12 Tattoo Artists Reveal What Tattoos They Were Totally Embarrassed to Do



We’ve all seen a tattoo on a friend, relative, or a stranger and cringed, but what about people who do them every day? Well, according to this thread, they’ve done more than their fair share of cringing, too…

#12. We’ve run out.

“I was in the chair getting part of my sleeve done when one of the dudes came into the back room and told my tattooist that there was a young woman at the desk who wanted some stars tattooing on her arm. He sighed loudly and told the other guy to tell her that sorry but they’d run out of stars so no can do.”

#11. Not a normal ladybug.

“A girl I know got a tattoo of a ladybug.

It wasn’t a normal ladybug. It was a ladybug with a 5 inch long human dick going down her arm.”

#10. Would not recommend.

“I try not to judge but I have a difficult time not doing so sometimes.

The most interesting tattoo I’ve ever done was on a guy who came in wanting the words, “Bridget, I’m sorry. I was wrong. I love you.” I would say it was the most dumb tattoo I’ve ever done, but…well you just have to have the full picture.

The story goes like this: 38-year-old guy was dating and living with his girlfriend of two years. She wanted to get married. He was reluctant because she didn’t fit some ideals he had in his head for his long-term partner. They were all superficial things: she was shorter than he liked, and blonde. He preferred brunettes. So she left him. Two months later he realizes he made a huge mistake. The only problem is that she’s moved on and is dating someone and has made it clear that she’s not interested.

This is when this gentleman comes to get the tattoo that is going to solve all of his problems. He tells me that he’s arranged to have dinner with her in a week. He intends to plead for her to come back to him, and when she inevitably doubts his sincerity, he will reveal his tattoo as a sign of his commitment. I try to talk him out of it, but he’s an adult, sober, and of seemingly sound mind. I do the tattoo.

Cut to that very next day. It’s my off day. I’m at my friend’s subdivision pool and I notice this guy who is remarkably attractive. He’s also playing around with some of the kids there and I lean over to my friend and inquire as to Hotty McHottypant’s identity. She tells me about how he’s the new boyfriend of her pretty blonde neighbor who had just gotten out of a long term relationship. Her name? You guessed it. Bridget. In the flesh.

At this point I’m wriggling with the excitement of seeing this girl in person, and the anxiety of having knowledge of what is about to happen to her without being able to reveal it.

Over the next few days, little billboards start popping up around town. “Bridget, I’m sorry. I was wrong. I love you.”

We all know how this is going to end. Bridget sees the tattoo, freaks the fuck out, and this guy leads the rest of his life with an uncomfortable tattoo.

But that’s not what happened!

He has dinner with Bridget. She sees the tattoo, and she completely changes her mind. She breaks up with her boyfriend, gets back together with her ex. And three months later, they get engaged. They have a destination wedding, and are still married today. I know this because I saw both of them at that same pool three and a half months later and they both came over and Bridget gave me a big hug and thanked me. Also, the billboards earlier that month all over town that said, “Bridget, I love you. Will you marry me?” helped tip me off.

And that’s my story of how the dumbest tattoo I’ve ever done ended up being not dumb at all. I wouldn’t recommend anyone else trying it though.

Edit: typo

Edited to add that I’ve had a few people ask to see my work and since I’m not above shamelessly self promoting, you can see it on my Instagram under the same username as here.”

#9. Holding fee.

“I have two stories.

My boyfriend is the artist so I hear a lot of stories. The two that come up frequently about what tattoos he has judged (at all) are these.

A woman comes in and wants an infinity symbol. Sure. Easy enough. EXCEPT, she wants it made out of other smaller infinity symbols. The artist who did it died a little inside.

This one my boyfriend did (and I was there for this one).

A guy comes in wanting his girlfriends name tattooed on him. Stupid, yet common.

But he wants her name, on his penis.

Her name:


There is a guy walking around with Chastity on his dick.

Also, the shop charges a 100 dollar dick holding fee on top of what the tattoo would normal cost.”

#8. Oh the irony.

“I judged one girl hard when she came in to dads shop. She had just turns 18 the day before, and wanted three tattoos at once. The first was a hand holding a cigarette, the second said something along the lines of “no regrets” in French, and the third was a lip print on her asscheek. The irony was lost on nobody.”

#7. Quite well done.

“I knew a girl in college who had a giant back tattoo of two lions fucking. It was quite well done though.”

#6. No less awesome.

“Rainy Tuesday, I was an apprentice. Only type of day that we would take walk-ins.

Guy comes in and hems and haws over flash. Finally approaches the counter, eyes sparkling: “I want….an olive.”

He got a green manzanilla olive, red pimento and all, the size of a baseball on his bicep. First and only tattoo. We asked why an olive? He said “Welllllllll…I’m dating a woman named Olive. Sorta. But it’s kinda going south. But that’s okay; I really like olives!”

We judged him to be of less than average intelligence. And taste. But no less awesome.”

#5. Young and dumb.

“During my apprenticeship I tattooed a kid who lost a bet. It was his friends signature on his ass. That being said, I didn’t really judge him for that. He was young and dumb. When it comes to judging clients it’s a lot less to do with the tattoo they’re getting than how they behave in the chair and the kinds of things they say. But the ass tattoo was definitely the dumbest one I did.”

#4. They just hate each other.

“I particularly enjoy watching the couples that come in and want each other’s names or matching tattoos. They always seem like they just hate each other – lots of griping and bitching, low talking and indecisiveness.”

#3. You first.

“So a buddy of mine is a traveling tattoo artist– he just travels the world and works as a guest artist at tattoo shops.

So this time he’s in Thailand and an older white couple comes in, husband seems to have had a few drinks. Husband wants to have his wife’s name tattooed on his genitals. My buddy straight up denies the request (drunk, genitals, etc), but another artist decides to go through with it.

Next day, the couple returns, but they are instead arguing on the way in. Apparently it was a ‘if you do it, I’ll do it too’ kind of agreement, but the wife wants no part of it.”

#2. It doesn’t get worse.

“My roommate dated a girl who had “always follow your heart, because even though it’s on the left, it’s always right.” I don’t think it gets worse than that.”

#1. Stars, man.

“I asked an artist which tattoo he loathed to do and he just said, “Stars man, f*cking stars.”