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Really Bad Quality Tattoos Part 2: The Sequel!

Welcome all to the eagerly awaited follow-up to the notorious "Really Bad Quality Tattoos". At it's height, that hub was receiving in excess of 5,000 hits per day and fielding dozens of comments, both good and bad. The good comments said something like, "Oh my God, you're right. These are atrocious." whereas the bad comments ranted and raved like, "WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE WHAT SOMEONE CHOOSES TO PUT ON THEIR BODY?!" Eventually it devolved into a back and forth tirade completely devoid of any involvement on my part, with some troll getting attack because he said tattoos were for the unemployed.

But now that the excitement from that has died down, I thought it was time to introduce a whole new assortment of really hideous tattoo designs. Most of these were collected from MySpace, Facebook, Flickr and last but not least, the badtattoos_4 community over at LiveJournal. I hope you enjoy! Or at least I hope you don't throw up.

Really Bad Tattoos

Since my last installment of really bad tattoos, I've repeatedly come across an unnerving trend in the world of body mod atrocities. I don't know where this freaky trend started, but all signs point to the Midwest. Basically, what these people do is get a tattoo on their stomach and use their belly buttons to create the illusion of an orifice. You may want to skip this batch if you're easily grossed out.


When someone looks at a tattoo, they should immediately be able to tell what image it has rendered. "Oh, that's a star, how nice" or "Hey, that's a great dolphin" are all acceptable reactions. If you show someone your brand new tat and the first thing they say is, "Oh. Uhh...that's a cowgirl...right?" you may fall into this category of horror: tattoos that are totally indecipherable.


In addition to being drawn with black permanent marker, this tat is just wrong. It's clearly a scorpion. And a woman with a shoe fetish on steroids. And is that a shoe on her tail as well?!

My brain, furtively attempting to see a likeness in that which it does not understand, tells me that this is a sun. It also tells me that this is a sun made out of poo.


I've been looking at this one for several minutes trying to come up with a caption, but I just can't figure it out. It's either a man dressed up as a dragon for the Chinese New Year or a human getting swallowed by a moon with hair. I've tried looking at it from several different angles, thinking outside the box, if you will, but I've got nothing. Does anybody have any ideas? Thanks.


Tattoos are supposed to be sharp, literally and figuratively--not smudged, blurry messes. When the lines of a tattoo are compromised, the entire image falls victim to the category of "indecipherable." In the photo above, I can tell that it's a devil eating pie at the top, but I'm totally lost when it comes to what's below his waist.


After several attempts, I was finally able to see that this was a tattoo of a wizard holding a crystal ball, surrounded by a menacing dragon. But what is he holding in his other hand? A tazer? And what is that red mess all the way to the right? It looks like it should be part of the dragon's body, yet it's done in a color that doesn't match anything else in the entire tattoo.


When it comes to tattoos (whether it's one or several) proper placement is everything. Even the smallest star tattoo will look ridiculous if placed randomly in the midst of an otherwise empty leg or back. This poor soul should have stopped at the triquetra smack dab in the middle (I say she should've stopped there because it looks like that one is the oldest) but she didn't. She just kept going, adding lizards and circles and tribal vines.

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Just like this pencil that's being attacked by both two snakes and a skull, some tattoos are just freaking bizarre. Yes, perhaps they have a very particular, important meaning to the person, but unlike a crucifix or the New York City skyline or some other easily distinguishable image, they don't have any meaning to me. And I don't think I'm alone in saying they probably don't have much meaning to anyone else looking at it.


I hope you've enjoyed our tour through the madness that is the underground world of tattoos. Although to our eyes, these body mods may seem senseless, the important thing is what they mean to the person who wears them. If you like what you've got, then it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. What's important is how you feel about yourself and your choices. I hope you don't regret a single one.


Ashley on March 01, 2009:

I really think the ones where the belly button is is kinda gross

But you said you did not like the pencil one??? what if he likes art, skulls, and snakes and wanted them combined :/

Renaissance on September 10, 2008:

I just did a quick search to find the original Hub (always makes me smile) and found this one. Good stuff!

starrkissed from Arizona on July 27, 2008:

omg! lol some of those are just wrong. i'm with ya on the crazy scorpion looking thing with shoes... wtf??? and the girl with too many ugly & misplaced back tats. what were these people thinking?

Brandi on July 18, 2008:

I am so lucky!! I didn't do to much thinking on what I wanted. My brother happened to get a tat, that ended up really good. So the next time he went in knowing I wanted a bird so I went with and just said bird. I am so luck that the artist is a true artist and did a beautiful job. Next time I will go to him, I will think harder on what I want though. I dont regret mine for one second, but it could have ended terribly. Wow I am so lucky! To bad these people weren't as fortunant as I.

jim10 from ma on July 17, 2008:

great hub. My friend went to a party and they had a tattoo artist their. Well As the night went on the tattoo artist kept having drinks and the tattoos kept getting worse. Unfortunately she got a four leaf clover on her foot and it looks nothing like one. I don't think she wears sandals as much anymore. I felt so bad for her.

mickydoc04 on June 25, 2008:

fuk they are bad

ChrisSnil from United Kingdom on June 12, 2008:

Good lord those are awful

YoJDawg from Arroyo Grande on June 07, 2008:

yeah, bad tats really are unfourtunate, i hope nobody says this about mine :(

herbshirt from Australia on June 01, 2008:

Yep, there sure are some pretty bad tatt's there. Pretty funny too. Not much of a fan of arm bands either though. I like to draw my own.

colin mcdermott from Manchester UK on May 13, 2008:

They are some seriously bad Tattoos! Eeek-a-mouse!

Good point about the orientation / randomly positioned tats, had nevr eally thought of that before...

teeray from Canada on April 22, 2008:

I am TRAUMATIZED by the 'orifice' idea...I can understand the 'Taz' one, even if it is odd, but the butts? We should send SHIRTS with drawstrings at the waist for those with the 'orifice-enhancing' tats and tie their drawstrings in double-granny knots lol

Elise on April 21, 2008:

david was searching tattoos and found you randomly.

miss you jac - love your writing on this.

membership script from Denver on February 21, 2008:

wow, what some people will do to their bodies....

inklined on February 13, 2008:

it just goes to show people should do some homework in reguards to what they want and who can best perform the isn't just anyone who can do tattooing to its full wouldn't get breast implants from a mechanic right?....

They are forever...and with that deserve RESPECT.. in order to get and or have a tattoo that earns its respect, you have to do the math first!

hope this helps clear the BS..friends don't let friends get bad ink!!!!!

Kendra on November 30, 2007:


Kiz Robinson from New Orleans, Louisiana on November 28, 2007:

These tattoos are horrid!!

Whitney from Georgia on November 20, 2007:

These are much worse than other ones.

Lex Luthor from Universal on November 19, 2007:

these people should get a tattoo of a brain in their skull to represent what life tricked them out of... or maybe they're having Picaso thoughts.

Tony Sky from London UK on November 19, 2007:

lmao, I have always wanted a tatt. I have a picture of uncle sam that i want tattooed on my arm . And when you look at it carefully it is made up of 3 girls posing and for the reasons above ,i have still yet not had it done..

Krista 07 from Europe on November 18, 2007:

lol disgusting, and poor taste

gabriella05 from Oldham on November 18, 2007:

To me it looks like an alien on the moon with hair, but my boyfriend said that the red bit is a rose on some thing

becauseilive (author) from N.J. on November 18, 2007:

Terri--yeah, I had a feeling that it was something from mythology, I just couldn't make out what. Thanks!

Taylorblue -- I have no idea. It looks like someone had submitted the hub to StumbleUpon, and I got an insane amount of traffic from there once it was picked up.

Terri Paajanen on November 18, 2007:

The "Devil eating pie" is really not that hard to understand. It's a pic of Pan the nymph. His legs are of a goat, and the "pie" is a triangular set of pan-pipes.

taylorblue from Canada on November 18, 2007:

These are do you get 5000 hits a day??

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