19 Meaningful Tattoos That Are Making Me Cry

Sarah Kester
Scar tatttoo
reddit | u/GuacamoleFanatic

Unless you’re getting tattooed at 2 a.m. after a night of drinking, most people put a lot of thought into their tattoos.

This could be a tattoo to mark the passion shared between lovers, or a tattoo to express one's creativity. Then, there are the ones that pack a whole lot of meaning, whether that's a tribute to a lost loved one or celebrating another chance at life.


Here are 19 meaningful tattoos that are making me shed alll the waterworks. 

The father

Tattoo of women's father
reddit | u/42dftba

Although this woman's father died on December 15, 2016, she will always have him with her with this sweet sentimental tattoo. This is a very classy and tasteful way to remember her dad.

The climb

Rope tattoo
reddit | u/PleaseBeSafeGuys

"About a month ago, I lost a friend in a climbing accident. This is my reminder of him as well as a reminder to myself to climb safe," this Redditor wrote. This is even after they watched their friend fall to their death shivers

The Post-It note

Post-it note tattoo
reddit | jitterbug13

This Redditor's mother would leave her Post-It notes around the house for her. So when it came time for her first tattoo, she chose to copy one of her mother's sweet notes.

The yearbook

Tattoo from dad saying he's proud
reddit | u/Highlingual

"Dad passed away in 2009, got a note he wrote in my 2nd grade yearbook as a reminder," this Redditor wrote. This is beyond sweet and such a good reminder to always have!

The handprint

Handprint on back
reddit | Beerguy1984

When this Redditor's dad passed away, they wanted the touch of him to last forever. So they had the funeral home take his handprint and then got it tattooed on their back.

The tally

Tally tattoo
reddit | u/SerCornballer

"Shot heroin for 12 years. Today is 4 years clean. I get a tally every 23rd of July," this Redditor wrote. Huge congrats for him staying clean. We hope he gets covered in tallies like a zebra!

The semicolon

Semicolon tattoo
reddit | ZebraOnezie

A semicolon tattoo may be small, but it has a powerful meaning. It's an affirmation and solidarity against suicide. This man got the tattoo two weeks after he attempted suicide. We're so glad he's still here.

The soldier

Soldier holding the world tattoo
reddit | u/SteveBuschemi

"I got this 3 days after my 18th birthday, It's my grandfather who died when I was 7 holding up the world in his WWII uniform," this Redditor wrote. We're sure his grandfather would've loved it.

The chocolate milk

Chocolate milk tattoo
Buzzfeed | idalydtineo

This woman got a tattoo to honor a memory she has with her late brother. They would drink chocolate milk all the way from childhood to adulthood in specific cups. So now with the tattoo on her wrist, it feels like they're still drinking it together.

The diamond in the rough

"I got this after a really REALLY, really bad breakup. I needed to cover up a silly tattoo we had gotten together (yup, learned my lesson) and decided to do so with a diamond because they are unbreakable," this Instagram user wrote. It now serves as a good reminder that they can live through tough times and come out strong, no matter what.

The pandemic

Flower tattoo
The good trade | Liz

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, one woman got a bouquet of healing flowers on her leg. While she initially didn't have meaning attached to it, the tattoo now serves as a reminder that 2020 was a time to take care of ourselves.

The video game

Skyrim tattoo
reddit | u/PinsNneedles

"Always wanted a tattoo of a dragon, and Skyrim got me through quitting heroin in 2011 and helped me stay clean. I'm super happy I finally did it," this Redditor wrote.

The birth mother

17 tattoo on finger
Buzzfeed | kelseyr4db83a9b0

When this woman was 16, she got "17" in Roman numerals on her finger. This was to add a connection to her birth mother who gave her up for adoption when she was 17.

The birthday card

"Love ya, dad" tattoo
reddit | TwiggyWiggy

"My father passed on Valentines day 2 days before I turned 18, I thought this quote from a prayer said during his funeral was perfect," this Redditor wrote. He had signed "love ya, dad," on a birthday card about 30 minutes before his heart attack.

The organ donor

Organ donor tattoo
Buzzfeed | ashleyb48576a12c

When this woman's sister passed away suddenly, they didn't think that she was able to be an organ donor since she had diabetes. But since they were able to use her organs to save the lives of others, the sister decided to become an organ donor herself. The cow is because it was her sister's favorite animal.

The rebuild

Blueprint tattoo
reddit | petitveritas

"This woman in New Orleans lost everything in Katrina," this Redditor wrote. "She set a goal of rebuilding the home she lost and tattooed the plans on her hands as a daily reminder while she works three jobs to achieve her dream."

The best friend

SpongeBob and Patrick tattoo
reddit | u/llamalove12

Every person needs a Patrick to their SpongeBob. That's what this Redditor had in their best friend, which is why they got this tribute for them after they passed away. We love how vibrant the colors are.

The laugh

Soundwave tattoo
reddit | Theycallmekam

"His son died of SIDS last year, and got a waveform tattoo of his sons laugh," this Redditor wrote. How sweet. Now, he can use an app to hear his son laugh whenever he wants.

The battle scar

Son and dad with scar tattoo
reddit | u/GuacamoleFanatic

When this dad's son was left with a scar from cancer, he refused to let him feel alone. The dad got a tattoo of the same scar so he could help raise his son's confidence. So sweet!