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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. 

  • 1

    Cursed Tattoo

    Posted by u/doometteowo:

    I work at a tattoo shop with a few artists. One of our artists [messed] up tremendously on a face tattoo. She did the stencil before hand and showed him, after his approval she started above his brow. He wanted "Cursed," but he left the shop with "Cusred" tattooed on his forehead.

    Tragic tattoo tale?
  • 2

    Always Ask What An Acronym Means

    Posted by u/ALasagnaForOne:

    I had a client email me asking for a four-letter acronym. I don’t do freehand script so I put the letters into a font generator and sent him back some options. He picked the one he liked best and we set an appointment date.

    On the day of his session, I showed him the acronym again and we chose a size. I placed the stencil and he approved it and I got started.

    Midway through the tattoo I asked him what the letters stood for and he told me. My heart stopped. The letters were in the wrong order. The middle two were swapped. I ran to the shop computer to check my email and sure enough, in his original email he’d sent me, they’d been correct. I had typed them into the font generator wrong.

    But to be fair, he had seen them several times since then and didn’t notice my mistake. I spent the rest of the session covering them up with another design he’d had as a backup tattoo idea and I didn’t charge him. But it was a good learning experience for me to always ask what initials/acronyms stand for ahead of time to make sure I get them in the right order.

    Tragic tattoo tale?
  • 3

    Cringe Story Featuring Cringer

    Posted by u/Graverobber13:

    I was doing a big ol' tattoo of Cringer (AKA Battlecat) on a really cool client's leg. I got so into doing this big, awesome tiger head that I forgot that it WASN'T a goddamn tiger and colored the stripes black. I realized about a third of the way through filling them in and let the guy know. He was disappointed, but mostly okay with it; I felt like I was going to puke.

    I finished the thing, feeling sick and refused payment. Man, going from that feeling of elation to IMMEDIATE crushing disappointment was hard to shake, and kind of dazed me. It was extra crushing because it was a fun tattoo during a time when I wasn't that busy and was doing mostly absolute dreck. The payment was just the icing on the top, so letting that go was hard too.

    Ugh, just thinking about it now is making me feel sick.

    Tragic tattoo tale?
  • 4

    A Beautiful Day For The 'Neighborhood'

    Posted by u/eccoothedolphin:

    I was a receptionist at a tattoo shop. One of the artists misspelled “neighborhood” on this guys neck. He spelled it “neigborhood,” leaving out the first “h.” Neighborhood was the guy's nickname.

    It was a pretty large, elaborate tattoo so there was no fixing it. I don’t think I have ever cringed so hard in my life. The guy was surprisingly really cool about it. He did see the drawing and approved it before it was tattooed on.

    He ended up making the artist tattoo a “h” on his palm so if anyone gave him sh*t about the misspelling he could smack that person with the missing “H.”

    Tragic tattoo tale?