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Tattoo Artists And Customers Share Their Horror Stories And The Cringe Is Permanent

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List RulesVote up the stories that will permanently scar you.

Tattoo artists, human canvases, and folks who work in studios share their stories of tattoos gone terribly, terribly wrong. From simple spelling errors to an unfortunate slip of the hand, here are the stories that would make anyone rethink their life choices. Vote up the most tragic tattoo tales. 

  • 9

    Asleep At The Wheel

    Posted by u/JoshSidekick:

    I was working at a place when a guy came in for a full back piece of three different cars. It took like 4 visits to finish and each visit he'd look at it and say it looks awesome and then he would take off. On the last visit, they call me in to look at it to show me how awesome it turned out. Well, all the steering wheels were on the wrong side and the reason no one caught it was because the dude was looking in a mirror to check his progress so they looked correct.

    I'm pretty sure the guy was super chill about it when they offered a bunch of free work and they fixed it in another session.

    Tragic tattoo tale?
  • 10

    Client Learned The True Meaning Of 'Murphy's Law'

    Posted by u/xfactotumx:

    Worked as a piercer in a shop a decade ago. A guy came in and wanted "Murphys Law." The artist freehanded a design on him, he green lit it after watching in the mirror and they did a beautiful piece with a banner saying "Murpy's Law." Seemed fitting.

    The guy loved the fact that his one messed up tattoo was the murphys law one.

    Tragic tattoo tale?
  • 11

    'Foreward' Thinking

    Posted by u/Totally_Not_Hitler_:

    I misspelled “forward.” It was a line of script on the side of a foot, and a last minute addition to a couple other tattoos they were getting. I quickly knocked it together on photoshop and nothing looked out of place, the client approved, so I made the stencil.

    The real [mistake] is that I didn’t ask them to spellcheck... I ALWAYS ask them to spellcheck, except for this ONE time...

    The next day they came back and pointed out that forward isn’t spelled “foreword.” I do a lot of reading and I guess it didn’t look wrong because I’m used to seeing it as the “foreword” of a book. I apologized profusely, feeling like a total a**, and told them to pick at the scab of the extra “e” and the “w” while they were healing (to make it fade) and come back in two weeks.

    Fixing the O was easy and I was able to turn the E and W into a wide loopy W and add a bit of extra loops and flourish to other letters so that it looked totally fine in the end albeit a bit stylized. She was happy in the end and still comes to get work from me.

    Tragic tattoo tale?
  • 12

    Words Of Warning Ignored

    Posted by u/CommunicationOk7856:

    I gave a guy a tattoo in prison of his girlfriend's name on his arm. I knew him on the street and his girl and knew it was going nowhere, and insisted he change his mind. He didn't, so I made a bet with him that [the relationship] was gonna go belly up within six months.

    When we got out of segregation and back onto the yard, a few weeks passed at most and I can see him having a bad conversation on the phone. He called me over to his cell and offered me up a huge sack of commissary without a word. I didn't take it, figured he needed it more than me. Still feel [bad about it] to this day.

    Tragic tattoo tale?