Tattoo Artists Share Stories Of Their All-Time Worst Customers

There are bad customers, and then there are bad tattoo customers. While dealing with a difficult client is one thing, dealing with lousy customers while you're trying to put permanent ink on their body creates a whole new, potentially life-ruining problem. And that's exactly what these tattoo artists horror stories from Reddit get into - the trials and tribulations of those who work in ink and all its terrible trends.

Not only do they see all sorts of different people and personalities, artists must get up close and personal with customers and the bad tattoos they want on their body forever. Each of these tattoo artists' stories of their worst customer encounters get very extra - from bodily fluids to screaming to requests for penis maintenance, it's all there. And the very worst tattoo parlor customers have a little of everything.

Although it makes sense people may get nervous and not be their best when getting a tattoo - especially if it's their first time - these stories highlight the importance of understanding what you're getting into, and what's getting put on you... and it's always good to remember that tattoo artists make mistakes too.

Photo: Hey Wonder Steph / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

  • Relaxation Methods

    From Redditor /u/SignDeLaTimes:

    Story told to me by my artist while I was getting tattooed.

    Guy and girl come into his shop and ask to get a tattoo on [her] back. A couple of minutes into it the lady starts squirming. The artist asks her to sit still. A couple more minutes later she starts squirming again.

    He says, "If you don't sit still I can't finish the tattoo."  She says, "It really hurts, but there's something that might help." Artist says, "Do whatever you need. Just sit still." So, she manages to stop squirming, and it's a while before the artist notices her head is bobbing. He looks up from the tattoo and [she] has her boyfriend's d*ck in her mouth. He finishes up the tattoo, they pay and leave.

    A week later the artist is at a pool hall, and he recognizes the guy. They make small talk, and he asks, "How's your girlfriend's tattoo healing?" The guy says, "Girlfriend? That was the first day I met [her]. I haven't talked to her since."

  • Classic Dragon D*ck

    From Redditor /u/malprintemps:

    Not me, but my boss. He had a guy come in who wants his whole d*ck and balls transformed in a dragon. Boss agrees to do it for a ridiculous price, like a thousand dollars for what would take three hours or so. Ends up tattooing him in the private room at our shop, but of course everyone in the shop is DYING to know how he accomplished it. Basically, when you're tattooing, one hand is running the machine with the needle and the other is stretching the skin tight, but like... how do you stretch dick skin? Did he have the guy get a boner or what?

    Turns out he had the guy stretch it out himself. Like he spent three hours yanking his d*ck first one way, then the other, so my boss could tattoo the whole damn thing, then bat-winging out his nuts. His original thought was for the guy to have a hard-on, but he couldn't keep it going while it was getting jabbed with a needle (obviously).

    Now our shop refuses genital tattoos and that's why.

  • Just A Penis Touch Up

    From Redditor /u/cats_are_my_friend

    I had a client contact me through my Facebook page and he booked online. He wanted a goddess of fire with the face of Alanis Morissette. When he came in for his appointment, he was generally creepy. He was in his 60s and asking me about getting together with my 25 year old co-worker. He wanted the tattoo on the side of his thigh. He then expressed that it wasn't just going on his thigh, but also on the side of the ass/hip region.

    During the session, there was a mild bumhole smell the whole time. He asked me how much I would charge to touch up the tattoo on his penis. I told him $1500.

  • Screaming Smileys

    From Redditor /u/ipastone

    I gave 2 football players from my school matching smiley face tattoos. One of them was screaming and I felt bad so I took it easy on him and so now it's faded and looks terrible. The other one came out perfect.

  • Where's Waldo?

    From Redditor /u/parfait_surprise

    My husband has a tattoo of Waldo on his taint. I think it was done in Seattle. I'm sure the tattoo artist did not enjoy his night.

  • Second Time's The Charm

    From Redditor /u/el_monstruo

    I remember my friend's sister wanted a tattoo of a scorpion on her pelvic region being that she was a Scorpio. She was immensely afraid of the pain in getting a tattoo so she went a got super drunk before doing so and had her two brothers and I go up with her and a friend. The artist knew this and refused to do the tat because of her condition for a number of reasons including...

    Legal. She could've sobered up and said she didn't ask for it or was not in her right state of mind.

    Health. Alcohol thins blood which may make you bleed more which could cause issues with the person getting it.

    Quality. The possible extra bleeding and being that drunk people aren't the stillest bunch in the world, the tat would probably come out looking like crap.

    She makes a big fuss about it saying she knows what she wants, she isn't drunk blah, blah. She mentions something about the artist missing his chance to get to see "this p*ssy'"and flashes him and her brothers and I saw too. This tattoo parlor also had a pool table so she goes and knocks all the balls in the pockets thinking it was a pay table (it wasn't) and mentions something about them having to buy more balls.

    The older brother finally snatches her up and carts her out while she screams something like "f*ck it, I didn't want one anyway" on the way to the door along with other vulgarities. The younger brother and I were apologizing to the others there and they were "like it's cool just get her home safe and if she stills wants it when she sobers up tell her to come on back."

    The next day the brothers told her about her actions and how embarrassing it was for all involved and she felt pretty bad about it so she went back, while sober, and apologized and got over her fear and got the scorpion tattoo from them.