Tattoo horror stories, from cheating exes to vaginas that bite

Only god will juge you. And all of the internet.

We go out of our way to save some money, but even we must admit there are those things that a person should not scrimp on. Invasive medical procedures is a wonderful example. Also, tattoos. Tattoos are forever (or for-until-you-can-afford-laser-removal) and, as such, shouldn’t be something you make decisions about based on today’s Groupon. We’ve heard some awesomely bad tattoo stories and here are a few. Recall these cautionary tales the next time that “Become A Work Of Art For As Little As $50” ad shows its face on your Facebook side bar. We love tattoos and we love saving money, we’re just not sure the two should ever occupy the same thought space.

Lesson No. 1: What’s Love Got Tattoo With It? Nothing.

Darbi's tattoo. Not pictured: the jerk Brian's name.

Darbi is a Brooklyn-based voice-over actor. She has three tattoos but the one on her right shoulder is her favorite. If you ask Darbi what that tattoo means she’ll ask you if you want the made up meaning she gives it or the truth. The made-up meaning: “It is an ancient symbol signifying strength” (no one’s an expert on “ancient symbols” so no one argues). The truth: it’s a cool-looking shape which perfectly covers the name “Brian.”

In a somewhat irrational reaction to discovering her boyfriend’s infidelity, Darbi downed a few shots and decided Brian tattooing her name on his body was the only acceptable proof of his devotion. She also decided she should have one too. Darbi had the tattoo (and the boyfriend) about a year longer than she wanted it. A talented artist in Austin was able to cover the name with a freehand drawing which, for Darbi, represents strength.

The take away? Don’t get a tattoo of your cheating lover’s name. Not ever.

Lesson No. 2: Friends Who Invite You To Drinking Slash Tattoo Parties Are Not Your Friends

Kenji's tat. Don't ask him if he likes soccer.

Kenji is one of Brokelyn’s own, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and a master quick pickler. While in college at Cal State, Kenji’s friends invited him over one night for some drinks and mentioned that, incidentally, there would be a tattoo artist there doing tattoos out of his van for $100. Drinks and a deal! How could any of us resist? Kenji didn’t. And now Kenji has a tattoo of his Japanese family mon (an emblem) on his right arm.

Midway through finishing the tattoo Kenji recalls telling a friend about the significance of the three cherry blossoms and the “artist” responded with, “Ooooh, cherry blossoms! I thought you just really liked soccer.” Face palm. Kenji still digs the design of his tattoo but realized pretty swiftly the execution was subpar.

“It’s not easy to ruin a design that simple, so I give him credit for that,” Kenji said. While he wouldn’t go with a man in a van charging $100 again, Kenji does have some pretty awesome (and pretty big) tattoos planned for the future. This time he’s saving up for an artist with an eye for the difference between cherry blossoms and soccer balls.

The take away? Good tattoo artists are not parking their van-slash-tattoo-parlors in front of college dorms and charging a fraction of the going rate to give you an awesome tattoo.

Lesson No. 3: Shocking Your Parents, It Gets Tiresome After A While

JUST NO. This picture of the actual tattoo in question was mocked on the internet for some time. Via

Aurelia, an art teacher in Los Angeles, thought getting a tattoo of vagina dentata was a good idea. No one is really sure why she thought that. Aurelia says it was “about female power and so on, but mostly I just wanted to shock the shit out of people.” Fair enough.

After four years and being featured on a website of the worst tattoos ever, Aurelia had the “monster vagina dentata” covered with a massive piece which she loves because she knows “the secret that lies beneath.” Good story, but possibly one of the worst ideas for a tattoo … ever?

The take away? A tattoo of a vagina with teeth is probably a bad idea.

Do you have a tattoo horror story? Have you ever gotten a tattoo on the cheap and it turned out awesome? Does your friend have a tattoo that you secretly think is heinous? Thoughts on the worst tattoo you’ve ever seen?


  1. Jamie

    If that was a Rorschach test, I’d have said soccer ball. Biting vagiina may give me nightmares. No marks here I wasn’t born with except a few scars, despite the parties in my twenties. “Juge” me, go ahead. Thanks Ms Brewster, great article!

  2. Jamie

    If that was a Rorschach test, I’d have said soccer ball. The biting vagina may give me nightmares. Despite the parties in my 20’s, I have no ink. Go ahead, “juge” me! Great article!

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