Tattoo Artists Are Sharing The Tattoos They Felt REALLY Uncomfortable Doing, And I Have No Words

Tattooing is certainly an art, and if you're a tattoo artist, you know that it's also a very public-facing job. Meaning, you're probably going to meet a lot of different clients, some of whom might have some rather...unique requests.

Close-up of a tattoo artist's gloved hands inking a sun and moon design on a person's upper arm
Da-kuk / Getty Images

And, according to this Reddit thread from u/SledDog888, tattoo requests can be really, REALLY unique. They asked, "Tattoo artists, which tattoo made you they most uncomfortable to do?" And some of the responses truly have my jaw on the floor. Read on and see for yourself:

1."It wasn’t so much the tattoo, but rather the customer. He was a very strange older guy, and out of seven artists in the shop, only one could tolerate working on him. He came in sometimes days in a row, and normally, we don’t recommend getting multiple tattoos so quickly, but with this guy it was like, eff it. He came in one time for a semi-truck with ‘kicking ass and eating pussy’ written on the back window. A few days later, he came in to get ‘alone and beating it,' completely unaware of the irony. Now whenever someone’s going through some stuff, I get to say, 'Sometimes, you’re kicking ass and eating pussy, and sometimes, you’re alone and beating it.'"


2."The woman who moaned loudly the whole time I tattooed her. She said it was to help her ease the pain, but I'm not entirely convinced, as I was near her lower regions."


A close-up of a person's waist wearing blue jeans, a thick woven belt, and sunglasses hanging from the jeans pocket. A butterfly tattoo is visible above the jeans
Manoafrica / Getty Images

3."My wife's friend is a tattoo artist. She said her most memorable was a young woman who came in and wanted 'Johnny' tattooed on her chest because she loved her boyfriend so much. Said boyfriend showed up at the tattoo parlor after she finished so she could show off the new tat, they ended up getting in a huge fight and he broke up with her. A couple of months later, the girl came back in with a different dude for another tattoo. She said to the artist, 'this is my boyfriend, Johnny!'"


4."I had a man come in and ask about getting a name covered that was placed right above his genitals. He brought in a drawing of a tribal dragon that he did himself. After explaining that his drawing really wouldn’t work for the area or the cover-up, he said, 'I guess that spot wasn’t a great place to put my daughter's name, huh?' After a really awkward few moments, he left. I didn’t end up covering it and haven’t seen him since."


Donald Glover looking surprised, eyes wide open and glancing to his left

5."My friend is a tattoo artist and a guy came in wanting a KKK tattoo. So, the very heavily muscled, Black tattoo artist came out and said, 'you're gonna be in my station.' The guy shuffled out of the shop very awkwardly."


6."I worked in a tattoo shop for many years, and I gotta say, we all had a good sense of humor, but one that stands out to me as being extra hilarious, was an older (gay) gentleman, who got a HUGE violin on his back (like, from his buttcrack to the back of his neck. We, of course, asked why he chose that, and he said, 'My partner plays violin, and he wanted to be able to ‘play’ me from behind,' and we were like, 'Oh.'"

"Also, when he got to the lower part of the tattoo (near the butt), he stood up and revealed that he was wearing breakaway pants and proceeded to sit buck naked for the rest of the tattoo. The artist doing it was soooo uncomfortable, but the rest of us were dying of laughter. Great day. I miss working there sometimes."


Close-up image of a violin showing its strings and bridge, highlighting the intricate craftsmanship and polished wood
Mayumi Hashi / Getty Images

7."Not me, but my tattoo artist. When I went to him for my first tattoo, I made small talk and asked him about his most uncomfortable tattoo. He had a stripper come in and ask for a star tattooed on her asshole with cursive script on it saying, 'I’m a star.' While he was tattooing her, his wife and 7-year-old son surprised him with lunch, as a stripper kneeled face down, ass up, holding her ass cheeks apart, getting her asshole tattooed. Apparently, both the wife and young lady were very chill with the situation, but my artist didn’t like having to explain why daddy was 'putting his art in her butt.'"


8."I worked in a tattoo shop that my friend owned after graduating high school. One day, a gay couple comes in and one of them says he wants a dart board on his ass. OK, I thought. A little odd, but OK. I don't really care because I'm not the one doing the tattoo. My friend is. Anyway, after he says he wants a dart board, he clarifies and says he wants it regulation-sized. The initial confusion took me a moment, and I thought, 'No.' This man wanted a regulation-sized dart board on his ass with the bullseye as his asshole. He got it, too."


A dartboard with several darts, including one hitting the bullseye, is mounted on a wall
Emreturanphoto / Getty Images

9."I'm not a tattoo artist, but I briefly dated a guy who was. He had a handful of stories of folks who made him uncomfortable, but the one that sticks out the most is the elderly dominatrix. She came in and told him what she wanted: a tattoo of a sexy lady with a paddle doing one of those physically impossible romance novel poses. She wanted it huge, and she wanted it on her back. The entire time, she told him about all the dungeons she went to, how much she loved hurting boys, how pretty he was, and that he should visit her sometime. And he was trying very hard to be like, 'THAT'S NICE. I WORK BETTER WHEN YOU'RE NOT TALKING, THOUGH.'"


10."My girlfriend's mom comes in. She wants a giraffe...OK, that's cool. She wants it on her bikini line. Ehh, OK...I'm a professional. Because giraffes have 10-inch tounges...Oh, WTF?! I get the stencil ready and start prepping for the tattoo. She sees the razor and says, 'You won't need that, I shaved for you.'"


Sofía Vergara, on the judging panel of America's Got Talent, wearing a stylish one-shoulder dress, gestures with both hands while speaking into a microphone

11."My dad is a tattoo artist, and I’ve heard his stories. When he was young and inexperienced, someone asked him to tattoo a rat tail coming out of her vagina. When he asked why, she said she wanted to tell people that 'her pussy ate it.'"


12."He wanted 'HATE LOVE' on his knuckles. I said no, said he would regret it, and so on. He got mad at me and started calling me names. Instead of screaming back, my 'f— you' was agreeing to do the tattoo."


Close-up of a person's knuckles with tattoos reading "LOVE" on the left hand and "HATE" on the right hand
Justin Lambert / Getty Images

13."A couple came in to get their names tattooed on each other. I hate doing those, but I informed them about the risks, etc. She was getting hers across the lower back, his on the stomach. I started with the guy, big dude too, large piece. Once I was done, she said something like, "Now deal with this motherf—er!' Slapped him, and then said, 'This'll teach you to cheat on me with my best friend!' And hastily made her way out of the shop."


14."My long-time artist had a woman come in and ask for her husband’s dick imprint to be tattooed on her tongue. She was politely sent away."


A close-up photo shows a person sticking out their tongue. The person's face and tongue are prominently featured
Jonathan Knowles / Getty Images

15."When I had only been tattooing for around two years, some old guy got the initials D.N.R, and said it was his wife’s initials. Shortly after he was done, he told me it was actually 'do not resuscitate.' I felt horrible about it. A while ago, I heard that paramedics would still do CPR, etc., in the event regardless of the tattoo. Still, felt fairly horrid about it. I never knew at the time."


16."A buddy at the shop I worked at got booked to do a pin-up of Tinker Bell drenched in semen."


Tinker Bell from Peter Pan sits with legs extended, sprinkling pixie dust from her hand, looking determined

17."When I was apprenticing, a dude asked to have a toxic waste tattoo very close to the base of his penis. I was an apprentice, so I had to say yes. He made an appointment and came in drunk as a skunk. He broke a shot glass in our parking lot, and my mentor almost beat the living heck out of him. I did the tattoo, and he paid and left. It was hairy for a moment but all-in-all, it worked out."


Are you a tattoo artist with some wild stories from your time on the job? Share your experience in the comments.

Responses have been edited for length/clarity.