For thousands of years, humans have marked their bodies with permanent designs known as tattoos. They have varied from plain, sometimes elaborate, other times symbolic, but always personal, and these inkings have served as amulets, status symbols, declarations of love, signs of religious beliefs, adornments and even forms of punishment.

No wonder people’s fascination with tattoos remains stronger than ever. While there’s still some stigma about them in our society, a more progressive approach to our bodies, identity, and self-expression is emerging.

At the same time, some people are slightly more skeptical towards body art. They even claim that particular designs, symbols, and body areas where a tattoo is placed can be read as a warning sign. “What sort of tattoo on someone is a major red flag for you?” someone asked on Ask Reddit, and we looked at what people had to say. Let us know if you agree or disagree with them in the comments!

We also reached out to Alex Alvarado, a tattoo artist at Santo Cuervo studio, and Adam, the studio manager at Vagabond Tattoo based in East London, who shared a couple of insights into tattoo art from the experts’ perspective.

#1

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones The Confederate Flag is literally a red flag

EdwardPackard , Angie Report

Loki’s Lil Butter Knife
Community Member
1 month ago

A true symbol of hatred worn by fascist cowards.

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According to tattoo artist Alvarado, you can tell a lot about a person from their tattoos. “I’d venture to say you could even guess nationality based on what style of tattoos they have, but the most obvious answer to me would be how much they have (or haven’t) invested in their tattoos,” he said.

Alvarado argues that this isn’t only monetary investment but also in terms of research, time, and dedication. “Getting a good tattoo is sometimes a very multi-faceted process that could even include travelling to see a specific artist. Things like this can tell you how knowledgeable, patient and committed a tattooed person can be.”

#2

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Any kind of hate symbol/speech is going to be a no from me.

AggravatingTear2879 Report

Sioux White
Community Member
1 month ago

It's a racist and then turns part of its skin black to show you its a racist. Mf morons

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#3

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Frankly, I only judge people for racist tattoos. I don't care otherwise nor do I care where people put their tattoos.

I do tend to judge people with bad tattoos but solely because it generally means a) you didn't care to do your research or b) you're a cheap f**k. But I try not to just for the few people out there that got scammed by someone saying they were something they weren't.

HovercraftFullofBees , hildebrand_rarity Report

Red Hair Blue Soul
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

We could always amputate at the knees

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And when it comes to the tattoo trends, Alvarado said that there are a multitude of them going on right now and it would depend on where you live, mostly.

“Custom lettering seems really popular at the moment. I’ve seen a lot of very delicate, very intricate Korean-style tattoos lately, and on the opposite end of that, there’s a lot of heavy blackouts going on as well, but it seems all styles seem to be flourishing and being taken to the next level all over the world.” He added that he is mainly a realism artist “and the art I see on social media nowadays usually leaves me in total awe!”

#4

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Childhood characters doing something unsavory. Like Winnie the Pooh in a dominatrix outfit. Decapitated Pikachu. Something like that.

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Scout Finch
Community Member
1 month ago

My eyes!

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#5

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones "Only God can judge me".

prophylaxitive , tausend und eins, fotografie Report

YinzerGhost
Community Member
1 month ago

Incorrect. I am judging the everlovin' s**t out of you.

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#6

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Anything political or weed-related. It tells me that has become their identity, basically.

User_492006 , MiamLitchell Report

Merrill N. Munro
Community Member
1 month ago

Roger Stone

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And when it comes to tattoos that seem to be out of fashion, Alvarado said that from what he can see, the '90s tribal style is definitely on its way out. “The majority of cover-ups we’ve done at my studio usually involve some sort of tribal that the client got ages ago when they were ‘cool’ but no longer reflects their taste and personality. But with trends being so cyclical, who knows, maybe tribal will come back in a big way soon!”

#7

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Baby’s faces, find it really unnerving, especially on the calf or top of arm. Why does it keep looking at me?

Fun-Platypus-9153 , Petkevic29 Report

Loki’s Lil Butter Knife
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Adorable photograph of a sweet sleeping baby on the left. The love child of Gollum and Sloth on the right.

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#8

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Anything in a language they don’t speak/have a connection to

hurricanetrash , CGehlen Report

Fabian Bernard
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah, big regret for me there. Being 19 and stupid, I would seriously like to get rid of it, totally screams whitetrash while at the beach now 😐

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#9

The number 88. It's used in the Aryan Brotherhood as an abbreviation for Hail Hitler (explanation: H is the 8th letter of the alphabet)

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JB
Community Member
1 month ago

I was unaware of this and had an idea to incorporate 88 (Year I was born) into one I wanted. The artist was like yaaaaa I'm not doing that and that's when I was explained the meaning. Man I'm glad he said something!

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Meanwhile, Adam, the studio manager at Vagabond Tattoo parlor, argues the opposite. He believes that tattoos don't really say anything. “There are so many different styles out there at the moment and it's so varied that you have people with different styles tattooed on them.” Having said that, Adam added that “one thing I would say is that if someone has a body suit or a large-scale piece, then they are a committed, dedicated person!”

#10

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones A huge American flag. I'm sorry.

scottstots98 , Aargentino1 Report

Freddie
Community Member
1 month ago

Don't be sorry. It is an eyesore

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#11

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Celebrity. Any kind

A_Guy_That_Exists89 , InducedChip89 Report

Scout Finch
Community Member
1 month ago

Why? Are you going to want that on you 20 years from now?

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#12

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones 'Live, Laugh, Love'

Even-Juggernaut6678 , Lex McKee Report

Sonja
Community Member
1 month ago

Don't get this. Why it is ao popular?

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When asked what kind of tattoos have been trending lately, Adam said it’s tribal tattoos that are having a comeback at the moment, but in a new form. “I've seen lots of biomechanical-esque tribal recently, so that may be a new trend.” Moreover, Adam said that “the 'fine line' style is probably the most popular but I don't think anything is the least fashionable right now,” when asked about tattoos which have gone out of style.

#13

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones “Loyalty” The people I see with this tattoo, they usually don’t appear to be the loyal type

ReusableBear487 , u/Dense-Significance-9 Report

Scout Finch
Community Member
1 month ago

Just add quote marks around it.

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#14

Bible/gospel quotes are an immediate no from me

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The leech
Community Member
1 month ago

Isn't the bible against marking the skin?

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#15

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Sort: Exes names

Placement: Face

hamiltonka , Ernest James Report

Scout Finch
Community Member
1 month ago

Never ever put a name on your body unless it's a blood relative.

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As the Covid-19 pandemic is over and people are getting back to their normal lives, you may wonder if the initial pandemic-induced surge in people’s interest in getting some ink is over. However, Adam said they have been pretty consistent throughout the pandemic and post-pandemic. “I'd say once we came out of each lockdown was the busiest time period with people wanting to get a tattoo,” he added.

#16

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Anything misspelled.

Rothines , LaserNightingale Report

Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
1 month ago

Skate and deetwr? What the hell is this supposed to be?

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#17

eyeball. As in having your eyeball colored permanently. No, just no. Use cool contacts. Dont take the chance of blinding yourself.

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Lee
Community Member
1 month ago

People will have ink injected into the whites of their eyes to change the color. It sounds like a terrible idea to me.

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#18

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Tear drop under the eye

A teardrop under the eye, if just an outline, Usually means the wearer has suffered pain, or more likely caused pain, or served significant time, for their associates (gang). Perhaps 15 years. A filled- in solid teardrop Usually means the wearer has caused death for their associates (gang).

scareintheair , [deleted] Report

MonsterMum
Community Member
1 month ago

I thought it meant they made bad choices. I have seen it some quite young people

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And now that the summer heat is sizzling and everyone’s getting into the beach mood, more people than ever are willing to get themselves a piece of body art. “Summer is always peak tattoo season! As soon as you start showing more skin, then all you see is the empty space,” Adam told us. However, he added that it's probably the worst time to get a tattoo in terms of healing, but it's definitely their busiest time of the year.

#19

Brand logos of any kind. If you like any corporation enough to get their logo tattooed on you, I’m guessing we have some major ideological differences.

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Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
1 month ago

People often do it when companies offer free food in return. Not that that justifies it.

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#20

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Comedy and tragedy masks. First three people I hooked up with had them in places you couldn’t see with clothes on.

Apparently I have a type.

If I unwrap another human and find one, I may faint.

No_Lick_Asbetos , JubJubBonks Report

Minath
Community Member
1 month ago

He he he "unwrap a human" I'm going to remember that.

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#21

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones if a man has tattoo's of naked women

Minimum-Lobster-8252 , A.T Tattoo Report

ƒιѕн
Community Member
1 month ago

This tattoo is not , as BP would have censored it.

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#22

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones my coworker married another coworker.. Prior to that wedding.. he asked her to prove to her how much she loved him. So she got a tattoo on her neck with his last name on it.--BIG artistic letters.

Now.. mind you.. this man is a douchebag and a half. and they have "issues" in their marriage.. that tattoo just proves how much self love she had for HERSELF.. which is absolutely 0.

Now before any of you comment let me tell you what she is like. She's very introverted and never speaks up. this guy controls what she eats, what she wears, and he has no shame in telling us to shut the eff up, if we stick up for her... and HR doesn't do anything about it.

This girl still sticks with him. When we ask her why.. she gets quiet and says.. she doesn't have a car and begs us not to get involved.

SO seeing their partner's name on a very clearly visible area while the partner does not have any tatz is a major red flag.

Dimple_from_YA , KK Report

Minath
Community Member
1 month ago

When a tattoo is done under these circumstances it's basically a brand of ownership. I won't judge anyone with name tattoos because you never know what that person is dealing with.

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#23

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Alcohol or weed tattoos.

ballq43 , Ella Report

MonsterMum
Community Member
1 month ago

The bottle is very well done. ATBGE

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#24

A “Punisher” tattoo. Especially if they’re in any sort of authority position.

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Alice Sparks
Community Member
1 month ago

Biggest red flag is if it's a cop. The original punisher comic had him going after corrupt police and politicians. Police have since tried to claim the symbol means "no mercy". It's a massive red flag that whoever has it has temper issues and a lack of self control that they see as a badge of honor. F**k those people.

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#25

Erogenous zone.

I’m nobody’s idea of a love god, but I’m reasonably capable of finding your happy spots without garish billboards to guide the way. You’re a partner, not a cheesy amusement park.

A few encouraging words and movements is more than enough.

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Kristal
Community Member
1 month ago

This person sounds really sweet, encouraging communication is a green flag

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#26

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones A cult tattoo. Big NO

ZenithChaser69 , bobbillinger Report

Sarah
Community Member
1 month ago

What does this tattoo mean?

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#27

Lips on the neck

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Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Is that a thing? Edit: I googled it. It is indeed a thing. Not a good thing.

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#28

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones I was once friends with a girl who had ten tattoos, all of which were matching tattoos with other girl friends. She’s no longer friends with any of them. Two big red flags there- intense codependent friendships, many enemies/falling outs with past friends. She even tried to get me to do a matching tattoo with her once. No thanks.

pbd1996 , j46290 Report

Tiger Pearl
Community Member
1 month ago

I do understand that, but some probably find it a funny/nice reminder of a time they lived through.

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#29

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones I used to work at an all purpose gas station in Pittsburgh, and was constantly told about a customer who had our store logo tattooed on his arm.

Didn't make me proud, made me feel like I was joining a very corporate cult.

Ok_Sheepherder_8313 , Terry Johnston Report

Scout Finch
Community Member
1 month ago

Benefits: insurance, paid vacation and your own logo tattoo!

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#30

A tattoo of their own face... Unless they're Steve-O.

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Tt
Community Member
1 month ago

Who would do that :'(

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#31

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones An inspirational quote tatted on someone screams they're trying desperately to prove something to themselves.

Ok-Limit5517 , tacotruck4me Report

Smalltoid
Community Member
1 month ago

And pretty sure the last word should be "everywhere"

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#32

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Stupid baseless words like “Pay2play” or “Boss movezzzz”

OkLemon1033 , reddit.com Report

Scout Finch
Community Member
1 month ago

Dumbazz

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#33

It's rather inexplicable, but Tweety Bird tats attract the worst

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Autistic Wolf
Community Member
1 month ago

Ever notice how almost any woman who exist with this type of tattoo (and lets face it, men simply don't get Tweety Bird tatts for whatever reason) tends to be SUPER unhealthy in their general lifestyle and life choices?

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#34

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones I know this guy with a tattoo across his collar bones that says “Uneducated genius"

ProcessImpressive211 , Allef Vinicius Report

Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
1 month ago

Is it Trump?

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#35

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Carpe diem.

RAB2204 , cayooo Report

Ivo H
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah, just put YOLO there, everyone already knows it's the same thing.

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#36

I think this might just be an Australian thing but having the southern cross tattoo anywhere is a red flag.
Don't know why it's specifically the southern cross but holy s**t every person I've ever met with that specific tattoo has been a walking red flag

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I’ve Seen Things
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

It is the Australian version/meaning as the Confederate flag

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#37

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Cheetah print 🚩🚩

BamboozledBum46 , pinterest.com Report

Tiger Pearl
Community Member
1 month ago

I’ve seen worse.

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#38

I swear guys with roses on their hands are generally a**holes.

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Autistic Wolf
Community Member
1 month ago

A rose on the hand typically tends to mean "if things get heated, I'm genuinely not above hitting the woman I'm with."

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#39

Being a tattooist for 11/12 years. Really in my eyes it’s usually people with not well done house tattoos who throw up the most red flags.

Thinking they are owed something and plain rude especially when someone is about to stab you lol

In no way am I trying to say house tattoos are bad what I’m saying is the sense of self entitlement and the need to have it done then and there breeds a different type of client that is usually rude or is an a*****e in my experience.

Lumpy_Objective1458 Report

Kristal
Community Member
1 month ago

Are house tattoos the tattoos on the walls or in books at the tattoo shop?

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#40

People Claim These Tattoos Signal Major Red Flags On People, Here Are 40 Of The Worst Ones Zodiac signs

samiam871 , u/fatmonk8 Report

Meg Curry
Community Member
1 month ago

Scorpio here! My initial is "M" and the Scorpio symbol looks like an M with an arrow on it. I wish people would stop cramping on folks with zodiac tattoos, especially when it has a special meaning.

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