Sometimes, a person is so taken with a celebrity, they think the best thing they can do to show their love is to tattoo their idol’s likeness somewhere onto their bodies. While this can often work out and impress their friends and family, sometimes, it just doesn’t come close to looking like the celebrity in question.
We get it, it’s nice to honor your favorite stars from film, television, music and sports, but when you start with a bad photo, you end up with a bad tattoo. Granted, you should probably splurge for a tattoo artist who has some talent given this is your skin and… you know… permanent.
If you have been on the Internet for a minute or two, you probably have seen some bad tattoos here and there, but we did some digging and found some of the absolute worst we could find. These are either drawn so poorly or so offensively, the person they “represent” would probably take insult if they ever saw them… or pity the person who got them anyway.
Here they are, presented in the order of least horrible to the absolute most horrible and degrading disturbances of the skin: 20 Hideous Celebrity Tattoos That Look Nothing Like The Real Person
20. TAYLOR SWIFT
We definitely know that the image on this person’s arm is meant to be Taylor Swift due to the lyric from her song “Blank Space” appearing above and below. “I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream” was a dead giveaway, but other than that, does anyone think this looks like Tay-Tay?
Other than being an image of a blonde woman, it doesn’t look like her at all, but isn’t the worst drawing we have seen on this list either. The artwork isn’t done poorly – it just doesn’t match up to Ms. Swift in a side-by-side comparison like we threw up here.
Additionally, she appears to be wearing some sort of sailor outfit while clutching a sword with the number 13 emblazoned upon its hilt. This person is certainly a fan or they probably wouldn’t have bothered with the tattoo in the first place. 13 is Swift’s lucky number and pops up every now and again in her work.
19. JIM CARREY
Sometimes, it’s fun to not only get a tattoo of one of your favorite celebrities but also to grab one of their most iconic characters while you’re at it. For this tattoo, we found a rather disturbing piece of skin art depicting Jim Carrey’s character from the film Dumb and Dumber, Lloyd Christmas.
You can tell that’s who it’s supposed to be thanks to the chipped tooth and unfortunate haircut. Ultimately, it isn’t the worst tattoo of a photograph we have seen, but there are a few aspects to it that make it unnerving to look at.
Here’s a tip: if you are so hairy that your tattoos look like a shedding Chewbacca, maybe you need to find another way to express yourself… that, or shave of course. This person’s skin is so hairy, it makes the art look bizarre. Not to mention the creepy eyes looking off to the side. It’s a disturbing image we need to get out of our heads.
18. KATY PERRY
We are here to tell you that the drawing on the left is supposed to be of Katy Perry. We hat to do that otherwise you might not have believed us, but it’s supposed to be of her.
We even found the image it is supposed to be of, but frankly, it could just be any young woman drawn by someone who has no understanding of human anatomy… or is simply not a great artist to begin with. There’s just too much wrong with this terrible representation of Perry to go into.
This is one of those examples where we can simply say “Just look at it!” and you should know what we are talking about. We understand the desire to show the world how much you love Katy Perry, but next time you go the route of permanent body modification, maybe pay the extra cash to have the master knock it out instead of letting the apprentice have a go.
17. SHIA LABEOUF
First, the obvious: it’s spelled “S-H-I-A”, not “S-H-I-Y-A” and it’s not “Laboof” either… still, we should thank the person who decided it best to write the name of their celebrity crush beneath their tattoo because this could be an image of absolutely anybody.
It’s highly unlikely you would have looked at this ink and said to yourself, “Hey! That’s Shia LaBeouf!” because it doesn’t look anything like him. Well, maybe the eyebrows are close, but unless you are talking about someone like Groucho Marx or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, eyebrows are rarely a dead giveaway.
It’s difficult to tell for certain, but this looks like a fairly large tattoo alongside the left side of someone’s back. That alone makes it a travesty of the art form. They could have at least done a Google search to get the spelling right. Tattoos aren’t cheap and mistakes are pretty much permanent.
16. KURT COBAIN
There’s one thing that the tattoo artist got correct about this tattoo of Kurt Cobain and it’s his eye color. Yes, they were blue. Other than that, the face looks like it was flattened with an iron and has no dimension to it whatsoever.
The result it a very off-putting representation of what Lord Voldemort might have looked like without shaving and long hair. We think they probably just ran out of ink when it came time to finish the nose… and rest of the face, but it could be that the artist lacked a working knowledge of perspective, which can be a problem when you are clearly going for that 3-dimensional look in your drawing.
Somehow, the illustration looks worse with those piercing blue eyes. It’s as if Cobain is peering at us through this person’s skin and from beyond the grave to ask how he could have ended up in this particular predicament. Oh well, at least we can enjoy his music if not this “likeness” of him.
15. MICHAEL JACKSON
There are several issues we have with this clear representation of the King of Pop to get into. The first being that this is a drawing of Michael Jackson and is clearly not meant to represent him accurately. That said, would anyone know who it was supposed to be if not for the initials “MJ” written in the heart below?
Given that Jackson underwent incredible scrutiny in the later years of his life due to allegations of sexual misconduct with young boys, we don’t feel that the most appropriate thing to get tattooed alongside an image of him is the quote “He touched so many…”, but given the ellipse at the end of that sentence, that might have been the joke they were going for with this image.
14. MILEY CYRUS
We get the haircut and the tongue sticking out, but there’s a couple of things we don’t fully understand about this tattoo of Miley Cyrus and yes, it’s all about the tentacles.
Seriously, we just don’t get this ink and find it disturbing to look at. She has a human torso and backside, but her legs and arms are clearly supposed to be some sort of tentacle. Whatever this might represent to the person who decided this was a good image to emblazon upon their body for the world to see, is not something we could figure out.
If you look at the ink without seeing the body, but just focus on the head, it’s not really a bad likeness to the singer. The tongue certainly gives away who this is supposed to be – as does the hairstyle – but once your attention wanders below the neck, it becomes something only true fans of horror might appreciate.
Thanks to the hat, this does look a little bit like Tupac, but it’s not a drawing of the legendary rapper most fans would want permanently drawn onto their arm. This image looks like something a tattoo artist did as practice on their second day on the job.
It may be nitpicking a little bit, but seeing his name broken up like that is a little bit off-putting. It’s “Tupac”, all one word and doesn’t really need to be split up like this above and below such a crummy drawing.
Finding Tupac tattoos on people isn’t a difficult task. Take about 5 seconds and an image search and you will see what we mean. It was somewhat troubling when we stumbled upon this one, though, given how poorly it’s drawn.
12. BOB MARLEY
We have all seen that great picture of the legendary Bob Marley. It was taken by Adrian Boot a few days before the Reggae Sunsplash in Kingston, Jamaica. Ever since, people have been putting this image onto t-shirts, magazines, and really just about anything you could possibly imagine – including their skin.
We have to assume that the person who got this tattoo of Marley did so under duress. Or perhaps, they did it themselves? You should never tattoo yourself– not on the side of your torso, anyway.
While on the surface, it appears to be an homage, this drawing is so poorly done, we have to hope at the very least they got their money back. Frankly, the only reason we know it’s supposed to be of Bob Marley is the clear representation of the pose shown in the photograph. Other than that, it just looks like a poor approximation of… well, not a person, but maybe a poorly drawn comic book character.
11. CHRISTOPHER WALKEN
Christopher Walken has an impressive talent of disturbing people with his unusual voice and intense expressions.
Compare the two pictures above and you decide for yourself which is creepier to behold. The photo of Walken looks like it could have been taken anywhere, but he still has that look that says to keep away if you want to keep all of your parts.
Then there’s the picture on the left. It’s clearly Walken and to be fair, it’s not bad. Well, not too bad, anyway; it’s clearly supposed to be Christopher Walken. So we have to ask, why is it green?
The skin tone of the poor schmuck who got this tattoo is relatively close to Walken’s own so why they decided to color in the highlights green is something we can only wonder about. Admittedly though, it does match the creep factor pretty well.
10. ELLEN DEGENERES
This is one of those tats that could probably be just about anybody were it not for the pose. The face doesn’t look especially like Ellen DeGeneres. It looks more like Princess Diana than the popular talk show host.
It’s really the sneakers that give away who this is supposed to be since Ellen is well known for wearing them, but even so, it’s a tough one to call had we not found the reference image.
It doesn’t hurt to point out that the tattoo, while not the greatest likeness of Ellen, is also a poor drawing of human anatomy. Look at it for more than a few seconds and you can already ascertain the incredible amount of pain she must be in. Her right leg appears to be folded in upon itself and out of proportion to the rest of her body.
9. ELVIS PRESLEY
We would like to express our personal gratitude to the tattoo artist who thankfully wrote the subject’s name below the image on this unfortunate person’s arm. That image doesn’t look anything like Elvis Presley. The hair is wrong, the nose is way off, and the eyes look like they are trying to escape from either side of the face. It’s just a really bad drawing. Unfortunately, it’s permanent.
If you look closely, it even appears that the script was placed on much more recently than the face, probably because everybody kept pointing to this tattoo of “Elvis” asking who it was supposed to be.
The area around the script is red and looks like a different ink, which led us to this conclusion: someone got a tattoo of The King, got tired of explaining who it was supposed to be, and took care of further inquiry by simply putting his name beneath it.
8. FREDDY MERCURY
Here we have an example that defies explanation. The image on the left looks like Freddy Mercury in that it has his iconic mustache and haircut, but it looks more like a cartoon drawing of him… a caricature more than an approximation of the legendary recording artist’s actual likeness.
Mercury was one of those people who was described as being “larger than life” and this image certainly looks like it’s trying to capture that feeling on this person’s arm. So, even with everything being out of proportion and looking just plain weird, we don’t outright hate this one. Also, it looks like he is singing among the clouds so this is likely a loving tribute by a fan saddened by Mercury’s passing. We can’t hate on them for that.
7. MUHAMMAD ALI
Muhammad Ali was considered by many to be one of the greatest boxers in the history of the sport. He was so widely beloved by his many fans that it makes sense that they would tattoo his likeness onto their bodies. Then, there’s this piece of “artwork” that somehow made it onto someone’s back.
Again, we see an image clearly depicting what not to do when trying to draw a human body. The proportions are way off and they don’t make sense. This image looks like a random rugby player wearing mittens rather than an homage to the legendary athlete.
Color choice is also an important factor when deciding on how to go with a tattoo. Boxing gloves are almost always red. These green mittens look like… well, they look like mittens, don’t they?! This is yet another example of a bad drawing of an amazing person. It’s not something anyone should have permanently placed upon their body.
6. SID VICIOUS
Sid Vicious was the vocalist and bassist for the Sex Pistols, probably the most influential punk rock band to ever come out of England. He was portrayed by Gary Oldman in Sid and Nancy to critical acclaim and has been an oft-featured personage on the occasional body art. Then, there’s this image.
We figure that it’s the hair that gives away this as being Sid, but it’s clearly Sid as Jesus Christ being crucified. He may not have the crown of thorns atop his head (probably to protect his hair), but he does have the spear wound in his side and a lovely red towel with the symbol for Anarchy where his naughty bits should be.
It looks like the image covers a large red Swastika, which Vicious wore on a leather jacket at one time, but he was no Nazi. Vicious’ love, Nancy Spungen, was Jewish herself. Regardless, this is all about the counterculture, which may be why they chose Vicious as their Christ, but it’s not something we would want on our bodies.
5. CONAN O’BRIEN
Here’s an example of a really amazing tattoo that isn’t done poorly at all, but is so bright and colorful, it’s just too much to take in! It could have to do with the subject’s personality, given that Conan O’Brien is one of those big personalities who could really dominate someone’s skin art, but this is way too loud to put on a person’s body in our opinion.
It’s really well done, but in a way, it’s too well done. This would have been better suited had it been reduced in size by at least 50%, which would have allowed more room to tattoo some of this person’s other favorite late-night talk show hosts. Think of what they could have accomplished with Jimmy Fallon on their body!
4. JUSTIN BIEBER
We think that the person who had this tattoo of Justin Bieber on their arm probably doesn’t like the pop singer as much as some other fans with his face on their bodies. At least, we hope that’s the case.
The image appears to be a younger Bieber (The haircut gives that away) with a good portion of his flesh ripped off of his face… oh, and his head is clearly decapitated from his body with weird-looking tentacle things strutting about the base of the neck.
When it comes to disturbing imagery, this one checks all the blocks. Why anyone would want to permanently place this image on their arm is beyond us to determine, but hopefully someone in the reading audience is a psychoanalyst and can comment?
3. CHARLIE SHEEN
Here we have not only a tattoo of Charlie Sheen but a creative one that takes into account (then) current events in its design. First off, the head does look like Sheen. It’s got his trademark hair, eyes, and winning smile so we can’t fault the artist on this one. It’s the body that really gets us here.
Sheen’s very public breakdown that got him canned from the highest paying gig he ever had, Two and a Half Men, had some commentary that came along with it. He mentioned the word “Winning” quite often when describing himself and he also said that he was winning with tiger blood. How do you draw tiger blood into a tattoo of Charlie Sheen? Apparently, you give him a tiger body and it’s all taken care of!
2. JOHN LENNON
So, the obvious comparison here isn’t that this tattoo resembles John Lennon from the album cover for “Imagine” – no, it looks like Harry Potter! Would anyone in the 21st century see this and believe it was Lennon and not Potter, were it not for the “Imagine” text below the image?
Once again, we are struck with terrible artwork. The eyes don’t match and don’t even look like they are looking in the same direction. The nose is clearly off and the mouth is a little creepy, but also kind of similar to the photograph. Really, the hair is the only thing we aren’t going to complain about with this tattoo.
All this image is missing is the lightning bolt scar on his forehead and we have Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling may be a fan of the Beatles front-man, but it’s unlikely she was thinking of him when she first wrote about a 10-year old boy, so this tattoo is just plain wrong.
1. MARK-PAUL GOSSELAAR
When it comes to strange tattoos of celebrities we don’t want to see on our walk about town, Zack Morris’ head with the words “Zack Attack” beneath them is at the top of the list.
This isn’t necessarily a bad tattoo either. It’s just weird and the eyes make it look way too creepy to be normal. It truly looks like Zack wants to attack us. Then there’s the relatively obscure tattoo that would have been topical in the ’80s, but doesn’t resonate into this century with most people.
Sure, a lot of folks loved Saved by the Bell when it was on television, but it isn’t one of those series that has continued to permeate the zeitgeist decades after it went off the air.
Which of these celebrity tattoos did you find the most cringe-worthy? Let us know in the comments!
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