Disclosure: We are sorry if your ink has somehow fallen into this list of cliched tattoos. You can comfort yourself in the knowledge that cliches become cliches for a reason…or you can go and get it removed.
Now, let’s get on with the list…
1. Infinity Symbol
The infinity symbol has lost all meaning. It is only truly understood for the cliche it has now become. There was a time when this tattoo was profound…that time has long since passed. Ironically, It will probably take an actual infinity before this tattoo is ever seen as cool again.
Bonus marks if the tattoo also contains the words love, family, or friendship within it.
2. Lower Back Tattoo
Immortalized by an Amy Schumer biography (possibly not a good thing), the lower back tattoo has long been the iconic tattoo of basic girls throughout the world. Known affectionately as a tramp stamp, or a slag tag, depending on which side of the Atlantic you live, this motif quickly became recognized as one of the most cliched tattoos in the whole tattoo game.
Bonus marks if the tattoo is of a butterfly.
Remember when I said the infinity symbol tattoo had lost all meaning? Behold, the meaningless tribal tattoo. You can just hear the Maori warriors thought process as this craze began to gather steam:
“Someone has paid homage to our native and traditional ink style, that’s pretty cool”
Several months later…
“Jeez, quite a lot of people are doing it now I think it might be getting a bit overdone…”
several months after that…
“Oh for F**k sake, Mike Tyson just got one on his face”.
Sorry Maouri Warriors, sorry.
The dandelion that is blowing in the wind: peaceful, thought-provoking, poetic…cliched. As cliched tattoos go, this one had a decent run before it reached critical mass and went into full-on cliche mode.
Bonus marks if the dandelion tattoo is merged with an inspirational quote (more about those later).
5. Tourist landmarks
Tourist landmarks are often awe-inspiring to look at in real life. Not so much when you shrink them down to the size of a cell phone and get them tattooed on your skin. What is the thinking behind this one anyway? Are you worried you will never get the chance to visit again?
In truth, landmark tattoo’s can be done well, but so many people messed it up over the years that it is now a cliche of the highest order.
6. Finger Tattoo
Tattoo’s in small and obscure areas are hard to pull off. On top of that, the ink usually fades badly in these areas and the tattoo quickly begins to look like something other than what was intended. A common mistake of the newcomer is to get a finger tattoo believing it is some kind of compromise or easy way in…it’s not. Not only is it very real, but it’s also usually more complicated and just as expensive as a more standard size tattoo.
Only do this cliche if you have a very specific idea in mind.
These beautiful flowers are the most commonly requested tattoo on the market, in other words, they are one of the most cliched tattoos on the market. A cliched tattoo is not interesting. Of course, you could use a rose along with something else, but beware this has been done to death also. Along with the intellectual quote (we will get to it), Roses are the most common type of tattoo a newbie will take, the designs are usually pretty good and most artists have a lot of experience in doing them but for that reason, they are a cliched tattoo.
Bonus marks if it has someone’s name beneath it.
8. Profound Quotes
The one we have all been waiting for: the profound quote. This versatile cliche does it all: it’s pretentious, it attaches to other cliched tattoos, it can easily be misspelled or written out badly, it is probably going to fade, and unless you pick the quote out very well there is a good chance you will meet a few others who have something similar. Does this matter? No. You do you, there is nothing wrong with putting something inspirational on your body. Just don’t think you are reinventing the wheel because you are not. What you are doing is making your own wheel from a blueprint you’ve stolen…not a very good wheel either.
Ok, so everyone knows that they shouldn’t be getting a lover’s name tattooed on their body because, despite what the romantics tell you, love doesn’t always last. Not reliably enough to base a tattoo on it anyway. What about child and family names I hear you say, surely our love for them will never die? No, hopefully not, but your chances of going through life without having a cliched tattoo have certainly bit the dust.
There are so many tattoos available and so many chances to go the cliched route without realizing, Hopefully, this guide will help you avoid that, On the other hand, don’t worry what people think and go for it, even cliches can be beautiful. (there’s always tattoo removal if you get it really wrong).
If you have any interesting tattoo stories or would like to learn more about tattoo removal, please contact us in the comments below.