Nothing is more cringe-inducing than a really awful tattoo. And if the bad tattoo is of a celebrity who should have been instantly recognizable, so much the cringier. These 20 examples of truly, truly terrible tattoo choices should hopefully make everyone think before they ink – or at least find a decent artist before they do so…
20. Ellen DeGeneres
This spectacularly bad tattoo of Ellen DeGeneres ended up being featured on her website. The guy who got it wanted a tattoo of something that made him laugh – and that makes everyone else laugh, by the looks of it.
19. Muhammad Ali
This bizarre and incredibly unflattering inking of Muhammad Ali might possibly take the cake for worst boxing-related tattoo ever. There’s absolutely nothing right about it – not even the spelling of his name.
18. Christopher Walken
If you’re going to do a zombie celebrity tattoo – and they’re strangely popular – at least do it well. This zombie Christopher Walken looks more like a Vlasic dill pickle than the walking dead.
17. Johnny Depp
Okay, Johnny Depp is a good actor, his characters are iconic… only trouble is, that tattoo looks absolutely nothing like Johnny Depp in Alice in Wonderland – or any other movie, for that matter. Why the buck teeth? Or, indeed, why anything here?
16. Elvis Presley
If this person had gone into the tattoo parlor and asked for a cross between Elvis Presley and Jason Voorhees, this tattoo might just pass muster. However, we’re pretty sure that’s not what they were going for.
15. Michael Jackson
This tattoo fails on two counts. One: the awful drawing. Two… well, we’re not going into that allegation. He touched so many? Terrible choice of epitaph.
Putting aside the question of why you would even want a massive Hanson tattoo on your back, these guys look completely wrong and frankly terrifying. Had the tattoo artist ever seen them before? Or seen a human being?
13. Katy Perry
Katy Perry loves tattoos – she’s got at least five of them – but she definitely wouldn’t love this one. This inking doesn’t resemble her so much as it resembles a half-deflated blow-up doll.
12. Shia LaBeouf
Shiya Laboof – sorry, Shia LaBeouf – is the subject of this amazingly bad tat. We can assume – well, sincerely hope – it’s a joke tattoo, but it’s not exactly a very good one.
11. Kurt Cobain
Needless to say, there are a lot of Kurt Cobain tattoos out there. And needless to say, this is absolutely the worst. But there’s good news! It was eventually reworked and looks much better now. Phew, for the sake of anyone who has seen it in real life.
This tattoo of Madonna, seen on the back of a concert-going fan, is hugely unflattering and just plain demonic. On the other hand, that guy did win a prize for said inked version of the Material Girl – so maybe he gets the last laugh after all…
9. Freddie Mercury
Pros of this tattoo: you can at least – just about – tell that it’s supposed to be Freddie Mercury. Cons of this tattoo: literally everything else.
8. Jim Carrey
This inking of Jim Carrey as Dumb and Dumber’s Lloyd Christmas was so, so bad that it sparked a row on the U.K. show Tattoo Fixers when the artist involved allegedly failed to completely cover it up. Not many tattoos can lay claim to that level of controversy – and not many tattoos can claim to be this awful, either.
7. Miley Cyrus
We know Miley Cyrus likes to stick her tongue out a lot, but did it really have to be immortalized in an ugly tattoo? And, perhaps more importantly, why on earth does this Miley have tentacles?
6. Robert Pattinson
Poor Robert Pattinson. He absolutely hated playing vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight movies, so you’d suspect he’d also hate the fact that he’s immortalized forever in that role through this tattoo. Perhaps the saving grace, though, is that the tat looks practically nothing like him.
5. Tupac Shakur
After Tupac Shakur’s drive-by shooting death in 1996, many fans commemorated his life with tattoos. Unfortunately, not all of them were good tattoos – this monstrosity, for example, may have had the late rapper rolling in his grave when it was inked.
4. Taylor Swift
A nightmare dressed like a daydream? Sorry, but this is just a nightmare. The artist who did this must have had some seriously Bad Blood with their victim.
3. Celine Dion
This person clearly loved the woman who brought us “My Heart Will Go On,” but chose a very funny way to show it. Let’s hope that Celine Dion hasn’t seen this terrible tat, lest it give her a cardiac arrest.
2. Sid Vicious
This misshapen tattoo of Sid Vicious on a cross is bad and tacky enough on its own. But what truly tips it into the worst of all time category is the swastika behind the Sex Pistols star – ick.
1. Bob Marley
If this person was actually aiming for ‘Bob Marley as drawn by a seven-year-old,’ then we have no beef. But we have a feeling that that wasn’t exactly the plan.