Forget about choosing a career path, getting married, buying a home, having children or deciding which city to settle down in. The most important decision you’ll ever make is whether or not to get that terrible tattoo you thought of in a drunken stupor. And if you haven’t yet gone through with it, allow this article to be a warning sign…
Below, you’ll find photos of painfully bad body art that have been shared on this subreddit dedicated to unfortunate tattoos. Try not to get too much secondhand embarrassment while scrolling through, pandas, and if you’re planning on getting a piece of ink soon, please remember that it’s permanent. Maybe consider opting for a bad haircut instead?
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#1 Why Get A Haircut When You Can Get This?
Image credits: Andvin_Valmaar
#2 Found In A Fb Group
Image credits: wandpapierkritiker
#3 Tried To Camouflage A Birthmark
Image credits: SchwierigerHase
According to the Pew Research Center, one third of adults in the United States have a tattoo, and 22% have more than one. Getting body art can be a great way for individuals to express themselves and improve their self-image, but unfortunately, they can also go wrong. One UK study found that a whopping 78% of people with multiple tattoos regret at least one of them, and 31% have even considered having one removed. And that’s why online communities sharing photos of bad tattoos are so popular…
The [Terrible] Tattoos subreddit, whose name we’ve had to censor, makes it very clear that there is no shortage of unfortunate tattoos in this world. But apparently, there’s also no shortage of people who enjoy judging tattoos either, as the community has amassed 577k members over the last 11 years. And as we’re fans of the subreddit here at Bored Panda, this actually isn’t the first time we’ve featured them. Last summer, we were lucky enough to get in touch with one of the group’s moderators, Xnerdyxrealistx, who was kind enough to shine some light on how the community came to be.
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#5 Holy S**t…this Is Terrible, Jesus Christ
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#6 Just In Case He Forgot The Recipe
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Xnerdyxrealistx previously told Bored Panda that they inherited the subreddit several years prior, when it was less active. “It originated due to the ‘sh*tty x, y, and z subreddits’ that all sprung up around 2015,” they explained. “I’ve always been into tattoos and art in general, so I joined the subreddit when it was young. Since it was so small, there was only one real active moderator who wanted to give it up, so they reached out to me.”
Now, the moderator says the community has a mix of members who are interested in body art. “I would say a vast majority are tattoo enthusiasts who either have friends who are artists or watch a lot of Inkmaster,” they explained. “Seeing the best tattoos in the world does make one curious as to what the other side looks like.”
#7 Found On Instagram. Atleast It’s Nicely Done. But Why
Image credits: illumehnaughty
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#8 What I Got vs. What I Asked For
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#9 Biggest Regret
Image credits: FremtidigeMegleren
Some members also find comfort in meeting other people who understand what it’s like to have an unfortunate tattoo. “Having a bad tattoo can be quite an experience that many don’t want to take alone, so it is good to have a community that is willing to show off their mistakes,” they previously told Bored Panda.
Xnerdyxrealistx also has a positive view on these bad tattoos and how they come to be. “[A terrible tattoo] is a display of our reckless youth and how we all thought we were invincible,” they shared.
#10 My Wife Doesn’t Draw. She Drew Me A Camel. So I Got It Tattooed. (Tattoo Is Good, Drawing Is Debatable But I Love Her)
Image credits: ClearAboveVis10SM
#11 My Cousin Uploaded Her Newest Tat To Fb
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#12 Bro ???
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The moderator also explained that this subreddit isn’t really the place for well-done tattoos that are simply tasteless. They explained that r/ATBGE is a better community for that. “So recurring trends in [terrible] tattoos that appear here are bad lines, smudges, blowouts, ugly coloring, bad placement, and amateurish looks,” Xnerdyxrealistx noted. “Many [bad] tattoos still have their charm, like turning our bodies into a doodle page.”
#13 Say What…?
Ain’t a woman alive that wants Mama’s place.
Image credits: Pepper-Tea
#14 A Couple I Know Got Each Others Name Tattooed. A Few Months Later Their Relationship Ended
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#15 This Piece Of Work
Image credits: SafeSexChalupa
This community is a safe space for people to bond over their own regrettable tattoos and get opinions from others about how bad their pieces of ink are. “Being able to laugh at yourself and your own mistakes is a big lesson in maturity, so I think posting on our subreddit helps people deal with that,” the moderator previously shared.
“Some people come to try and validate that their tattoo isn’t as [bad] as they think it is, but overall, the majority want to poke fun at themselves,” they added. “It helps people come to terms with what it is like to have a [bad] tattoo when you can share it among a community.”
#16 Censored The Eyes To Protect Their Identity
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#17 Oh My God
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#18 Got A Tattoo Gun When I Was 16 ?
Image credits: Zestyclose-Roll-5384
For a previous Bored Panda article featuring unfortunate tattoos, we got in touch with Richard Fullam from Tattoo Removal Experts to learn more about what it takes to eliminate a particularly bad tattoo. “To remove a tattoo, you need a course of laser treatments spaced at least 6 weeks apart,” Richard shared. “The pulses of light from the laser shatter the ink into tiny particles, enabling the body’s white blood cells to pick them up and take them to the liver where they are flushed away.”
“The tattoo will gradually fade until, in most instances, it cannot be seen,” the expert explained. “An average tattoo takes around 6-8 treatments to remove. The process is safe, and with the best technology there should be no damage to the skin. It is a bit painful, however, if you can tolerate being tattooed, then the removal process normally is not a problem.”
#19 Is My “Horse” S****y?
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#20 I Don’t Know Why I Got This
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#21 Gets Worse The Longer You Look
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Richard also previously shared with Bored Panda that his clinic has received an increasing number of calls recently from people who regret their tattoos on the same day they get them. “Sometimes, they watch the tattoo being inked, know they hate it, but don’t have the confidence to question the tattooist,” he shared.
#22 Local Shop Posted This On Facebook
Image credits: KingOP78
#23 S****y Bird Tattoo That I Did In Fact Have Covered With A Sick A** Panther
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#24 Finally Got My S****y Tattoo Covered Up. Must Say, Kinda Miss The Old Bone Boi
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“There is always a reason for someone wanting a tattoo to be removed, whether it’s the design, size, position etc.,” Richard explained. “Some are just really bad ideas, like a recent client who had his ex wife’s name tattooed on his penis. If you are getting a tattoo, do your research, find a good tattooist, agree on a design, then think long and hard about whether you’re going to be happy with it for the long term. Also remember, just in case, that black/gray tattoos are a lot easier to remove than multicolored tattoos.”
#25 My Coworker Got This, What Do We Think?
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#26 13 Year Old Me Was Happy. Thanks Mom
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#27 Stolen From A Facebook Group
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Has this list convinced you to rethink your next tattoo, pandas? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but if you’re unsure whether that piece you’re considering will be considered beautiful by anyone, it might be wise to hold off. Keep upvoting the pics that give you secondhand embarrassment, and feel free to share in the comments what the worst tattoo you’ve ever witnessed was. Then, if you’re interested in checking out Bored Panda’s last article featuring the same subreddit, look no further than right here!
#28 Been About A Year, And I Still Love It. But Be Honest, Is This A S****y Tattoo?
Image credits: DOCoSPADEo
#29 My Own S****y Tattoo By My Brother. Everyone Was Sober. I’ve Thought About A Cover Up But Everyone Seems To Love Him
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#30 What A Way To Remember Your Beloved Pet
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#31 First Tattoo! I Wanted Something Super Meaningful And Detailed That Really Highlights My Personality. Success!
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#32 My Buddy’s “Wolf” Tattoo He Showed Me Last Night
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#33 Yes, It Goes All The Way Around Like A Beard…
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#34 Am I Crazy Or Does The Hand Look Really Bad?
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#35 I Really Don’t Understand The Appeal Of These. Is It Just Me?
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#36 I Can’t Be The Only One That Sees It
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#37 How I Learned How Fast Memes Age
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#38 Tattooed By My Girlfriend. I Love It, But Wouldn’t Disagree That It Belongs Here
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#39 At Least It’s Where She Doesn’t Have To Look At It
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#40 Do These Count
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#41 My Husband Made The Mistake Of Letting Our Neighbor Practice On Him
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#42 My One Of A Kind Hand Tattoo
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#43 It’s Supposed To Be A Crow (Found On My Facebook)
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#44 Wife Sent This One To Me
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#45 Girlfriend Wants To Get A Tattoo Done By This „artist“. Other Ppl Dont See Anything Wrong With His Work. Am I Tripping Or Is His Work Truly S**t?
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#47 Butterfly Elephant Tree
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#48 Would You Call This A Sh**ty Tattoo Or Just A Dumb One?
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#50 Dear God In Heaven
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#51 My First And Only Tattoo. It Seemed Like A Good Idea When I Was 18 (2002)
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#52 Behold, My Tattoo, In All Its S****y Glory
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#53 What She Wanted. What She Got
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#54 I Got More Where This Is Coming From… S****y Enough For You Peeps?
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#55 I Lost A Bet With My Coworker And I’m A Man Of My Word. What Do You Guys Think?
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#57 Someone I Follow On Instagram Posted This Monstrosity
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#58 My S****y Tiger I Got At 19, Trusted The Artist When He Said “Oh I Just Do It Freehand!”. Fortunately I Found Someone Who Could Do A Cover-Up
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#59 Super S****y
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#60 How Bad Is This? Paid $1000 For Straight Lines But They Look Crooked
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#61 My Buddy Got This Today
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#62 Found In R/Firstrespondercringe
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#63 Saw Another Michael Jackson Tattoo And Thought I’d Share A Mistake I Made Twenty Years Go. (Oc)
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#64 I Mostly Just Regret How Large I Got This One. What Are Your Thoughts?
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#65 My 18 Y/O Brother Got A Tattoo For His GF Of 3 Weeks
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#66 My Girlfriend Absolutely Hates This Tattoo And Calls It Ugly. Is She Wrong?
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#67 My Sons First Tattoo
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#68 Was Looking For A Local Tattoo Shop And This Artist Popped Up. Am I Crazy Or Is It Terrible?
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#69 My S****y Tattoo That’s Supposed To Say “Born To Die”. I Had To Stop Him Because Just This Took Him 2,5 Hours And I Was Just Done With His S**t
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#70 Would Love To Hear What U Think This Tattoo Is
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#71 My Supervisor At Work Said Her Daughter Came Home With A New Tattoo From Her Friend. It Was Worse Than I Imagined ?
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#72 This Army Wife Tattoo That Takes Up A Whole Back
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#73 Behold Him..and Weep
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#74 Please Tell Me I’m Not Alone In Thinking This Guy’s Work Sucks
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#75 Artist Honestly Said It Just Needed Colouring
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#76 I Don’t Know What’s Worse The Tail Or The Eye
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#77 My Nail Lady Has Started Doing Tattoos. This Is Her Latest Offering
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#78 U/Pyropenguin5213: I See Your Artist Accidentally Marking Your Arm, I Raise You 1; My Artist Marked My Chin While Working On My Chest ?
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#79 My Brother Just Got This From His Cousin, I’m Fu*****g Flabbergasted, I Honestly Don’t Know What To Say…
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#80 My Boyfriend Just Got These And Idk What To Think
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#81 This Community Seems Pretty Unhinged. Curious To See How S****y You Guys Think My Arm Is:)
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#82 Skinned Knee Tattoo… Not Sure How I Feel About This
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#83 Did Years Ago Thinking It Looked Like Stitches, Now Everyone Just Says Sweet Football Laces Lol
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#84 Long Time Lurker Here To Contribute
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#85 This $500 Mermaid
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#86 Can’t Decide If He Made It Better Or Worse
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#87 Im Posting My New Tattoo Here Bevore Someone Else Does. (Read The Caption)
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#88 Any Guesses On Who It’s Supposed To Be?
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#89 It Didn’t Start Out Sh****y. Poor Michael Is A Literal Blob Of ?
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#90 Cover Up Ideas For Poor Nugget?
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#91 What Happens When You’re Young And Decide To Get A Tattoo In Someone’s Living Room? This Mess
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#92 My Friend Got This Tattoo Yesterday. I’m Not Even Mad, Just Disappointed
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#93 I Wanted To Share My Lower Back Tattoo From About 15 Yrs Ago
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#94 I Really Need An Honest Opinion And I Heard This Subreddit Doesn’t Hold Back. What Do You Think?
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#95 I’m Afraid I Have A S****y Tattoo
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#96 Should I Be Upset With These Lines?
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#97 But Why?
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#98 I Get Mixed Responses On This Tattoo. Whats Your Opinion?
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#99 This Bad Boy Was Slapped On At Age 14, Without Parent Permission!
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#100 Before And After “Coverup” From A Local Artist Of 20 Years Experience
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#101 Is My Tattoo S****y?
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#102 S****y Or Trashy?
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#103 Sil Didn’t Understand Why I Wouldn’t Let Her Give Me A Tattoo…
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#104 Biggest Regret
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#105 I Was Young And Dumb
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#106 What Do You Guys Think?
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#107 An Ex Had A Manic Episode And Left Me With The Weirdest Tattoo
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#108 Is This S****y? I Really Love It, But… Just Wandering Your Opinion Guys
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#109 My Tattoo Was S**t On In R/Tattoos, So Here’s My S****y Tattoo Lol
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#110 I Love My Tattoo But My Fear Is People Think Its Tribal
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#111 Friend‘S New Neck Tattoo…
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#112 My Ex-Coworker Was Done Dirty
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#113 I Was Planning On Getting A Tattoo From This Artist. I Think I’m Going To Call Off The Appointment
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#114 Am I Wrong Or Is This Truly Terrible?
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#115 When Your Regular Artist Is Booked Out 2 Months And You Need This Disney Leg Sleeve Today Before You Die Tomorrow
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#116 Looks Up Glitter Tattoos On Tiktok To See How The Technique Is Done And…. Yikes…
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