You know that's permanent, right?

What's the worst tattoo you've ever seen? Sometimes I see the things people tattoo onto themselves and I'm simply blown away by their complete absence of taste. Or common sense. Or shame. Or…..anything.

In my long life of seeing tattoos, a couple stand out, and I wish I had photographic accompaniment:

1. A dotted line around the neck with the phrase "CUT HERE". Nothing says "I don't plan to live long enough for this tattoo to become an albatross" quite like neck tats.

2. A butterfly and a Sister Hazel logo. WHO IN THE FUCK GETS A SISTER HAZEL TATTOO?? What, were they out of Candlebox tattoos? Was the Hootie and the Blowfish one too mainstream? Band tattoos are universally a bad idea. That is a rule.

3. "Stretch out and wait" tattooed in massive letters around a young man's torso. Caveat: this tattoo would be perfectly acceptable except that the wearer was a straight man. Nothing says "More gay sex, please!" like tattooed Smiths lyrics. Therefore this person made a significant tactical error.

4. Chestpieces: all. Nothing bothers me more than perfectly cromulent titties ruined by awful chestpieces. And since all chestpieces are awful, they inherently ruin titties. Doves, nautical stars, flaming skulls, or whatever ridiculous Sailor Jerry crap you found on Livejournal should not be emblazoned on your cans. Trust me. Just trust me.

This site provides some inspiration, but I'm sure you don't need it. You've seen appalling tattoos. Share them with us.

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16 Responses to “You know that's permanent, right?”

  1. Jude Says:


    Let's just get it out of the way, shall we?: The barbed wire armband-type-thing. Nothing quite says "phony tough" quite like one of those.

    Anything oriental/asian. Chances are QUITE LIKELY that it doesn't say or convey what you THINK it does.

    Lastly, it's always a bad idea to showcase your sports loyalties. Perhaps that's the major drawback to living here in Chicago at this particular moment. Nothing evokes civic pride like the Bears, it's retarded to see a major city like ours reduced to an over-zealous high school rally. Last night (*not kidding), the local news tried to capture the "fever pitch" by showing us some fat, meatball douchebag's newest tattoo: every signature of every Bears player from this year's team on his back. Wish I were making that up.

    Go Bears? I…guess.

  2. Andrew Says:

    Here's a few:
    I have a tattoo of a unicorn I got while drunk in vegas (yes, i am a straight male).

    This guy got a bible verse on his back and the tattoo guy spelled strength incorrectly:

    Lastly, i think this falls under the category of best tattoo ever, but I know a guy who has a tattoo of a charging rhino with a great white shark on it's back shooting flames out it's mouth. The backdrop is a city in flames. It takes up about half his back. I literally almost shit myself laughing so hard when i saw it.

  3. Jill Says:

    I had a roommate who had Marvin the Martian tattooed on his calf. It was huge. WTF is that about?

  4. Ed Says:

    Andrew, that shark/rhino tattoo is absolutely pants-crappingly funny. I can't stop laughing, and I haven't even seen it.

  5. P Says:

    Seen yesterday on my way to work:

    "Teenagers are invincible" down a kid's forearm. He must have been 25+. Definitely NOT something he regrets, I'm sure.

    I have to add nearly all lower back tattoos, even though I have one. [Mine's not an image, so it doesn't count as a target/whathaveyou.]

  6. P Says:

    Also: if you're not a tattoo artist, you have no business doing your own tattoos. Especially when you can't tattoo with your left hand and therefore end up with a left arm covered in shitty, blotchy, nearly unrecognizable square-inch tattoos of expletives, kitchen appliances, cartoon characters, and commonplace symbols.

  7. P Says:

    WAIT. One more.

    This kid had his initials tattooed down the back of his arms. Not SO terrible at first, except that the kid's initials were BAD. Spelled out in old English.

  8. Samantha Says:

    Have you seen Patrick Hughes' ginormous godzilla tattoo on his back yet?

  9. Paul W. Says:

    I once saw a guy with a prison tattoo on his hand. It said: LONSOME LOVER.

  10. Samantha Says:

    Look what I just ran across:

    He appears to be particularly proud of the girl with the bone in her hair.

  11. courtney Says:

    I have a problem where almost any time someone asks me to name my favorite bands, the only band name I can think of is "Hootie and the Blowfish." It makes me want to smash them.

    also, that poor straight boy. though a gayer place for that tattoo might be in a circle around one's anus.

  12. peggy Says:

    I actually once saw a dude with a whole-calf tattoo of a busty (as in, breasts-larger-than-head) anime catgirl. With a tail. That was passed between her legs.

    I have always wondered how many days it took him to realize that the tail (which wasn't furry, or anything) looked EXACTLY like a giant cock, and also? How many days he spent crying and exfoliating and cutting up the skin on his leg once he realized, because he was the kind of total fucking homophobic jackass that makes most frat boys seem rational and liberal-minded.

  13. Jake Says:

    I swear I am not making this up:

    About 15 years ago, two small-town neo-Nazis were arrested on some charge grave enough to necessitate a trial. There was a picture of the two of them in the courtroom circulating through the papers, and one of them had "Hi, Hitler!" tattooed on his FOREHEAD.

    Because if you're going to be stupid enough to join a dead political party whose platforms you don't remotely understand, you might as well go all the way and misinterpret its salute for a friendly wave … and then misinterpret its language to the point you confuse "heil" with "hi!" … and then tattoo the evidence of your abject retardation on your FOREHEAD.

  14. Andy Says:

    One that I saw this morning. Beyond my understanding.

  15. Cassie Says:

    I don't know if this counts because it was not an actual tattoo, but once I was flipping through a book of sample designs at a tattoo parlor and saw a picture that at first glance appeared to be a pink butterfly. Then after looking at it for two more seconds I realized that, while it was supposed to look like a butterfly, it was evident that it was also supposed to look like a huge, pink, surprisingly accurate vagina complete with labia "wings". Yikes.

  16. Ashley Says:

    This is possibly the finest thing I have read on the internet in years.