. He’s clearly a big fan of pin-up girls, and he thought it would be a great idea to get a tattoo of one on his arm. But unfortunately, the end result was less “sexy pin-up girl” and more “creepy monster lady.”

The tattoo artist probably told him that he had plenty of experience with pin-up girl tattoos, but once the tattoo artist was done, this poor guy must have been horrified. The pin-up girl’s torso seems distorted and her legs are way too short compared to the rest of her body.

Peekachu

It’s your body and you absolutely should have the final say on whether you’re going to get a tattoo of Pikachu, but this Pikachu must have been injured as he’s left with an eye patch, so we’ve decided it’s “Peekachu.” Seriously, before you get a tattoo of any kind, make sure that your tattoo artist has some experience.

There are always going to be those people who think they’re good at drawing and can give you a quick tattoo at home with a needle and some ink from a craft store. You’ll only end up with a tattoo that looks like a child’s drawing and a painful infection to boot.

He’s Finally Emerged From His Cocoon

Everyone should have the chance to look their best. This worker has done his best, channeling the power of the butterfly with a classy lower back tattoo. The iconic Mariah Carey-esque tattoo plus, the oh-so-common loose pants that contractors seem to always wear, shows us this unfortunate choice in all of its… detail. Fly, butterfly, fly.

Butterfly tattoos were super popular in the early 2000s, along with tribal tattoos and Asian letters. Everyone was getting them, but unfortunately, trends don’t stay trendy. So not only does this tattoo look incredibly dated and behind the times, but it’s also very telling of his age.

Math

Like all the fine folks who — inexplicably — thought it would be a good idea to permanently brand themselves in spectacularly horrific fashion, this guy thought their idea for a math equation was pretty cool. Sadly, it was not cool and it took up so much real estate on their arm!

We assume most of you know the meaning behind the bottom number, but the top number’s meaning could be lost on some. For them, we will clarify that this is a number identified with those who like to dabble with Mary Jane. Anyone with those numbers on their dating app profile will be immediately swiped left. Too bad it can’t be done in real life too.

Nine Attempts and Still Not Good

We can’t hide the fact that we feel at least a little bit of enjoyment in the misfortune of other people. Schadenfreude has, after all, been a bona fide phenomenon since people have been embarrassing themselves (so, forever). But it’s always a little bit better when people brought the hilarious misfortune upon themselves.

Like this person, the tattoo artist had nine attempts at drawing a circle and somehow failed every single time. You’d think that after one or two tries, they’d give up but no, that was not the case. This was probably meant to resemble the crescent moon as it waxes and wanes but this artwork doesn’t even come close.

Still Acting Like a Monkey

People have no problem walking into a tattoo parlor and blindly picking a design that looks cool. But, for some reason, coming up with your own tattoo design seems like such an intimidating endeavor, and sadly, that kind of intimidation leads to terrible decisions. Like getting this evolutionary drawing on this arm.

Darwin may approve, but that might be all. At first glance, you don’t really see the problem in this outline of “Evolution of Man”, and then you realize that a silhouette may not have been the best choice for this design. Why? Because the hand of the man on the right looks less like a hand and more like a… let’s cal lit a piece of bodily equipment.

What’s the Tradition, Exactly?

This article has it all. From tattoos that do not age well, to easy-to-spot typos in quotes, to unfortunate choices people made when they were drunk. While there are many questionable tattoos out there, this “Family Tradition” tattoo placed on this guy’s upper lip takes the cake.

Maybe all of his male family members have a big, bushy mustache, and he just can’t manage more than a teen scruff. Sometimes it’s okay to uphold your family’s tradition and heritage, but if it means tattooing this on your face, then maybe you should consider breaking tradition. Or pick a different family.

Oops

Let’s face it, relationships can be unpredictable, and things might not always work out. Getting your girlfriend’s name tattooed on your arm could be a risky move. If you break up, you’re left with a permanent reminder of an ex that might not be easy to explain to future partners.

When things inevitably don’t end well with your girlfriend, you might need to get a cover-up tattoo. Instead of completely getting rid of the name Megan, this guy made it very obvious and simply inserted “Oops, I meant Hollie”. You’d think he would have learned by now not to get your girlfriend’s name tattooed…

Too Many to Count

We all know that friend who always insists on getting a tattoo after a night of heavy drinking. They stumble into the nearest tattoo parlor, pick a random design off the wall, and end up with a tattoo that looks like it was done by a toddler. The worst part of this is, it happens so often!

Throwing caution to the wind and getting a tattoo of something that seems like a good idea at the time might be okay if it was once or twice. But this guy has so many bad tattoos, we’re starting to suspect he’s surrounded by terrible friends who don’t even dare to stop him. At least they are all located in the same place.

Beauty Personified

Ah, yes. Eric Stoltz from Mask. The kind of character everyone wants on their body. Everyone being this guy minus every single other person on earth. Even if you know who this character is (we do) and why he might want it on his person (we don’t), this individual will still probably have plenty of explaining to do.

In the movie, Eric Stoltz plays a character called Rocky Dennis. Rocky is an intelligent, outgoing, and funny teenager who suffers from a facial deformity called “lionitis” and has now outlived his life expectancy. It could very well be that this person really is a fan of the movie and felt inspired by the character.

Checkmate

Could this guy be the king of tattoos, and now 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.

Like having a can of Red Bull on an empty stomach, we’ve all made some terrible decisions. And while getting a tattoo you love can be a meaningful decision, most people take it a little too far which also means ample opportunities to make some pretty poor decisions. We can’t imagine this guy being happy with his choices in five years’ time.

Who Did This to Her?

Is this really a tattoo or some bad whiteboard markers? 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 is either paying for some bad things she did in her past life, or she deserves to get her money back.

Imagine sitting through a tattoo session with the patience of a saint and then seeing what they did to your back. She must have been incredibly upset, if not downright livid. This looks like it was done by someone who barely knows how to hold a pen, never mind a tattoo gun.

Oh Boy

One can’t help but appreciate interesting and clever tattoo designs, but we’ve also come across a few that made us cringe. Like this one below, we don’t know what’s worse, the fact that this looks like a Spongebob version of Ben Franklin or the unfortunate placement of it on his neck.

Getting a tattoo on your neck can be a risky decision, for one thing, the neck is an area of the body that moves constantly, which can make it difficult to ink accurately. Plus, the constant movement of the skin can cause the tattoo to blur, fade, or even become distorted.

Hakuna Matata

If Timon on your Lion King tattoo looks this bad, you might want to embrace the “Hakuna Matata” attitude. Instead of stressing about a poorly-done tattoo, embrace the carefree and easygoing attitude of Timon and Pumba. “Hakuna Matata” means no worries, after all! You might even become the talk of the Pride Lands.

Yes, it’s embarrassing, but as Rafiki says in the movie, “You can either run from it or learn from it!” So what’s it gonna be? It still represents a beloved childhood movie, so embrace the nostalgia and use the tattoo as a reminder of simpler times when singing “Hakuna Matata” was all we needed to feel happy.

Your Life?

Getting a tattoo is a big decision. It’s something that will be with you for the rest of your life, so it’s important to choose something that you’ll be happy with… Forever! Some people choose to get tattoos of meaningful symbols or quotes, while others opt for something a bit more lighthearted, like a joke tattoo.

But what exactly is a joke tattoo? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like – a tattoo that’s meant to be funny. So when you see this tattoo, you might be thinking, “This is not really a joke.” And you’re right – it’s not exactly a knee-slapper. It’s more like a self-deprecating joke and we have no idea why anyone would want this.

Not Worth It

You might be wondering, what could be worse than getting a terrible tattoo? Paying $350 for a terrible tattoo! Can you believe someone charged this much for a tattoo of this quality? The lines are shaky, the colors are off, the face looks distorted and it looks like a child’s drawing.

We can’t believe someone would pay so much money for this terrible tattoo! He was clearly overcharged for something that looks like archangel Michael’s demented cousin. Now he’s stuck with this awful tattoo and has to live with the regret and embarrassment until he can save enough money for a coverup.

Kind of Don’t Know What to Say

Let’s be real, what’s with the sudden obsession with mermaids? Are we all secretly hoping to become part of their underwater world? Or do we just really like the idea of having a tail instead of legs? *deep breath* Okay, let’s see what we have here.

It looks like a mermaid, but man, this is bad. We could probably do a better job, and we’ve never even tattooed anybody! Also, why is the tail faded while the torso is so painfully still there? Could this person be in the middle of getting that tattoo lasered off? God, please let that be the case!

Haribo Bart

We need to have a serious talk about getting a cartoon character as a tattoo. Sure, it is long established by consensus that The Simpsons might just be the greatest animated TV comedy of all time. However, does that warrant getting a tattoo to honor your unending loyalty to a TV show character?

It’s not even that we’re anti-Simpsons devotees. We just think you’ll be better off if you get a T-shirt or a cool poster. That way you still show your love for your favorite show but not be stuck with a permanent mark on your body that looks like the forbidden lovechild of Bart Simpson and a gummy bear.

Lizard Wizard

So, you’ve decided to get a lizard tattoo. Maybe you’re a big fan of reptiles, or maybe you just thought it would be a cool design. Either way, you head to the tattoo parlor with visions of a sleek and majestic lizard adorning your skin. But what you end up with is… well, it’s not quite what you had in mind.

The lizard is plain, the hat is basic, and it looks more like a fish with feet than an actual lizard. You can’t believe you paid good money for this terrible lizard tattoo! Who knows, maybe in a few years, you’ll look back on this terrible lizard tattoo and see it as a funny reminder of your younger, more impulsive self.

In a War With Herself

This tattoo is the result of a genuine lack of foresight. Now this tattoo isn’t just body art. This is a form of hieroglyphics that will tell future historians about the 21st century, more than any text ever could. Can you imagine what they would think of us and our era?

We think they’ll imagine us as a strange group living through a strange time. Tattoos have a long and varied history in human culture, dating back thousands of years, but now, tattoos are more popular than ever and unfortunately, it’s also a time when getting terrible tattoos is a harrowing reality.

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 was 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.

While tattoos have become more mainstream in recent years, face tattoos remain a controversial and often terrible choice. Unlike other tattoos, face tattoos are nearly impossible to hide or cover. Placing permanent ink on your face tattoo is a significant commitment that can have some serious long-term consequences. Seriously, think before you ink!

The Lumps

Those of you who watch the animated show “Adventure Time” probably understand the reference. For the sake of those of you who don’t, let us explain: in this cartoon series, which takes place in various locations around the universe, “The Lumps” is a disease that can get anyone who visits the Land of Oooo if they aren’t careful enough.

The way to get infected is similar to how one turns into a werewolf or a zombie — you need to get bitten by a space person who has previously been infected. The symptoms aptly include turning lumpy. We wonder if this tattoo means that this person is infected, or, in fact, immune.

Hipster Lickin’ Good

For some, Kentucky Fried Chicken is more than just a fast-chicken predilection, it’s a lifestyle and a measuring stick for your own successes in life. Because you don’t know you’ve hit rock bottom till you have a Colonel Sanders tattoo. Especially on your leg where almost everyone can see.

We get that people want to express their individuality and people want to show off certain parts of their personality, but the design of this tattoo is so bad, it almost looks like he has tiny arms and legs. Plus the stencil makes it look like Colonel Sanders could be on fire.

David Beckham

Even celebrities aren’t immune to terrible tattoos, it seems. Let’s be honest, a lot of people like getting tattoos in another language because they think it looks exotic. But when you don’t do your research, it might just be a jumbled mess of meaningless characters. It could be a recipe for disaster!

Lucky for David Beckham, this specific tattoo is fine in terms of proper use of language. The meaning of it, however, sounds a little condescending. Translated to “Life and death are destined by fate, wealth and status are destined by heaven,” it seems to imply that Beckham’s greatness was predetermined.

Go Ahead and Make Fun of It

We dare you. Tell this world-famous boxer, AKA one of the greatest face-punchers, 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 we’re going to get one just like it, please don’t hurt us.

When Tyson first got his tattoo in 2003, he shocked the world. The tattoo, which consists of a tribal design that covers his left forehead and cheek, quickly became a topic of discussion and controversy. Some people saw the tattoo as a bold and rebellious move, a statement of Tyson’s individuality and toughness.

Ratatouille

If you’re a fan of the Pixar classic Ratatouille, you might be tempted to get a tattoo inspired by the film. But before you go rushing off to the tattoo parlor, consider the possible consequences. Sure, a tattoo of Remy the Rat cooking up a delicious dish might seem like a cute and quirky idea at first.

But what happens when you’re 80 years old and your grandkids are asking you about the strange rodent on your arm? Are you really going to want to explain the entire plot of a movie that came out decades ago? But hey, if you’re willing to take the risk, more power to you.

Frog Figure

Ah, the allure of getting a cute tattoo. It’s small, it’s adorable, and it’s the perfect way to show off your playful side. But before you go under the needle, ask yourself: is it really worth it? Sure, that tiny little heart or cartoon character might look cute now, but what about in a few years?

Will you still be as enamored with it when it’s faded and blurred? And let’s not forget the potential for regret. That little cutie tattoo might seem like a great idea when you’re 18, but what about when you’re 80? Will you still want a little frog permanently etched on your skin?

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