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Playing With / Embarrassing Tattoo

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Basic Trope: A character has a tattoo they regret getting.

  • Straight:
    • Bob has Alice's name tattooed onto his arm, but the tattoo artist misspelled it as "Allice".
    • Bob has Alice's name tattooed onto his arm, but she has since broken up with him.
    • Bob got a dragon tattooed on his stomach when he was 19. It did look cool back then, but now that Bob has become really fat...
    • Bob got a piece from an unlicensed "apprentice" that was of extremely poor quality and got infected.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob has the message "I am an idiot" tattooed in Chinese across his face.
    • Bob has multiple embarrassing tattoos on his body because he's an idiot and hasn't learned that tattoos are permanent.
  • Downplayed: Bob has a generic tattoo of a snake on his arm that turns out to not be as awesome as he thought it would be, but he can still live with it.
  • Justified:
    • Bob got the tattoo while drunk, from a not-so-reputable tattoo parlor.
    • Bob was young and dumb and thought the tattoo would still be cool years later.
    • Bob doesn't want a tattoo removal because of the cost and pain, and it's impossible to come up with a good cover-up design.
    • Bob doesn't bother to get the tattoo covered up or removed because it's easy to hide anyway.
    • Bob was young and poor when he got his first large piece, and he couldn't afford the rates at a good shop, went to a cheaper shop, and received subpar work.
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  • Inverted: Bob turns down his friends' invitation to get tattoos and regrets doing so later.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob has second thoughts about getting a winged skull tattooed on his chest, but his friends convince him that it was a good choice.
    • Bob considers getting a tattoo but changes his mind at the last second.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Bob's friends turn out to be Jerkasses, and after Bob leaves their group he is permanently stuck with a reminder of his time with them.
    • After Bob changes his mind, his friends call him a chicken. Embarrassed, Bob goes back in and gets the tattoo.
  • Parodied: Bob has the words "embarrassing tattoo" tattooed on his arm in Chinese.
  • Zig Zagged: In Bob's native language, his tattoo is a mark of honor. In others it happens to mean something else entirely. Whether he regrets it or not depends on the circumstances.
  • Averted:
    • Bob has a cool tattoo.
    • Advertisement:
    • Bob has Alice's name tattooed onto his arm. It has a nice design, it's spelled correctly, and Bob is Happily Married to Alice until he dies at 78.
  • Enforced: Bob's actor has an embarrassing tattoo, and the producers didn't want to go through the trouble of covering it up for all his scenes.
  • Lampshaded:
    • This conversation:
    "Hey, nice tattoo!"
    "Could we change the topic? It's kinda embarrassing."
    • "You should see the tattoo my roommate got. Not only is it a tribal, but he got a staph infection because, surprise, shops that are willing to give those fucking things are not good shops."
    • "Hey man, what are you looking to get done?" "Yo, uh, I need to get an old piece covered." "Alright, we can probably do that. What are we covering?" "I need to get my babymama's name on my upper arm covered." "Yeah, that's a common one. Don't blame you. Let's just look at it and then figure things out from there."
  • Invoked: Bob says something that annoys the tattoo artist, so the artist screws up the tattoo to get revenge.
  • Exploited: Charlie blackmails Bob a little during conversations with others by hinting he'll bring up the embarrassing tattoo if Bob mentions something that doesn't make Charlie look good.
  • Defied:
    • Bob undergoes a tattoo removal procedure.
    • The tattoo artist refuses to tattoo Bob, who is clearly drunk.
    • Bob wants an incredibly trashy and tasteless piece, and the artist implores him to think about whether he really wants it because he knows that he will come to regret it.
  • Discussed: Bob tells Charlotte that he wants to get Alice's name tattooed on his arm. She warns him that he might regret it later.
  • Conversed: "Does no one in this show think before getting something inked on them for life?"
  • Reconstructed: Bob is embarrassed of the tattoo he got in his youth of a hobby he was briefly into. Alice talks him into realising that even if he's not into that any more, it was still an important aspect of his life once, and the tattoo makes an interesting conversation starter.
  • Implied: Charlie refuses to ever take his shirt off in public, saying only that he used to do silly things when he got drunk.
  • Played For Laughs: Bob gets his girlfriend's initials, JE, tattooed on his arm. After she breaks up with him, he has it changed to "JEDI".
  • Played For Drama: Bob is a former Neo-Nazi who is stuck with a giant swastika tattoo on his chest that can't be covered up, and he can't afford to remove it. He struggles to cope with that constant reminder of his dark past, and he has to keep it hidden at all times to avoid being attacked by someone who doesn't know he's reformed.

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