Tattoo artists and customers are revealing their worst tattoo horror stories and they're the stuff of nightmares

Tattoo artists and customers are revealing their worst tattoo horror stories and they're the stuff of nightmares

Tattoos can be completely beautiful, completely inspirational and something you'll want to show off for the rest of your life  ... or they can be the stuff of nightmares.

Unfortunately for people being inked, there are more horror stories out there than you'd think. For example, this week a Reddit user efergantes asked tattoo artists and customers to reveal on their biggest "oh crap..." moment while tattooing someone or receiving a tattoo. And, needless to say, there was plenty of tea to spill...

1. Something tells me this guy got unfriended...

"My best friend went to a guy he knew who did tattoos as a hobby at his house. He wanted 'UNFORGIVING' tattooed down his forearm. They decided to get drunk and pop some pills as he is getting the tattoo. My friend passes out. He wakes up a few hours later and looks over at the tattoo guy, who is staring at the floor with a look of defeat on his face. 'I fucked up man,' he said. My friend looks down at his new 'UNFRIEND' forearm tattoo."

- Ammarseo1991

2. I'd have taken the wimpy way out

"I went to my old roommate's friend for a tattoo of jellyfish on my ribs. He drew it up. It looked great, but he drew it on graph paper and said it was just to help him with the dimensions. Okay, cool no problem. When he started, I thought this dude had mad allergies. He was sniffling so much, but nah. He had a wicked cocaine addiction, was on pills, and ended up tattooing the entire grid paper on my side. I sat for 6-7 hours straight because I didn’t want to 'seem like a pussy.' In the end, I had to get a 14-hour cover up done on it. I’ll never get my other rib tattooed."

- blackcatskirt

Tattoo Credit: blackcatskirt/

3. Never trust your ex with a tattoo

"My ex is a tattoo artist and has done most of my work. He left us the day after our son was born and it wasn’t until five years later that I ran into him again. I was cordial, I had forgiven him long ago, and was happy in my new life as a single mom. I asked him for a tattoo (the least he could do, right?) and he complied. He drew up a beautiful tribal rosebush that I wanted as a tramp stamp. He starts working and about an hour later, I looked to see how it was coming along. The bastard stuck our son’s name on my lower back. IN HIS HANDWRITING. It doomed my sex life for a while."


4. I, for one, can't believe this isn't a word...

"We're an hour into the tattoo, well into the colour, when my girl asks me if there's meant to be an 'e' there. I sit back. My blood goes cold. The world slows to a halt. The more I frantically read the word 'develope' in my head the less it sounds and looks like a word. I tear off my gloves and consult uncle Google...and, no, no it is not a word."

- realShustyRackleford


5. The bread is pretty great too, just sayin'

"A guy who didn't speak English very well came in and asked for the word, 'hovis' on his arm. Confused, we repeatedly asked if he definitely wanted 'hovis,' like the bread? We wrote it out on paper, but he kept saying, 'yes, yes.' So my boss did it. The next day he comes in with his very angry brother who explained he wanted 'ELVIS.'"

- deadsocial

6. You can't fault the tattoo artist here

"A customer of mine went to Spain for a tattoo and asked the artist for a Love heart with Margaret in the middle. The artist didn't speak a word of English, so he asked for it to be written down — exactly what he wanted done. Well, he did get exactly what he wrote down."

- mackdow85

Love heart tattoo Credit: Mackdow85/

7. There's a possibility that this girl was seriously embarrassed

"I have this friend who has quite a few tattoos. She had been planning on getting a large infinity sign (like the sideways 8) followed by the word, 'possibilities' up the length of her forearm. The idea was to have infinite possibilities, kind of an affirmation. Well, she got it and loved it. She posted it on Facebook and Instagram, tagged her artist and went about her day. I had to call her and tell her the bad news. Her arm said, 'possibities.'"

- Ekalb13

8. His tattoo doesn't lie

"My friend let a random girl scrawl John Lennon’s quote, 'Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans' onto his rib cage, but he was on numbing drugs and only let her get halfway through, so he has a tattoo that says, 'Life is what happens to you.' Which is 100% better, anyway."


"A guy was getting tattooed on his arm and started to look pale. My friend knows the signs all too well and asks if he needs a break or something to eat or drink. Client says, 'Nope all good. Keep going." Sure enough, within ten minutes, the client slumps over having fainted...and then proceeds to violently shit his pants. Safe to say that tattoo chair had to get thrown out."

- MsBobbyJenkins

Now, after all of that tattoo trauma, how about some successful tattoos? To renew your faith in the inking business, check out these 13 discreet and inspirational mastectomy tattoos.