45 Cringe-Worthy Tattoo Fails That Cut Much Deeper Than The Needle Ever Did

By Anni K

This article was originally published on funniesnow

If you are old enough to get a tattoo, surely you are old enough to use some logic to know that you should always double-check your new ink’s placement, spelling, and grammar. However, do you know what’s more painful than getting a tattoo? Getting a really bad one.

Along with an ugly tattoo comes a lifetime of rude comments, aggressive advice, and mean looks. It can feel like your whole life is doomed because of one tattoo fail! Botched ink cuts way deeper than a tattooing needle ever will.

It might sound like we are fanning the flames of those who are probably already beside themselves with their bad tattoos. But we are here to prove that many people made regrettable decisions in the ink world. Thanks to tattoo_fails on Instagram, Here are 45 of the most painfully cringey examples of why you should thoroughly plan your next piece of body art.

What’s The Use

This tattoo is both a fail and a win – the realism in the tattoo is the win. The artist has some serious talent because it looks like a pen is tucked behind this guy’s ear, even from up close and far away. 

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But then you stop and think about it. What is the use of tattooing a pen behind your ear if you can’t use it? It baffles us because not only do you have a massive tattoo on your head, it is physically useless and has no deeper meaning. It must have been a dare. 

Don’t Forget The Apostrophe

In an argument, there is no more straightforward way to shut down the other person than when you correct their grammar, and the same goes for tattoos that are meant to be intimidating. Simply point out the mistake and walk away. 

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Like this person who decided to get a seemingly intimidating tattoo on their fists that should have said, “you’re next,” meaning you’d be next to meet their knuckles, but instead, it says, “your next,” so now you can ask, “My what is next?” and have a laugh. 

Walking Nightmare

We don’t like to be a cliche when it comes to tattoos and ask the age-old question, but in this instance, we have to – how will that look when they’re 70? Face tattoos are already bold enough, but this is taking it several steps too far.

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What’s worse is that this person decided to make his full-face tattoo that of a common phobia. We’re sure several people who have arachnophobia will go running for the hills when they see this person. We hope his soulmate isn’t afraid of spiders. 

Junk Food

We all have some sort of favorite food. Some prefer mom’s homemade meals while others love the taste of commercially made food, and that’s perfectly fine. But sometimes, people have a tendency to show their love for food a tad too much.

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Just like Ronald McDonald is seemingly showing a bit too much, the person who had this awfully executed image tattooed on their body must have been under some kind of influence from alcohol or their peers to make this poor of a decision. 

Get What You Pay For

Art is priceless, and we understand if you’re feeling a bit frustrated that it is out of your budget, but one form of art you should never ever skimp out on is tattoo art. Since it’s permanent, you might wanna save up just a tad more to get it done correctly. 

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This is a perfect example of why you should never go for a cheaper option unless you have done your homework and seen some examples of the artist’s work. We highly recommend removing this tattoo. The scar tissue from the removal process will look much better than the actual tattoo. 

Always Spell Check

You would think that tattooing the name of a religious leader would be significant enough to double-check the spelling, right? Plus, the name Jesus is very often written throughout the Bible and seen around Christmas every year. 

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How could the artist or the person getting the tattoo not notice this massive mistake? That’s why you always double-check your tattoo sketch before allowing the tattoo artist to start. Check throughout the process, too. This person clearly didn’t bother. 

Who Are You Punishing?

Getting a face tattoo is one thing. Getting a tattoo of a face on your face is just weird. You have a face of your own. Don’t add a tattoo of another one on it. Now, we’re wondering what this poor child will say when they’re grown up and see this. 

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We don’t know if it’s punishment for the person with the tattoo or the child in the tattoo. The tattoo is on this man’s beard line, so if he grows a beard, the entire face will be covered in beard hairs, and that’s pretty unattractive.

That’s Meta

This person boldly exclaims that they have made some bad decisions, clearly, so we’re wondering if he is referencing this tattoo, which is so obviously a bad decision to get, or an even worse decision they have made before this tattoo?

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Could they not have just accepted their mistakes instead of tattooing the statement on their back? It is pointless to even consider a tattoo like this. Humanity is doomed if people with this state of mind and these coping mechanisms reproduce. 

Cat Eyes

Please let this be sharpie and not actual tattoos of sleepy cats on this woman’s face. There are two things wrong in this photo. The first one is that when you decide to tattoo your eyebrows, you generally go to a reputable make-up tattoo artist. 

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Secondly, suppose you desire to have cat eyes. In that case, that means you put eyeliner around your eyes with a winged tip and certainly not literally cats tattooed on your eyebrows – wrong placement, wrong interpretation. What the heck was she thinking?

Incredibly Stupid

We mean it. This is incredibly stupid, as in, it is incredible and foolish. The realism and execution of the tattoo are expertly done and look great, but then you look at its overall idea and placement, and you can’t help but give yourself a facepalm. 

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Not only is this useless since shoes should protect your feet, but this also serves the opposite effect of what shoes need to do. This is endangering your feet by exposing these massive scars, which tattoos essentially are, to the dirty world you have to step on, and you probably can’t wear shoes until it heals. 

Double Trouble

See, this is precisely why you always double-check the spelling and grammar before getting a tattoo. We won’t shame you for using a dictionary or even letting google auto-correct your search term, which is your tattoo. In fact, we applaud you if you do. 

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This person clearly didn’t care enough to double-check or had complete faith in their tattoo artist that they shouldn’t have had. There are two incredibly bad mistakes in this tattoo, and honestly, the execution isn’t great either. Maybe get a second opinion next time?

Why Are We Lost?

Compasses are a common tattoo idea, and while we know, it is useless and won’t serve any function on the body, if executed well, they can look great and capture your adventurous spirit. But if done wrong, no one will want to adventure with you. 

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Did this artist or client just draw a random compass from memory, and if so, why didn’t they once bother just to check if it’s correct? It’s one thing to swap two directions on the compass, but to mess three out of four directions up is honestly some sort of talent. 

Who is that?

At first glance, you might think this is a cartoon due to the lack of detail, but when you look closely, the horror sets in. The artist actually tried to add some realism to this tattoo, and it’s nothing less than awful. 

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But the real horror is, who is that and what suspicious object are they holding? Is it the bride of Chucky or a self-portrait? Whatever the answer is, we’re pretty sure this is a good conversation starter since everyone will ask who it is. 

Finally, an Accurate Tattoo

Finally, we have an accurate tattoo, and while it definitely is a fail, at least it is true, and the execution isn’t all that bad. Why is it accurate? Well, because only a clown will get a tattoo of clown makeup tattooed on their face. 

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This picture shows how this person aged along with the tattoo, and you can clearly see the regret in their eyes with every photo. Never get a face tattoo when you’re young; if you decide to get a face tattoo, wait a few more years. 

Creepy Children

We get that tattooing something that reminds you of your loved ones might bring you closure, happiness, or joy when you see it, but we beg you not to tattoo faces if your artist doesn’t have decent reviews or a good portfolio. 

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These children, or perhaps its progression tattoos of one child’s life, are not only done bad, but they also creep us out on a deep level. The eyes are almost entirely black, and they seem possessed. Opt for names instead of faces if you have to get a tattoo from a terrible artist. 

They Must Love Geometry

What do you get when you combine your love for geometry and your love for your mother? You get this awful tattoo. The font and execution are not too bad, but we just can’t forgive the awful mistake on what should’ve been a meaningful tattoo. 

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English might be challenging, but it’s always worth a shot to flip through the dictionary before getting a tattoo you’ll have to sport for the rest of your life or otherwise remove it with painful laser treatments. At least this seems like it can be covered up rather easily. 

What’s Her Name Again?

There is a common superstition when it comes to tattooing your partner’s name on your body: you would break up soon after getting the tattoo and then have to either date a person with the same name or get it covered. 

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Do you think this person heard of this superstition, or do you think they tried to get Brenda to immediately break up with him since he wrote out Brenda about a hundred times on their body? We sincerely hope they never break up. This will be a massive tattoo to have to cover up. 

That’s Not How IDs Work

There certainly is a trend of useful tattoos going around, from indicating where your left and right hands are to a mini ruler on your fingers. But we think this person went a bit too far with his ‘useful tattoo’ idea unless they meant to get it to brag to their friends.

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If it was for bragging reasons, we’re not jealous at all. What were they thinking? You can’t just pull off your shirt and show your back as a form of ID. If that were the case, airports would have many topless people roaming around. 

They Must Be A Writer

A famous saying goes, “no pain, no gain,” and that simply means you have to work hard or push your limits to gain what you’re after. That might be true for this person. They have to endure the pain of having this tattoo to gain knowledge. 

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Or perhaps they had a different interpretation of the saying, and they intentionally wanted to use the word ‘pen’ instead of ‘gain.’ Perhaps it means that if you have no pen, you will not gain anything since pens are often used in your everyday life.

Don’t Have Finger Tattoos

Finger tattoos are rarely amazing. The ink bleeds or blows out often, looking messy. But if it’s not that, it’s silly tattoos like these ones. While the detail is pretty well done for tattoos that are very small, we can’t see this person loving them forever. 

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These are characters from a TV series, and if that’s not cringey enough, look closely. One of them is upside down for some reason. If you’re gonna get bad tattoos, at least have them all right side up, for crying out loud. 

What Is That

We think this might be a crossover of two things the person with this horrible tattoo loves. It looks like a pirate captain that is posing with a football, and those two things couldn’t be farther apart in the realm of ‘things that might crossover.’

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These types of art are better reserved for drawings you draw when you are bored and then throw them away, so no one has to suffer by looking at them. Plus, on top of the bad idea that this tattoo is, the execution is pretty bad too. 

No, You’re Not

It was really bold of this person to exclaim that they are too cool for school in the form of a tattoo when they can’t even spell the word ‘school.’ Perhaps they should reconsider their cool status and head back to class. 

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But besides the spelling error, what person that is legally allowed to get a tattoo by age would get this tattoo? We really hope this isn’t done on an underage school kid since this is regrettably bad as it is. 

If You Can’t Beat Them

This poor person… We can only assume the reason that they would get an onion tattoo on their armpits is that they were bullied for their body odor and decided to be one step ahead of the bullies and claim their stinky situation. 

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But here’s the thing. Instead of getting a seriously painful tattoo on your pits, you could have endured the pain of getting your sweat glands removed or injected with botox to stop them from working, which would have solved your problem. Now you have the pain of the tattoo and the pain of having to live with it too. 

Mr. Buddah

We hope this person is a fan of Mr. Bean since the end result of their tattoo that should have been a buddha now looks like the iconic comedian that plays Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson. We can’t imagine the disappointment they must have felt. 

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Maybe the artist will blame the lack of detail on the fact that the reference image itself was also lacking crucial detail. Never trust any random artist, or worse, a friend starting out with tattoos to tattoo on your body. Always do your research. 

Have a Seat

Okay, this one might be clever, but it still remains a stupid idea to get a tattoo simply because it’s a joke. You will definitely get bored of it and regret it as you get older. Have you figured out why this is a clever tattoo?

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We’re not sure of the placement, but if it’s on the person’s foot or arm, it’s pretty funny since it is then a footstool or, the best one, an armchair. We love a good pun, but not enough to get it permanently inked on our bodies. 

So Close

This could have been a cool tattoo if this person chose the correct placement for the word ‘black’ and did not misspell the word ‘sabbath.’ The way it is tattooed now, we can’t help but read it as ‘Sabbaht Black.’ 

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They could have placed the word ‘black’ up further to make it read the correct way around, as the famous band, Black Sabbath. And if they paid attention to detail and correctly spelled the word ‘sabbath,’ it would have been fine. At least it looks okay from far away.

Spend More

You’ve heard it a million times, and we will repeat it. You get what you pay for. Tattoos should not be the art you skimp out on. In fact, save up more since it will be on your body forever, and you won’t be able to throw a tarp over it and store it in your garage as with other lousy art. 

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Invest more money into your tattoo, and research your tattoo artist in order to receive the best results. This person wanted a massive lion tattoo but instead got a sad and disfigured inked feline that will haunt our dreams. 


This mistake is actually more common than you think; we very often see people get confused with the words ‘life’ and ‘live,’ but unfortunately for this person, they got it wrong. At least it still fits the acronym ‘YOLO.’ 

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It could have been a much worse mistake, and luckily, the artist did a good job of tattooing, just not a decent job when it comes to choosing the correct form of ‘life.’ Hopefully, this person can get this covered up soon. 


This person is taking the term ‘two-faced’ very literally and had an eerie tattoo drawn on the back of their head, making it seem like they have a face on the back of their head. This is extra weird since the hairline and face make it seem like the character Eddie Munster. 

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This tattoo is clearly for everyone but him since he won’t see the tattoo often unless he re-shaves his head in order to see it. We’d love to ask why, but we don’t care enough at this point. We just want to look away. 

Take A Break

We really wish the trend for tattooing commercially available products onto your body will end very soon since we have never ever seen a tattoo of a product on a body that makes sense or looks good on anyone. 

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This person couldn’t contain his love for Kit Kats and chose to get one tattooed on his body. The worse part is that it’s on his head for everyone to see. We hope he isn’t going bald soon, so he can at least grow some hair to cover the tattoo.

Cover Up or Intentional?

We can’t help but wonder if this tattoo was intentionally bad or just a very bad attempt at covering up another person’s name in order to forget about the first bad idea they had. If you look closely, it seems like there is a name hidden. 

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The name Abby is hidden in this awful spelling of the words ‘baby girl’, but look closely. The B of ‘babby’ is ever so slightly off center and looks like an afterthought. Maybe this person wanted to cover their first mistake up, tattooing the name of your partner on your body.  


Getting a massive tattoo is already a painful thing to sit through, but sitting with a painfully awful tattoo for the rest of your life is probably worse. This person, unfortunately, chose the wrong artist to get a tattoo from. 

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We’re not sure if it’s a tiger or a lion, but either way, it is horrific and looks like it is in pain, but not as much as the person who owns this tattoo must be from regret. But look on the bright side. At least they don’t have to see it every day since it’s out of sight. 

Don’t Let Your Tattoo Artist Make Mistakes Either

The idea behind this tattoo is rather inspiring, but we can’t take this person’s tattoo seriously at all since their decision to not spell check their tattoo before starting caused a very permanent mistake on their bodies. We can’t count how many times we have shaken our heads writing this.

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Not only did they misspell the tattoo, but they also used a comma the wrong way, and that makes us extra uncomfortable. At least the tattoo artist did a great job with the font they used, but not good enough to save this tattoo from being a massive fail. 

Regret This Tattoo

We wonder if this person who has a tattoo of the words ‘Regret Nohing’ regrets the choice to not spell check it before letting the tattoo artist start their tattoo. Who knew such a small mistake could lead to such a regrettable tattoo? 

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It’s ironic that they say they regret nothing, but they probably regret the fact that a ‘T’ is missing in their tattoo that is very boldly placed on their bodies. Perhaps they don’t regret this tattoo or the mistake, which in that case, we regret on your behalf. 

Are Those Lips?

It might be a cute idea to try and tattoo someone’s lipstick mark on your neck permanently, but it is not cute when it comes out looking like two misshapen red beans with distinct black lines and happens to be permanent. 

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Perhaps this person wanted a freehanded lip drawing on their neck, or maybe it was just the way the lipstick stain warped after being on their skin so long. Whatever the case may be, this tattoo must have been painful, but not as painful as having to have to live with it for the rest of your life. 

You’re Still Not Designer

Despite this person’s extreme dedication to the luxury brand, Louis Vitton, they, unfortunately, cannot claim their body as being ‘designer’ now. There is a reason you buy clothing with patterns so that you don’t have to ink them onto your skin forever. 

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Maybe this person’s tattoo artist was cheaper than actually buying a garment from the designer brand, which in that case, might have been an economical move. But it still doesn’t take away from the fact that this tattoo is super cringey. 

You Got That Right

At least this person is claiming the fact that they are also not perfect since they have a massive tattoo on their body with a spelling error in it for the rest of their life. And for that, we salute their honesty and humbleness. 

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However, they could have still gotten the same message across, if not better so, if they had just spell-checked their tattoo before allowing the artist to continue. We guess this is turtle neck season for the rest of their lives. 

Not So Modern Art

If this tattoo is meant to represent modern art and a modern interpretation of eyes, then it’s very well executed, but still an extreme fail. We cannot imagine that the person was sane at the time of getting this tattoo. 

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Perhaps they didn’t know what they were going to get and only saw this monstrosity when they looked in the mirror, and in that case, we feel very sorry for them. At least you can easily hide this under a t-shirt. 

Try Again 

We are glad when people recognize their mistakes and try to fix them, especially with something as permanent as tattoos, but when you mess it up twice, there is no hope for you or the artist that tattooed this mistake twice. 

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Not only did they misspell the word ‘petal’ the first time, but they also managed to misspell it for the second time when trying to fix the first mistake. The idea behind the tattoo is cute, but the horrific spelling and attempt at fixing it? Not so much. 

The Horror

It should be illegal to tattoo someone’s face on your body without their consent, since not only can it turn out bad, but they have to look at their face horribly drawn on your body for the rest of their lives. 

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This person not only has to suffer the fact that they have a horrifying tattoo on their body for the rest of their lives, but they will have to explain to the child who was represented in the tattoo that it is them. How embarrassing for both these people. 

Too Many Apostrophes

We’re not sure if it’s better or worse when there are too many apostrophes in a tattoo or if you forget them altogether, but what is definitely awful is if you use a conjunction and the same verb that was used in the conjunction. 

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This person takes the cake. Not only does he use too many words, but he also gets the artist’s name wrong by swapping the first letter of their first and last name; maybe it was Jon Bovi that had terrible grammar as opposed to Bon Jovi. 

Tattoos Are Real Too

This person tried to tattoo the words ‘belief makes things real’ onto their body but was met with the fact that horrible tattoos make embarrassment tea. The tattoo artist accidentally wrote ‘belife’ instead of ‘belief’ on this person’s body.

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This person already learned the lesson that belief makes things real, but now they also learned the lesson that you should always ensure you spell-check tattoos before you get them. What a painful way to learn a simple lesson. 

Butterflies, Why?

If you’re going out to a music festival, it is very common for people to add drawings, motifs, and gemstones to their faces to have some fun while they party. But what is uncommon is to add butterflies to your face permanently. 

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This girl got some butterflies tattooed on her face and seems happy about it. We’re not happy about it, but who are we to judge if she is? Can we just ask two questions: Why? And what is on your nose?

Did You Know It Wasn’t A Sharpie?

We all get bored and draw on ourselves at least once in our life, and we might even get scolded that it will cause skin damage, but we can’t help but wonder if this person realized this terrible drawing is, in fact, a tattoo.

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Not only is this a fail tattoo, but it is also a fail drawing too. Is it supposed to be a spider’s web? It looks like a 3-year-old drew it, and the person got intoxicated and thought it was a good idea to preserve the terrible drawing forever in the form of a tattoo. 

Dad’s What?

The fact that you would tattoo the words “Dad’s Angel” on your body in the first place is cringey and weird enough, but the fact that you have the misfortune of having a spelling error on your body is just sad and an obvious fail. 

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But we’re going to be friendly and give them some bonus points for using the apostrophe correctly since that is a very common mistake on people who have regrettable tattoos to start with. We’re hoping dad doesn’t demote them to dad’s failure.