Most of us can understand the temptation of solidifying an important moment in our lives with some commemorative body art. What better way to make a memory permanent then by getting a tattoo that will always remind you of those influential experiences, for better or for worse.
This list of celebrities who have meaningful tattoos reminds us that those living the life of the rich and famous are just like us. Whether they wanted to commemorate a career-changing role or have dedicated their body art to a loved one, these tattoos make celebrities as relatable as ever.
Most know Amanda Seyfried through her breakthrough role in the teen comedy, Mean Girls. Since then her career in Hollywood has flourished and she has taken on a diverse array of successful films. One of her more recent endeavors includes the on-screen rendition of the hit broadway musical, Mamma Mia and the made for the silver screen sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
This project holds a special place in Seyfried’s heart because it was where she met her co-stars and on-screen, turned off-screen best friends, Rachel McDowall and Ashley Lilley. To commemorate their friendship, the trio decided to get matching tattoos of the word “minge” written in cursive on the side of their feet. Seyfried explained that in the UK, the word is used as a term of endearment between friends. The word does have an alternative meaning, however, which Seyfriend has admitted gets some eye-rolls.
Singer, songwriter, record producer and all-around superstar, Lenny Kravitz has many achievements to be proud of. But no award or chart-topping hit levels up to the pride that he feels towards his only daughter, Zoë. To showcase this admiration, the musician had the letter “Z” tattooed on his right, ring finger.
Zoë was born in 1988 and is now flourishing under the limelight as an actress, singer, and model. It’s no surprise she found herself in show business, with her rock star father and actress Lisa Bonet as her mother. You might recognize Bonet as Denise Huxtable on the hit sitcom, The Cosby Show. Not only are both her parents megastars but her stepdad is also none other than Jason Momoa. That is one family dinner that we want to be part of.
Real Life Aquaman
Speaking of Momoa, other than his acting talents and undeniable charm, the actor is also well known for his hard to miss forearm tattoo. Although not his only body art, it has definitely become one of his trademarks, and for good reason. The ink on his forearm might seem like just a simple pattern, but it actually has a lot of meaning for the star.
The tattoo on the Hawaiian native’s forearm represents Momoa’s family crest and their spirit guardian, or “aumakua.” The Momoa aumakua is a shark, which is why the Aquaman star chose to ink lines of shark teeth on his arm. When speaking about the tattoo, Mamoa said, “It’s supposed to take the darkness out of your heart and bring the light in but we’re still working on that.” Mamoa holds his Hawaiian heritage very close to his heart so it’s no wonder he chose to get this meaningful tattoo in order to properly commemorate his ancestors.
Pirates for Life
One of Hollywoods hottest stars, Johnny Depp is no stranger to commemorative tattoos. Depp has over 30 tattoos and each has its own meaningful back story. One such tattoo might look familiar for those that best know the star for his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series.
In the film, Depp’s character, Jack Sparrow is seen adorning a tattoo on his right forearm of a sparrow flying, over a body of water, across a setting sun. Depp must have taken a liking to the pirate’s body art since he decided to get the tattoo done in real life. He even added the name Jack, which has a double meaning as it is not only the name of the Pirate that he played for eight years, but is also the name of his now 17-year-old son.
Mother of Dragons
Over the last few years, the world has fallen in love with one of Hollywood’s newest and brightest faces, Emilia Clarke. The star was introduced to the world through her leading role in the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones and most fans recognize Clarke as, Daenerys Targaryen, the mother of dragons.
The actress paid homage to her breakthrough role by tattooing a trio of flying dragons on her wrist. She revealed this body art on her Instagram with the caption “MOD 4 LYFE!!! This mamma ain’t NEVER forgetting her babies.” We will never forget the mother of dragons and her three dragon “babies” either.
A Code Gone Wrong
Pirates of The Carribean heartthrob Orlando Bloom also recently got some commemorative ink of his own and he did so in the most trendy way possible. As part of the recent hype of getting tattoos done in morse code, Bloom decided to get his done in honor of his nine-year-old son, Flynn Bloom.
Unfortunately though, as Bloom’s Instagram followers were quick to point out after he posted his new body art online, the tattoo is actually missing a crucial dot. Instead of Flynn, the morse code on the actor’s arm actually reads “Frynn.” Luckily this will be a quick fix and Bloom has already let his fans know that he has been made aware of the mistake.
For Her Quarterback
Actress and singer, Lea Michele got a tattoo of the number five to honor her former Glee costar, Cory Monteith, who tragically passed away on July 2013. Michele and Monteith starred alongside each other from 2009 until his passing and had developed a very close friendship over the years,
Michele posted a photo of her tattoo on twitter with the caption “and one more..for my quarterback..” Cory’s character on Glee, Finn Hudson, was the star quarterback on his high school football team and his player number written on his jerseys was number five.
In Memory of Manchester
In 2018, pop star, Ariana Grande shared a photo of her new bee tattoo which sits behind her left ear. Grande had the tattoo done in order to commemorate the victims of the Manchester Arena attack that took place on May 22, 2017, shortly after her concert.
The bee, which signifies hard work and working together, has been officially incorporated into the Manchester coat of arms since 1842. Its significance stems from the Industrial Revolution when factories were often referred to as beehives. After the 2017 attack, which took the lives of 22 victims, thousands of people had a bee tattooed on them, in their honor.
A Girl Has No Name
Game of Thrones star, Maisie Williams chose to commemorate the end of her eight-season run on the show with some tasteful body art. One such tattoo included a clear nod to her character’s storyline. Throughout the last few seasons, fans have watched as the younger Stark sister embarked on her journey to become “no one.”
In honor of this, Williams chose to get those very words tattooed on the back of her neck, forever keeping Arya’s identity (or lack thereof) a part of her. No stranger to commemorative ink, Maise also recently got a tattoo of a daisy in honor of her recently launched social media app called Daisie.
Proud to Save the Galaxy Together
The original cast of Avengers; Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, and Jeremy Renner all got inked together to celebrate the continued success of the Marvel film series. They each got an identical modified version of the Avengers logo inked on their skin.
The group of now close friends first appeared on screen together in 2012 and have been breaking box off records together ever since. The only original Avenger missing on their tattoo escapade was Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk. Chris Evans joked about this on his twitter saying, “We just need to get Ruffalo blackout drunk.” Sounds like the Hulk has a secret fear of needles.
Bad to The Bone
Breaking Bad star, Bryan Cranston also paid homage to his role as Walter White in the hit series. The actor has a small, relatively hidden tattoo of the show’s logo on the inside of his right ring finger. When speaking about the ink to reporters, Cranston said, “I can see it. So every once in a while I catch a glimpse of it and I see that logo for Breaking Bad and it makes me smile.”
Although Walter White was not Bryan’s breakthrough role, having starred in many hit TV shows and movies for years previous, it certainly gained him a more widespread fan base. Other than Breaking Bad, Cranston is also well known for his role in Malcolm in the Middle and also appeared in several acclaimed films such as Saving Private Ryan, Little Miss Sunshine, and Argo.
A Nod to Ally
World-famous singer, songwriter Lady Gaga has recently won us all over once again, this time with her newly debuted skills as a big-screen actress. Most of us have witnessed this by now with her role in the 2018 remake of the original 1937 classic, A Star is Born. In true Gaga fashion, the star paid homage to this award-winning role with a beautiful piece of body art.
The tattoo includes an elegant rose rising up her spine alongside the song title “La Vie En Rose” written in cursive. This is the song that her character, Ally sings when she is first introduced in the film. It is also the song that Gaga sang to director and co-star, Bradley Cooper when auditioning for the lead role.
Forever an Angel
Star supermodel, Bella Hadid also had some meaningful ink done. In January 2017, she got a pair of tiny angel wings on the back of her right ankle. Although she has not publically declared the significance of these wings, we do have a likely guess.
Hadid has been modeling for Victoria Secret since 2015 and in 2017 she walked in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, adorning the brand’s trademark angel wings. We can imagine that her debut as an official Victoria Secret angel had something to do with the ankle tattoos she had done that same year.
Proud Mama Jolie
Hollywood powerhouse, Angelina Jolie is known for proudly adopting three of her six children from various countries all over the world. To pay homage to this, Jolie decided to get the coordinates of all of her children’s birthplaces on her arm, as well as the birth coordinates of her then-husband, Brad Pitt.
Including her three biological children, none of the Jolie/Pitt kids were born in the United States. The birthplaces include Cambodia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Namibia, and France. When Jolie added the seventh line, many speculated if she was planning another adoption but we soon found out that the coordinates for Shawnee, Oklahoma are in fact the birthplace of fellow megastar, and the father to her children, Brad Pitt.
The Brave Nine
About a week before the final days of filming The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001, the cast members decided to commemorate their experience. They each got a tattoo of the word “nine” in the movies Elvish language to represent all nine of the starring actors; Sir Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Astin, Bill Boyd, Viggo Mortensen, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Sean Bean, and the stunt double of John Rhys Davies.
Elijah Wood, who portrayed the role of Frodo Baggins explains their decision saying, “We felt the experience was both wonderful enough and profound enough to have ourselves branded,” Wood said, “so we went ahead and did that about a week before we finished.” Director Peter Jackson also got himself a similar tattoo, this time of the number “ten” spelled out in Elvish.
It’s no surprise that America’s favorite party girl, Miley Cyrus went above and beyond a simple name tattoo when paying homage to her Australian husband, Liam Hemsworth. Instead, the award-winning pop star added to her extensive tattoo collection with a drawing of a jar of Vegemite.
For those who don’t know, Vegemite is a popular Australian spread made of yeast extract, vegetables, and various spice additives. The Aussies go crazy for the stuff and apparently, so does Miley Cyrus. Unfortunately, since their marriage in December 2018, Cyrus and her hubby are currently going through a split. Hopefully, her passion for Vegemite will survive the divorce.
A Not so Unfortunate Event
Neil Patrick Harris has spent the last few years staring in the Netflix show, A Series of Unfortunate Events, where he plays the clever and creepy antagonist, Count Olaf. In 2017, with the announcement of the shows second season, Harris decided to celebrate by getting a tattoo inspired by the show, which is based on the popular book series by the same name.
The new ink, situated on Haris’s ankle bone, references the secret society of which the main protagonists, the Baudelaire children become involved in. This is the first tattoo for the comedian, which he proudly showed off on his official Instagram account.
A Tribute to The King of Pop
Model, social media personality and outspoke humanitarian, Paris Jackson is also known for her many meaningful tattoos. One of which pays an emotional tribute to her late father, Michael Jackson. The design of her tattoo, which she had done in 2016, was taken from the cover of Michael Jackson’s iconic 1991 album, Dangerous.
This is not her only Michael Jackson inspired tattoo. Paris also has the word “applehead” inked on her foot, which is a nickname that those closest to the late singer would use when referring to Michael. She also has the word “bad” inked on her hand, in the same font of her father’s 1987 album cover of the same name.
No Half Measures
Along with his costar, Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad star, Aaron Paul decided to commemorate his time on the show in a very permanent way. While Cranston got the show’s logo on his right finger, Paul decided to go a more metaphorical route by getting the phrase, “no half measures” underneath his right arm.
In an interview with AMC, Paul spoke about this decision saying, “We actually got it on the last day of shooting. We were doing a scene from a previous episode. I was walking around set saying how awful it was that it was coming to an end, and I made a joke saying that we all need to get matching tattoos to remember this. It kind of snowballed into reality.”
Celebrating a Battle Won
Emma Stone’s wrist tattoo is close to the actress’ heart in more ways than one. Beatles frontman, Paul McCartney agreed to personally design the tattoo, especially for Stone. The body art is of two blackbird feet, based off of The Beatles song, “Blackbird.” Emma decided to have the tattoo made in celebration of her mom’s cancer going into remission.
Cancer is an issue close to McCartney’s heart as his first wife Linda, passed away from breast cancer in 1998. Stone spoke about the ink saying, “My mom’s favorite song is ‘Blackbird,’ and it’s my favorite song as well,” Stone said. “I wrote a letter to Paul McCartney asking him if he would draw two little bird feet because he wrote the song.” This is Emma’s first and only tattoo.
In Memory of Ronnie
Rapper Eminem has long been known for his large collection of tattoos since he rose to fame in the tale end of the 90s. Since his takeover of the hip hop world, he has been very outspoken about his various real-life issues. Through his music, Eminem or Marshall Matters oftentimes refers to his late uncle, Ronnie Pilkington who took his own life in 1991.
The musician and his uncle were very close and Ronnie was actually the person to introduce Matters to hip-hop. To pay tribute to him, Eminem has a large tattoo with the words “RIP Ronnie” on his left shoulder. The tattoo also includes a huge mushroom, an evil eye and the city of Detroit. This is meant to depict the distress that often comes from living in Detroit.
Who else was rooting for Pete Davidson and Ariana Garden to defy the odds and stay together for the long haul? We know we were. Although they have since split, their whirlwind relationship did keep us on our toes for a few lovestruck months. During that time, the pair of tattoo crazed stars did manage to express their love with ink. In total, the two have nine tattoos meant to solidify their love.
One design, that the SNL comedian had done for his pop-star girlfriend was inspired by the bunny ear mask that Grande wore on the cover of her Dangerous Woman album. Davidson had the ears tattooed on the left side of his neck in the early stages of their relationship. Since their split, he has had the ears covered up by a large heart with a small lowercase “a”next to it, giving us all hope that the two might one day reconcile their love.
The Day That Changed Their Lives
Revisiting our tatted Game of Thrones cast member; not only do Maise Williams and Sophie Turner have body art commemorating their characters, Arya and Sansa but they also decided to solidify their off-screen sisterhood with some matching ink. But don’t worry, the matching tattoos are still Game of Thrones-themed.
Turner spoke about the tattoos in an interview with Elle UK saying, “We always said that we wanted them so we got the date 07.08.09 on our arms because that’s the date that both of us found out we’d got our roles in Game Of Thrones. So when we had a day off from filming in Belfast we just went to a tattoo place and got it done.”
The cast of the 2016 supervillain film, Suicide Squad decided to one-up the matching tattoo trend by doing their tattoos themselves. Actress, Margot Robbie, who plays Harley Quinn in the film brought a tattoo gun to the set and tattooed a good number of her fellow cast and crew members, all while in full Harley costume. By the end, all the volunteers ended up with handwritten tattoos of the word “SKWAD.”
Unfortunately, Robbie botched her first attempt, writing “SWAD” on a cast assistant named Simon. Costar Will Smith also tried his hand as a tattoo artist by tattooing his cos star, Joel Kinnaman. Kinnaman later spoke about regretting this decision saying, “Don’t let a 47-year-old man without his reading glasses tattoo you. That is the life lesson. It’s supposed to be a sh**ty tattoo, so that’s what it is.”
Sophie Turner has become the queen of commemorative tattoos over the years. One of her most recent additions, found on her pointer finger, offers a nod to her ongoing role as Jean Grey, or the Dark Phoenix in the X-Men universe. The actress showed off her new ink on her Instagram with the caption, “Phoenix-ing out” so the meaning behind it was made more than obvious.
As another way to commemorate the role, Turner also debuted a tattoo of the X-Men logo on her left ribcage. It seems the star can barely contain her excitement over her addition into the X-Men universe. Sophie also has similarly simplistic yet meaningful tattoos in honor of her now-husband, Joe Jonas, her role in the HBO series, Game of Thrones, as well as her late grandfather, whom she has proudly deemed her hero.
Proud Dancing Star
Rumer Willis is not only the eldest daughter of stars Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, but she is also a star herself, gracing shows such as Empire and Pretty Little Liars. The actress and singer also tried her hand at dancing as part of the 20th season of the reality competition, Dancing with the Stars. Willis and her professional dancing partner Valentin Chmerkovsky were crowned as their seasons’ champions.
In celebration of their victory, Willis got a tattoo of herself and Chmerkovsky dancing on her right bicep. She spoke about this decision in an interview with People saying, “I got it because I really wanted to just have a reminder of the journey I went through.” Willis has since had the meaningful tattoo removed. Rumor has it, the removal has a lot to do with her dancing partners romance with fellow DWTS dancer, Jenna Johnson. Seems she saw Valentin as more than just a dance partner.
Father Daughter Love
The tragic passing of Robin Williams had a profound effect on all his fans around the world. However, it was his biggest fan, daughter Zelda Williams who we feel for the most. To commemorate the memory of her father, Zelda had a beautiful tattoo of a hummingbird inked on her hand. When speaking of the tattoo, Zelda says, “I wanted to honor my father, and to put it on my hand, the hand that I shake hands with. It meant a lot to me. I really enjoy it.”
She then went on to explain the touching and poetic meaning behind the hummingbird; “If you’ve seen them fly, and if you know a little bit about them, they’re impossible to keep in one place. And that was the reaction that my father got, from children, from fans, from senior citizens. And that’s what hummingbirds always meant to me.”
Joining the club of celebs commemorating their roles with body art is Marvels most recent friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Tom Holland. The star has dreamt of playing the spider web throwing superhero for as long as he can remember, so it only makes sense that he wanted to honor his achievements.
During a press tour for the recent Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Holland showed off the tattoo of the spidey logo dangling from a web on the bottom of his foot. Not only did he pick one of the most painful spots for the ink, apparently he had to get the tattoo touched up three times to avoid fading. Nevertheless, it sounds like Holland has no regrets.
An Important Message
Selena Gomez has recently made waves through her role as the executive producer of the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. The heartwrenching show covers important topics such as bullying, depression and preventable teen suicide. To reflect the message that the show projects, Gomez and fellow cast members decided to take the outreach one step further.
Gomez, as well as cast members Alisha Boe, Tommy Dorfman, and Brandon Flynn chose to get matching semicolons tattoos on the side of their wrists. The founder of the suicide prevention organization, Project Semicolon explains the symbolism behind these tattoos saying, “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”
In Memory of GranGran
Rihanna is another superstar who is no stranger to the tattoo gun. She has over 20 tattoos, each with their own personal meaning to the pop star. One hard to miss piece of body art has a particularly heartfelt dedication. After her grandmother, GranGranDolly lost her battle with cancer in 2012, Rihanna chose to honor her memory in a very permanent way.
The star showed off her new chest tattoo in an Instagram post with the caption, “Goddess Isis – Complete Woman – Model for future generations – #GRANGRANDOLLY – always in and on my heart #1love.” Isis is an ancient Egyptian goddess that has come to symbolize motherhood and a role model for women.
Remembering Man’s Best Friend
Just like his wife, Sophie Turner, pop star Joe Jonas is also a sucker for commemorative tattoos. The pair have a few matching tattoos to symbolize their love and devotion to one another however one has a particularly heart wrenching back story.
After their poor puppy, Waldo Picasso had been killed in a tragic car crash, the couple paid tribute to his memory by getting matching tattoos of his adorable portrait. The Jonas Brothers member shared the body art on Instagram with the caption, “R.I.P. my little angel.”
Making Dreams Come True
Rita Ora’s graceful ballerina tattoo on her right arm pays homage to her childhood dream to one day grow up and be a prima ballerina. The singer explained saying “I’ve got a ballerina here with my best friend Anda, because we always made jokes that at 9, when we were at 92 we were going to be ballerinas if we survived.”
While she may not be adorning point shoes and tutus, Rita has certainly kept true to her dreams of becoming a performer. As both an actress and singer, the star continues to succeed under the limelight. This is only one of her 30 known tattoos and she does not seem to be stopping anytime soon.
Award-winning actor, Michael J. Fox proves you’re never too old to get your first tattoo. At 57 years young, Fox debuted his first body art of a sea turtle swimming through ovals. He showed off his ink on his Instagram with the caption, “First tattoo, sea turtle, long story.” So naturally, we had to find out the story. Thankfully, world-famous tattoo artist, Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy who was responsible for the stars ink elaborated on the meaning of the turtle in Inked Magazine.
McCurdy said, “He was telling me that there was a transformation for him with his career decisions when he was swimming in Saint John. He spotted this turtle with a chunk missing from its fin and a scar on his face. And that turtle let him swim with him for about a half an hour. He made a transcending decision right after that, So that turtle was pretty significant to him.”
To New Beginnings
Demi Lovato’s tattoo of a rose on her pointer finger might be small and delicate, but it actually has a very powerful meaning. The tattoo, which she had done in January of this year (2019) is meant to celebrate the stars six months of sobriety.
The rose symbolizes balance, hope, and new beginnings, which is exactly what the star hopes to achieve, after years fighting drug and alcohol addictions. Lovato has been very outspoken about her struggle and now stands as a beacon of hope for all who share a similar story.
Prior to her Game of Thrones-inspired dragon trio tattoo, actress Emilia Clarke paid homage to yet another of her roles. In the 2016 film, Me Before You, her quirky character, Louisa Clark is shown sporting an adorable tattoo of a bumblebee.
To honor the role, Clarke mimicked Louisa’s tattoo and got a bumblebee of her own on her left pinky finger. This was Clarke’s first tattoo, which she celebrated on her Instagram with the caption, “What was already stained on my heart is now stained on my skin…”
All-star power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z are crazy in love with each other and not above cute couple tattoos to show it. The pair decided to commemorate their holy matrimony by getting matching tattoos of the roman numeral four (IV) instead of traditional wedding bands.
Four is a very special number for the stars; Beyonce’s birthday is September fourth, Jay-Z’s is December fourth and their wedding anniversary is on April fourth (4/4). Some even speculate that their daughter Blue Ivy, or Blue IV was named after the number four. More recently, in September 2017, Beyonce had her tattoo altered to look less like the original IV and more like the numeral four and a capital J.
An Important Year
Star soccer legend, David Beckham is clearly a huge fan of meaningful body art. He has commemorated his family, career and personal milestones with dozens of tats all over his body. One simple and easy to miss addition to his collection includes the number 99 on his right pinky finger.
This tattoo has a double meaning for the star. The year 1999 was memorable for Beckham for more than one reason. For one, that is the year that he tied the knot with his posh as ever wife, Victoria. 1999 is also when Beckham and his team, Manchester United won the Premier League, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League.
Keeping Loved Ones Close
Unlike many on this list, Jennifer Aniston was not really a tattoo fanatic when she decided to get her first piece of body art. The Friends star’s first tattoo, which she got in 2011, reads “Norman” on the inside of her right foot. While many fans thought that Norman might be a secret ex-fling, the meaning behind the ink was much more sentimental.
Aniston got the tattoo made in honor of her Welsh corgi-terrier who had passed away that year. Aniston was distraught by his passing and wanted to commemorate his life by ensuring that Norman’s memory would stay with her wherever she stepped.
The Girl With the Eloise Tattoo
This quirky shoulderblade tattoo is one out of two tattoos that Girls creator, Lena Dunham has in dedication to her favorite childhood book, Eloise at The Plaza. The first of which, a cartoon of Eloise on her lower back, was Dunham’s first tattoo that she had made when she was only 17 years old.
Dunham’s affinity for the storybook and connection to the character goes beyond her tattoo dedications.
In 2015, the star also executive-produced a documentary about the illustrator, Hilary Knight, titled Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise. The star spoke about her love for Eloise in an interview with the New York Daily News saying, ‘I think so many young women were obsessed with Eloise’s unruly magic. She’s just such a remarkably independent, vanity-free, complex little girl, and as a little girl, you don’t see that many representations of yourself beyond a good little child with pigtails. So it was meaningful.’
When Sophie Turner revealed her Game of Thrones tattoo after she commenced filming the shows eight and final season, many fans were a bit ticked off that the star had revealed a huge spoiler prior to the series finale. The tattoo, located just under her elbow includes the phrase, “The pack survives.” as well as a drawing of a dire wolf (the symbol of House Stark, of which Tuner’s character is a part of.)
Sophie, however, denied the spoiler as it is a phrase that her character, Sansa Stark had said early on in the series. In full, the quote says, “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.” That being said, as fans now know, the remaining “pack,” or House of Stark members do in fact survive the show’s finale as the ink foreshadowed.