Top Stories

Tattoo Artists Reveal Their Biggest "Oh No" Moments While Inking Someone

We all make mistakes. Usually, though, the products of our mistakes aren't permanently etched into someone else's skin. Tattoo artist unfortunately force their clients to live with their mistakes for their entire lives.

u/efergantes asked:

Tattoo artists, what was your biggest "oh sh*t" moment while tattooing?

Here were some of the answers.

Commemorative Ink

My best friend's father operated a tattoo parlor out of a small KS town at one point. He had two assistants, but typically was alone in the shop during non-busy hours. Had a client who came in reeking of hookah smoke (that thick, syrupy smell from the "double apple" brand of shisha that's so popular in fake-*ss hookah places). Whatever, guy's not inebriated and he has a design for a half-sleeve that looks pretty rad, so let's do it. About 2 hours in the guy on the table sniffs heavily and says, "Huh, I smell a lot of smoke." Well no sh*t dude, you're covered in hookah bar stank.

Nope, building next door's on fire. And these buildings are all right next to each other.

My friend's father realizes time is a factor and tells the guy "I'll do this tattoo for free (would have been about $800 otherwise with coloring) if you help me carry the expensive sh*t out of here before it burns down." Spends the next 5 minutes frantically loading said expensive sh*t into his truck bed before the building does indeed start to burn down (fire department got there about 15 minutes later, not too much damage but smoke everywhere and the building gets condemned later on).

Funny epilogue, once the new studio is up and running about 2 months later, hookah guy ends up wanting to pay the difference to update to a full sleeve and gets stylized flames all over the other half to commemorate the experience.


It's Like You're My Mirror

After a few years of tattooing, I had moved & started at a new studio. I was a pretty new hire at the time. I obviously wanted to show my employers I was competent.

One of the co-owners had a coworker/friend from his other job at a casino come in for some tattoos on her back. They were two tribal looking symbols, apparently in some Asian language (She herself was an immigrant & vouched for the meanings).

Long story shorter, I get a phone call about 2 weeks later. The lady was upset & insisted I had tattooed the symbols backwards! Mind you, I am very cautious. I always have my clients look at the design(s) on paper, sign off on paperwork, check the stencil before & after application. So, despite feeling pretty sure I didn't mess up the placement, I was a bit freaked out. I told her to come into the shop right away to check it out.

She came back in, and I pulled up the jpeg of her tattoo lines (I save everything). She confirmed they were correct. She went back to my station & showed me her back. The tattoos matched perfectly! She looked in the mirror and continued to argue they were backwards. Smh.

So, I took the paper with the line work & showed her. She agreed again that they looked correct. Then I showed her the paper in the mirror, next to her tattoos. Obviously, to me at least, mirrors show the inverse image.

This lady looked shocked, like I had just performed a magic trick. Well, despite being about 50 years old, she never realized mirrors will make lettering/images appear backwards. She laughed, and began to apologize profusely. Told me she'd tell my boss & everyone else that she badmouthed me for no reason.

I had one other lady experience thus years later. It took every member of the shop staff to explain to her how mirrors work.


The Entire Back

Back when my first tattoo artist was still in business I came in to get a tattoo done by his apprentice.

As she doing mine she tells me about the day before, she had had a lady pay to get Cinderella's castle tattooed on her entire back. My artist had spent the while week getting it ready. Lady comes in to get the line work done. They get towards the end of the session and this lady starts taking about how she cant wait to see what Snow White's castle looks like finished.

My artist told me she had a heart attack. This tat was massive and if it was the wrong castle there was no way to change it. She said she immediately started questioning the woman, totally panicked. Turns out lady had had a bit of a brain fart. She maent to say Cinderella. She apologized for the confusion and they finished the session without any more issues.

She said that after that woman said Snow White it was the most terrifying 5 minutes of her life.


One Jump Ahead

Not an artist but an artist who was working on me told me this story of something that happened in the shop:

The shop hired a new tattoo artist who was under the influence one day (they didn't know him too well so they didn't know if it was just his personality or not). He's working on this guy who is a hippie, stoned as all hell. He's tattooing a Tiger on him. Apparently he tattooed an extra leg by accident on the Tiger and when they were finished, the client was beyond irritated and goes "I don't mean to trip out man, but what's with the extra leg" the tattoo artist just looks at him and goes "he's just one step ahead of the game, man" the client, for some reason, got a huge kick out of it and ended up loving it and it ended there.

They fired him immediately.


It Happens

Was doing a cover up on a small wrist tattoo for a girl. After about a half hour she got kind of quiet and clammy so I asked if she wanted a break. I got up to take off my gloves and she slumped off the chair. Luckily I caught her and tried to wake her up. After about 5 minutes she came to and we got her a granola bar and she perked up. I was the newbie at the shop so all the other artists were laughing at me for freaking out over a passed out client.


It's Gonna Hurt

Ok, so..

Girl comes in fresh faced, just turned 18 and ready to make the step into getting a tattoo.

She was after a henna style lotus flower on the centre of her back.

"OK, cool" I thought.. Probably 2 hours work, tops?

Fast forward a few weeks to the appointment. Consent form has been filled in and signed. I put my old squiggle on the bottom.

She gets laid down after I've put the stencil on and I begin. She tenses up and says it really hurts. I reassure her that after the first 10 minutes or so it does get easier. At around the 17 minute mark she erupts into tears. Not just the odd tear but I mean hysterics. Her make up was running down her face and she was crying out at every line.

If any of you have played the remaster of Resident Evil, she literally sounded like Lisa Trevor.

I ask her if she wanted to leave it and maybe try another day when she felt braver. Through tears, she just said "No.. I need it done today."

Ok, right yep. So a two hour tattoo turned into a 3 and a half hour showdown of blood, sweat and (many) tears.

She hasn't been back since.


Backwards Island

Not me, but a friend of mine is a heavily tatted individual.

He was born and raised on Vancouver Island in BC, and as an homage he wanted to get an outline of the island tattooed across his entire back.

Went to the shop he had been going to for years but sat down with one of the new artists. She showed him the stencil of the tattoo on his back, with the help of a mirror. He ok'd the tattoo.

The artist was about 75% done the tattoo, she then lets out an audible 'oh sh*t'....

My buddy, thinking she maybe made a small error said 'no worries if one of the lines isn't perfect, I trust you'.

'No, *****, I think I drew the island backwards.'

What she had done was put the stencil on his back the wrong way, but upon showing him in the mirror it appeared that it was on correctly. He ok'd the tat and she went to town. At this point both of them start freaking out. He called me asking me to come to him immediately as he was losing his mind. The artist ran out of the shop crying and disappeared for the whole day.

The owner quickly came over and offered to fix the tattoo, which would now have to include a great deal of shading in order to cover up the previous mistake. In the end my buddy got free tats for life and now has a GIGANTIC tattoo of Vancouver Island on his back.


Skin Spellcheck

My brother in law got the oh so original 'death before dishonor' tattoo (ironically before he was dishonorably discharged from the army) and when it was finished we realized it said death before dishoron. The artist was able to fix it the best that he could but it still looks funny. It's fitting though. My brother in law is an idiot.


Nice Save

Not the artist, but the one getting the work done. I was getting a tattoo with a specific year on it, as well as a good amount of other detail around it. About halfway through I look down, and the year is completely wrong. Like, hundreds of years off. I was young and didn't like confrontation at the time so my heart just sank and I accepted my fate.

The artist seemed to become aware of what was happening, and said "Give me a minute." He left me sitting in the chair and went to the back of the shop. He came back a couple minutes later, proceeded to shade in the old year and put the correct year underneath the shading, and tied the entire tattoo together with that shading which ended up making it look even better than the original design. It worked out for the better in the end but for 10 minutes I was sure my tat was ruined.


An Intense Situation

Obligatory "not an artist", but my friends older brother used to tell us stories from his tattoo shop before class and a few stuck with me.

So, Jake was about 3 years into tattooing and he had seen some crazy sh*t. People screaming as though they had been shot, clients passing out, he had even been punched in the face because he was taking too long. But, hey, this is Vegas. Crazy sh*t happens. However one client sticks in his memory as his most frightening scare.

One day a client comes in with his friend and wanted something semi complex on his forearm. Jake freehands some nice sh*t (incredibly talented guy) and gets right to it. About fifteen minutes in, the guy starts bleeding a decent bit. That's clearly nothing shocking in a tattoo shop, but the amount is a little more than normal. After taking a minute to talk to the friend she tells him they'd been drinking. Most if not all artists will tell you not to drink before getting some work done due to the fact that booze tends to make you bleed more than normal. Jake adjusts his attitude and gets back to it.

About five minutes later the guy starts bleeding a lot more. Like, a LOT more. Jake stops and asks the guy what's going on. The dude confesses that he's got a medical issue with blood clotting. Jake is really bothered because no tattoo, even with cut skin, should be bleeding that much. He tells the guy that he can't finish and to see a doctor. While cleaning up he happens to catch a piece of the conversation they're having while they grab their bags.

"Shouldn't you tell him that you're poz?"

This client was HIV positive. And here Jake was wiping up a small pool of his blood. Needless to say, Jake was freaking out. Things escalate to shouting and the owner of the shop gets involved. Once the owner finds out he calmly ushers Jake out of the room and implores him to inspect himself for cuts. Jake gets obsessive and checks about a thousand times while the owner sternly informs the client that he should have informed them of his status. The client leaves and they clean obsessively for hours and don't let clients in that room for a couple days.

Guys, tell your artists about medical issues before hand, don't drink before getting a tattoo, and definitely tell them if you're HIV positive. Yes, good shops sterilize profusely but you should still let them know. It's for your safety as well as theirs and other clients.


People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.