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Regret is a funny thing. And we aren't talking about it in a metaphorical or symbolic sense. But quite literal: a tramp stamp flashing above your cheeks as a regrettable reminder of last night's bender as it happened to the How I Met Your Mother's Ted and many others before the poor fella.

Getting a regrettable tattoo, then, might be a cliche for TV and movies. But there's something we can't resist when life starts imitating art and it happens to actual people. Whether it's a spelling mistake or the final result looking like a 7-year-old's crayon doodle, Fail tattoo and Tattoo Fails communities know there's a never-ending hunger for ink fails. 'No regerts', right?

Back in the day, pulling off a tattoo was as slick as pulling off a leather jacket or a pair of aviators. Not many dared to do it and those who did either were reborn leather-clad or figured they're simply not cut out for it.

Of course, things have changed (perhaps not for aviators, as they can only look good on Tom Cruise, J-Lo and a few others, dare we say) since then. You're most likely to see someone sporting a tattoo on your next stroll or commute to work.

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In 1936, for example, Life magazine estimated that around 10 million Americans, or approximately 6% of the population had at least one tattoo. According to today's data, that number has increased by 29%, as 145 million Americans admitted to being inked.

On the other hand, the increased popularity of tattoos also meant that more people will have second doubts whether they've made the right choice. According to one survey, 3-in-4 respondents admitted to regretting at least one of their tattoos. Not surprising, then, that half of those regrets come from having someone's name inked on your body.

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On top of the regret list also are tribal tattoos which are a cause for regret for 12% of men (yes, it's usually men). While 15% of women revealed they can't look at their star constellation tattoos without a bit of cringe.

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Susie Elle
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The tattoo itself is really not bad, I guess if this is what the person wantend then *shrugs*

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One of the key factors contributing to tattoo regret is impulsive decision-making. Many individuals get tattoos on a whim, without thoroughly considering the long-term implications. And while it may be funny when we see it on TV (remember Hangover's tribal tattoo?), 1-in-5 who don't sleep on their decision to get inked don't think it's that funny.

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Tattoos are a form of art, and like any art form, the quality of execution plays a significant role in the overall satisfaction of it. Inks that are totally butchered, have spelling mistakes, or don't live up to what you had in mind, meanwhile, can lead to regrets that won't fade away easily.

While you might wonder who we are to judge what he, she or they decides to permanently get implanted on their skin, it's a whole different matter with tattoo masters who put stuff on people's bodies, no matter how good or bad the ideas are, for a living.

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"Although I always try to respect customer's decision," Agneta, a 28-year-old tattoo artist at the Tattoo Chamber studio, told Bored Panda via Instagram, "sometimes I try to talk out people from inks that won't look good in the long run." If not for those stubborn customers who aren't open to suggestions, however, we might not be talking about bad tattoos today. 

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Matthews
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The body proportions are all sublime. Perfect illustration, medieval style! /j

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Agneta, who's been inking people for more than 6 years, has seen her fair share of poor tattoo ideas. And while working with a client closely can elevate what could have been a lifelong regret into an elegant tattoo begging to be shared on Insta, it's only one way to steer away from appearing on one of these lists. Another is to do some homework.

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Robecca
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Only god can judge them for getting their hand pregnant?? Da faqu

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Shark Lady
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What the actual F is that. It looks like a weird skin disease or something that has turned septic.

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"I think it's quite important not to chase what's trendy and go for what you actually like," she suggested. "Of course, not being penny-pinchy about it and choosing a trustworthy tattoo master who seems to hear what you're actually after also helps."

What most people who're about to get their first tattoo done don't consider, then, is age. While there are no statistics to base this on, most people, Agneta believes, don't factor in that their skin will get wrinkly with age, or that tattoos tend to fade as we get older.

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"At the moment, tattoos made out of thin lines are quite popular," she says. "Naturally, due to our physiology, it will blur and expand," an important consideration that is sometimes forgotten by customers, even after being duly warned.

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Alyssa Phillips
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11 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is actually well done if that's your thing. ETA: and I see now to cover a scar

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Robecca
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What in the absolute most cursed things to ever exist is this?

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Robecca
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Like, that's even an awful picture to begin with. Man looks like he's disgusted with the photographer

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Robecca
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Honestly if they got the left picture would probably be better

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Austin Sauce
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11 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My next what? Please don’t tell me I have to read his toes to find out.

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Holly Stevens
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have a feeling this is actually really well done and the dog was just ugly

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Note: this post originally had 38 images. It’s been shortened to the top 35 images based on user votes.