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People Are Showing Off Their Biggest Tattoo Regrets (And I'm Honestly Impressed)

Do your research first, kids.

You ever see someone with a tattoo and just tilt your head, squint your eyes, and think to yourself, Why?

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Of course ya have!

Well, now you don't have to wonder, because we recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to do a lil' show-and-tell with tattoos they regret getting. And they did not disappoint.

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To quote a certain police procedural show, these are their stories:

1. "I don't even remember what numbers I supposedly have or what they mean."

A very blurred barcode tattoo on the back of someone's neck

"I don't even know where to start. I was 18 and stupid. Gosh, how basic."


2. "An hour after we get these trendy matching star tattoos, my sister-in-law tells me she hates my brother and has been cheating on him."

A small, solid star tattoo on someone's right foot

"Picture it: Spring break of my senior year of high school in 2007. My boyfriend and I decided to go visit my brother and sister-in-law, who had been together for over a decade. My sister-in-law goes, 'Let's get matching tattoos!' I agree because, ya know, seems like a safe person to get a matching tattoo with, and I'm a dumb 18-year-old.

"An hour after we get these trendy matching star tattoos, she tells me she hates my brother and has been cheating on him. I've considered getting it changed, but I like that there's a story, for better or worse. Basically, trust no bitch."


3. "I got it right before J.K. Rowling went off the deep end on trans people."

A tattoo of the Deathly Hallows symbol from Harry Potter on someone's wrist in black ink

"Wish I hadn't done it, but Harry Potter means a lot to me and my childhood, and the series is bigger than Rowling, so it's...okay."


4. "On my back, I have an '8' (my lucky number) tattoo, which was the first tattoo I ever got."

A tattoo of the number eight with pointed ends on each side with pink roses around it

"And then I covered it up with roses and another crappy '8.' Eventually I'll get it covered, but I mostly forget about it. Tattoos are just a part of my body."


5. "I got a fucking cabbage-ass flower. The artist was so rude. I'll get it covered, though a part of me thinks it's funny."

A tattoo of a blue flower with a single leaf on someone's knee

"I took one for the team. My friend has done tattoos for my whole family and does them well. His shop had an invite-only party for his best clients, so my brother, his wife, and I were invited. A week before the party, his team had given us a flash sheet of tattoos to pick from. The party itself was nice, everyone was sober, and we all knew which tattoos we wanted.

"Well, there were two other artists there besides my friend. I personally asked if my homie would do mine, since I dislike the woman who works for him. My sister-in-law ended up with her instead, and I went to sit with my homie. Then she starts telling my SIL that she won't do the tattoo that SIL had picked because it sucks, and tried pressuring her to get something she didn't want. I ended up trading spots with her, and my SIL got a cute, delicate clover on her collarbone. I got a fucking cabbage-ass flower. The artist was so rude. I'll get it covered, though a part of me thinks it's funny."


6. "Got Patrick from SpongeBob. He’s supposed to be popping out of a puzzle piece — as a nod to a child I loved with autism. But I got it during a flash event, and my artist was stressed and heavy-handed."

"I scarred horribly and bled out color. Got the cover-up for free, and honestly, it’s not much better — but at least Patrick is off."


7. "Got this a few years back. As soon as it was finished, I regretted it, not because of the words but because of how poorly done it looks."

A tattoo that says, "In dream's We enter a World that's Entirely our own" in a black, inconsistent font

"From then on, I learned that just because getting something for $50 seems like a good idea, it’s not. I’ll never get another home-job tattoo again."


8. "DIY 20 yrs ago. 🤦🏻‍♀️"

Three star outline tattoos that run up the top of someone's right foot

9. "It's not even so much that I regret getting it; I would still get #Yolo. I regret not waiting until I was 18, and getting it done in some sketchy old man's house."

A very faded tattoo that says, "#YOLO" in faded black script on someones ankle

"But I still fucking love Drake, so the sentiment stuck."


10. "I got this when I was underage. I really wanted it, so my mother lied and said I was a year older so that they would do it. I HAD to get it because 'ICP is soooo cool!!' and 'I'll be a Juggalo for life!!'"

A faded Hatchetman tattoo on the inside of someone's wrist

"Yeahhh, fast-forward 20 years or so, and the Hatchetman has been covered up. I do my best to forget how I was back then."


11. "Got it when I was 19 as a tribute to John Lennon and the song 'Imagine.'"

A peace sign colored in with a faded green gradient and the word "imagine" above it on someone's forearm

"It’s done so badly. The artist was watching The Hills Have Eyes the entire time, so all I heard was screaming while getting it done. Learned my lesson to research my artists and not just go to the first strip mall shop I see. Still love John Lennon and his music, but hate the tattoo!"

Lily Paul

12. "What was meant to be a reference to the film Inside Out and supposed to serve as a reminder not to let my emotions control me ended up being an accidental tribute to the Tweenies."

Five dots, in yellow, blue, green, red, and purple, in a circle on someone's ankle

"Yeah, that's getting covered eventually..."


13. "Got this 11 years ago."

A tattoo that says, "Never Say Never" on the inside of someone's wrist

"Fuckin' Bieber..."


14. "Got it for my 20th birthday because I had a dream that I had the tattoo..."

A faded black Superman symbol tattoo on someone's arm

"It’s patchy as fuck. I was supposed to go back to get it fixed, but the pain from the first time was enough. I had actual tears in my eyes getting it done. 😩😂"

Paul John

15. "Crappy little butterfly, ugh!!!"

A tiny butterfly tattoo on someone's ankle, then covered by a large flower with a small, black butterfly silhouette tattoo next to it

"Got it when I was 20...had it covered up now, though, with a flower (and a tiny butterfly next to it in honor of the original). This is the before and after. Covered with a larkspur — my husband's birth flower."


16. "Saw a Bob Marley quote that said, 'Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.' Then I read a BuzzFeed article about quotes that people think famous people said but really didn’t."

A tattoo that says, "feel the rain," in black cursive on the inner side of someone's forearm

"This was on there. Great. Can’t even hide it in the summer."


17. "I don't dislike why I got my tattoo, but I dislike what it looks like."

A tattoo that reads, "live," as the end of the 'E' curves up into a blossoming flower on the inside of someone's wrist

"My style changes pretty often, so I wish I could change my tattoo with it!"


18. "This flower is UGLY. I told the artist that I didn’t like the leaves, but she seemed so annoyed and bothered that I just told her they were fine and went through with the tattoo anyway."

A large black outline of a flower with its stem and leaves on someone's arm

"One of my favorite songs is 'Wounded' by Third Eye Blind. It’s about the singer’s friend who was sexually assaulted. As a survivor myself, I wanted to get a marigold, which is a reference from the song.

"This flower is UGLY. I told the artist that I didn’t like the leaves, but she seemed so annoyed and bothered that I just told her they were fine and went through with the tattoo anyway. That was in March. Now I’m already two sessions into the removal process because it just reminds me of a time when I didn’t advocate for myself and what I wanted."


19. "This tattoo is on my stomach, and it's a quote from Catch-22 (great book despite the terrible tattoo)."

A tattoo of a quote from Catch-22 in a plain black font on someone's stomach

"'There was no telling what people might find out if they felt free to ask whatever questions they wanted to.'"


20. "I have a stick 'n' poke of a smiley face. It was done when I was 17 and in the back of a dirty car."

A smiley face tattoo with X's for eyes on someone's forearm

"I don’t have one that I regret, but I do regret the way I got it. This was after I got the stick 'n' poke done over by a professional tattoo artist."

Ashton Stewart

21. "I just have what looks like a massive, dark, multicolored bruise on the top of my foot. It's too expensive to remove and waaaay too painful to even try to touch up. I've learned to live with people staring and going, 'Ummm...what is that supposed to be?'"

a black Honu turtle tattoo with the Hawaiian islands tattooed on someone's foot, which is then covered by a colorful galaxy, which has since faded to look like a mixture of colors

"I live in Hawaii. In 2008, I got a Honu tattoo with the Hawaiian Island chain on my foot at a seedy strip mall tattoo shop. In 2016, I went to the Pacific Art Tattoo Expo and, on a whim, got a cover-up done to turn my Honu into a galaxy."


Do you have a tattoo you regret? Share in the comments! 👀