When we grew up, tattoos seemed to be just for the ‘edgy’ people. Or at least that’s what my parents always told me.
But luckily, times have changed, and people’s views on tattoos have too. You don’t have to be some rough biker to get a tattoo, you can be an accountant, a college student, or a doctor. It really doesn’t matter. It’s your body, do with it what you will.
Personally, I love tattoos and think they are such a good way to express yourself and the things you love. And what do we all love more than anything? Reminiscing about our past!
People everywhere are getting tattoos of the things they loved as a kid, honoring the glorious things we loved in the 80s and 90s with permanent ink to prove they really will never leave us.
There are so many different styles and references you can make, check out these 25 amazing ones.
1. Earthworm Jim
I don’t know that even the people who created Earthworm Jim could have anticipated how successful he would be, but here we are, decades later, and people are still remembering him.
He was a literal worm, and yet people were completely and utterly obsessed – enough so that they got a huge tattoo of him! That’s pretty awesome if you ask me!
2. Hey Arnold!
We all loved Hey Arnold back in the 90s. Sure, he may have been a bit of a “football head,” but he was our football head and we loved him.
It’s a nice added bonus that he’s sitting there on the steps in front of that green door we all recognize instantly.
3. Bobby’s World
Not a lot of people remember Bobby’s World, but it was a solid show that doesn’t deserve to be forgotten.
At least one fan isn’t going to forget it though, now that Bobby is tattooed onto them for life!
Cynthia may not have the best hair, or the most … considerate owner, but it’s not her fault! It’s a subtle and almost creepy nod to Rugrats, one that a lot of people may not catch right off the bat.
Everyone’s favorite girl, even though she probably wishes she wasn’t, is a pretty popular tattoo.
Imagine how much Daria herself would hate to see you showing so much love for something? Or maybe she’d love it, who knows!
6. Wolverine on a My Little Pony
Maybe not your most common tattoo, but come on, you’ve got to admit it’s absolutely amazing.
You’ve got your super hero, the very tough and rough Wolverine, poised atop a magestic stallion, oh no wait, that’s a My Little Pony. But boy, does she ever look happy.
Be careful with those claws, bub.
7. Super Soaker
This tribute to the millions of super soaker battles that have taken place across this country is truly a thing of beauty.
How many of us have been shot by one of these bad boys? Probably just about all of us, right?
So you may not have been able to keep your real one alive, but at least now you can have it just stay perfect forever.
This one doesn’t need to be fed, cleaned up after, and you’ll never hear that super depressing beep song that tells you it died.
Sure, the premise for this show was absolutely insane, but we tried not to think about that too much and just enjoy the nonsense.
Bringing that 90s nonsense with you is pretty much the best reminder. Also, to the left you can see the hint of a Reptar, so obviously this person has amazing taste.
10. Where the Sidewalk Ends
This gorgeous sleeve made up of Shel Silverstein drawings is absolutely perfect. It’s so well done and detailed, I really can’t stop looking at it.
11. The Giving Tree
Another Shel Silverstein classic, The Giving Tree is a book that is guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings.
Silverstein’s simple drawings manage to convey so much emotion and nostalgia even though they are just single lines. It’s pretty incredible that 12 words can stir up so many feelings.
12. Spice Girls
The Spice Girls are not just a band, they are a group of women who taught all of us 90s girls how to believe in ourselves.
This is really the only way you can wear a platform shoe forever without causing a great deal of damage to your feet.
13. Care Bears
Care Bear countdown! 5…4…3…2…1!
It was probably one of the first shows any of us really cared about, and it really taught us a lot about being a good person. No one wanted to be like Shrieky.
14. Jurassic Park
We’re lucky that they are still making the Jurassic Park movies, because honestly, any dinosaur is a good dinosaur, but nothing is ever going to beat the original.
The movie was just perfect the way it was, and this scene is probably one of the best.
Doug was always stuck in his imagination, but at least we got to go along for the ride.
How many times do you think he accidentally referred to himself as Quailman to his friends?
She was the smartest little girl with the coolest powers imaginable. We all wanted to be like Matilda. Even though most of us remember the movie a bit better than the book, it all started with a wonderful Roald Dahl and his genius book.
17. One Fish Two Fish
This one might be one of my personal favorites, simply because this was my all-time favorite childhood story.
Dr. Seuss was a truly one of a kind character who wrote stories that lifted the hearts of millions of people. He taught us all about imagination and being creative, because every single one of his books were filled with unique characters.
18. Polly Pocket
It’s a simple and sweet little tribute to the old-school Polly Pockets that we all used to love for some insane reason.
They were so small and all you would do is step around the little peg-sized Polly, but we collected them as if they were treasure.
19. Girl Power
It’s nice to bring it all back together sometimes. You’ve got the Girl Power mantra from the Spice Girls, you’ve the platform shoe decked out in all the bright colors we know and love, and to top it all off, there’s an awesome mix tape!
Furby may be a demon in disguise, but we’ll never really know for sure. I guess some people love it though, because someone was willing to put it on their body.
I’m not convinced that it isn’t a way to summon it back to life though, so I would be weary if you see this out in the real world.
21. Space Jam
Space Jam is an absolute classic that deserves so much more praise than it gets. But at least one person knows that because they’ve got Michael Jordan and a Monstar teaming up to make the most awesome tattoo.
Alf as a character was kind of crazy. He was an alien from outer space who wanted to eat cats… But for some reason we all watched this show and thought it was the absolute best.
Even though we learned that a lot of the cast had troubles while filming the show, it never came across on screen.
23. Max as Powerline
A Goofy Movie is an often forgotten classic. Sure, there is no Disney princesses in this one, but you know what there is? A heartwarming story about a father and son who are desperate to find some common ground.
And really now, the soundtrack alone is so good that it earns your attention.
24. Lisa Frank
If you were alive in the 80s and 90s, Lisa Frank is just something that is now in your blood. When you see a rainbow, you don’t think “Ah look at that cool display of science, nature, and light,” you think, “Man, I really wish I had a Lisa Frank diary to jot down my feelings right now.”
25. Land Before Time
You can try and tell me that there is a better movie than Land Before Time, but you would have to come up with a very convincing argument.
This movie is too good not to honor, and the way they did it is perfection.
Is there any of these that you would consider getting a tattoo of? Or is there a different childhood reference you’d rather get?
If you like these, then you’ll probably want to see all the tattoos that are devoted to Disney movies and characters. It’s absolutely incredible how good they turn out.
Or, if you still need some more inspiration for cartoon characters you can permanently place on your body, these ones are some of the best.