15 Tattoo Artists Reveal The Biggest Mistake They Ever Made To Prepare You For The Worst

List Rules
Tattoo lovers: vote up the biggest mistakes that would have you asking for a cover-up.

When you're paying someone to permanently ink your skin, you're putting a lot of trust in their hands. But because tattoo artists are human beings, sometimes they make mistakes. These stories of tattoo artist mistakes are here to prepare you for what's to come. Read on and vote up the worst big tattoo mistakes.


  • 1
    47 VOTES

    They Misspelled A Name And Ended Up Having To Do A Huge Cover-Up

    From Redditor u/Mister_Lurker

    This guy wanted ANNA tattooed on his back in huge lettering, and due to some miscommunication he ended up getting ANAN (thought it was a strange request at the time but went along with it anyway). Had to cover that up with a huge black tribal piece and then have the name tattooed elsewhere. Needless to say he didn't have to pay for either of the tattoos.

    47 votes
  • 2
    41 VOTES

    They Misspelled 'Harley-Davidson' And It Cost Them A Tooth

    From Redditor u/kaistallings:

    Three years ago I worked in a shop with a bloke that tattooed a Harley-Davidson logo on a pretty rough dude. Well, he misspelled Harley-Davidson. A simple mistake that cost him a fractured tooth, if I recall correctly.

    41 votes
  • 3
    67 VOTES

    They Forgot A Very Important Letter In A Song Lyric

    From Redditor u/tradermjb:

    I was getting work done on a sleeve and a mid-40s woman came in wanting the Tool lyrics "overthinking, overanalyzing, separates the body from the mind" on her rib cage. The artist sketched it out and she approved it and got tattooed. An hour later she came in crying; there was no "y" in analyzing so it said "analzing." The shop went silent and the artist did some sort of touch-up, but no one spoke the entire time. Was pretty bad... but after there were a lot of jokes!

    67 votes
  • 4
    57 VOTES

    They Put The Wrong Time On A Watch

    From Redditor u/JerkasaurousRexx:

    I've worked at a shop for a while as a manager... I have seen several mistakes and most of them are spelling errors. For every tattoo we do, we use a stencil and always have the customer look at it to verify the spelling and placement. But one time, the head artist free-handed a piece on a customer. The customer wanted a pocket watch with her son's time of birth on it. Well, apparently the artist wasn't very familiar with pocket watches and put the hour hand an hour ahead of the time the customer asked for. That was an awkward time for a while since that customer was my girlfriend.

    57 votes
  • 5
    42 VOTES

    They Mixed Up A Soccer Team's Colors

    From Redditor u/Mister_Lurker:

    Tattooed a soccer badge and [got] the foreground and background colors mixed up. They went away happy (sort of). You can't really do anything about that except cover it up and place the tattoo elsewhere.

    42 votes
  • 6
    40 VOTES

    They Spelled 'Philippians' Instead Of Philippines And Everyone Cried

    From Redditor u/sweetappohs:

    Spelled Philippines like Philippians... Oops. He cried; I cried. We covered it with huge praying hands with a dark background. Lost a bunch of money doing the cover-up, but I regained my confidence and pride. Worth it. Glad he trusted me to fix it.

    40 votes