17 'Nerdy' & Proud Tattoos

Joe Osborne | Jan 31, 2020 Beauty & Style
17 'Nerdy' & Proud Tattoos


Even as recently as the '90s, being a nerd as a kid was something to be reviled, marginalized, and pummeled figuratively and literally. Today, being a nerd is a part of everyday life. Nerd culture has taken over, and just about every kid is playing video games, reading comic books, and watching nerdy superhero and fantasy shows. Not to mention the young adult novel craze that's all but consumed the world's Barnes & Noble stores. We could be bitter about this, or we could be happy for our children, or maybe a little bit of both.

Regardless, we may as well bask in it while we can, too, and there's plenty of fodder here for nerdy tattoos of all sorts of cool and goofy characters from movies, comics, video games, and more. We've found nerdy tattoos featuring Spider-Man and Super Mario as well as Dragon Ball and Dungeons & Dragons, to name a few. So, enjoy this little list of nerdy inspiration for that next tattoo.

  • For the Super Mario Nerds


    Since 1985, Nintendo has delivered some of the most entertaining and influential video games of all time starring the turtle-jumping plumber named Mario. This tattoo by an artist named Tutti based in São Paulo, Brazil, is incredibly vibrant and accurate with excellent line work.

  • For the Spider-Man Nerds


    The web-slinging superhero known as Peter Parker -- we mean Spider-Man -- has been enjoying a renaissance since Tom Holland took on the spandex in the latest Marvel movies. But, he's been swinging around since 1962. And now, thanks to Juliano PereiraCruz Alta, Brazil, we have a sharp, colorful take on Peter's "Spider Sense" tingling.

  • For the Pokémon Nerds


    The collectible, essentially pit-fighting monsters known as Pokemon have been one of the longest-running fads in gaming of all time, going strong since 1998 in the US. One of the least favorite Pokémon is this here Magikarp, so it takes a real fan to get a tattoo of it this brightly colored and accurate by Fernanda Cherry also in Brazil.

  • For the Naruto Nerds


    Naruto has been one of the most wildly successful anime franchises in the US, spanning several seasons, spin-offs, video games, and more. Here, we see Japan Tattoo Studio Shinjuku take on the titular character displaying plenty of emotion in some brilliant shading and line work.

  • For the Sailor Moon Nerds


    When it comes to anime, if it weren't for trailblazing shows like Sailor Moon, we might have never seen mega hits like Naruto come to the US. This was one of the first successful introductions to anime for US audiences, here realized beautifully by an artist named Sarai based in Riverside, California. 

  • For The Legend of Zelda Nerds


    Save for the game known as Adventure for the Atari 2600, The Legend of Zelda is widely known as the first adventure game to appear as we know them today -- way back in 1987. This Boston artist known as Alicia Thomas captures the series' Tri-Force relic in a tasteful way.

  • For the Baby Yoda Nerds


    It's a wonder that Disney wasn't ready with boatloads of merchandise once The Mandalorian hit its streaming service and introduced us all to "Baby Yoda," as he's colloquially known. This amazingly colorful piece by Aimee Louise Luckham in Sussex, England, both fills that void and ups the ante with an adorable meme.

  • For the D&D Nerds


    For those who have been living under a rock the past few years, Dungeons & Dragons has been enjoying its peak since the release of its Fifth Edition in 2014 -- now a 46-year-old game. Inspiring countless novels, movies, and video games, D&D has also inspired tattoos like this wispy dragon motif surrounding a geometric icosahedron, or a 20-sided die, by Lorenzo Botti of Ferrara, Italy.

  • For the Crash Bandicoot Nerds


    Anyone who grew up playing with the original PlayStation console likely remembers this face: Aku Aku, the witch doctor spirit of Crash Bandicoot fame. This beautiful rendition is just full of bright colors and excellent shading, thanks to Andrew Hellings of Hull, England.

  • For the Dragon Ball Nerds


    Those who call themselves an anime fans will know what Dragon Ball is, but for the uninitiated: it's an '80s cartoon created by Akira Toriyama that's deeply inspired by the ancient novel Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en. This is incredible line work by Lilith of Canteleu, France.

  • For the Sonic the Hedgehog Nerds


    Sonic the Hedgehog is an icon of classic gaming in his own right, being Sega's edgy response to Super Mario that gave Nintendo a run for its money back in the day. This gorgeous ink illustration by Erik Marques in Brazil pays homage to Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles.

  • For 'The Lord of the Rings' Nerds


    Ahh, Narsil, the Blade That Was Broken and will be remade into Anduril and wielded by Aragorn, the long lost king of Gondor -- sorry, we're sort of big fans. Enjoy this masterful example of line and shading work by Caleb Colpitts of Northampton, Massachusetts. 

  • For the Batman Nerds


    Sometimes, there's just nothing like a straight-up Batman logo. This piece makes us immediately think of the Tim Burton-era Batman films starring Michael Keaton. It's been done here brilliantly by the same Caleb Colpitts of Northampton, Massachusetts. 

  • For the Final Fantasy Nerds


    Final Fantasy revolutionized role-playing games of the digital variety back in the '80s, but didn't really catch on until 1997 with the release of the seventh game in the series. That game also solidified the gaming public's love for the ostrich-like birds of burden, the chocobos. One such bird is inked gorgeously here by Elaina Conroy of Brisbane, Australia.

  • For the Mario Kart Nerds


    For anyone who has spent sleepless nights racing or battling three of their best friends in some of the most frenetic gaming experiences ever. That's Mario Kart for you, and it's rendered here with incredible accuracy and deep color by an unknown Brazilian artist.

  • For the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Nerds


    The teenaged turtles that taught us the ways of "cowabunga" have produced some of the best cartoons, movies, video games, and action figures of all time. This incredible rendition of Michelangelo is thanks to Elena Letty Spini in Italy.

  • For the Harry Potter Nerds


    The Elder Wand and the Resurrection Stone -- two of the most iconic relics of the Harry Potter Universe. This fantastic piece by Antony Vergette-Lynn in Exeter, England, captures both of those items in glorious detail, paying homage to this legendary series of novels.


More Slideshows