My Big Bird tattoo.

Before I got my first tattoo, my cousin (who is covered in them) asked me if I was absolutely certain I wanted one. When I asked why he was so concerned, he said something that I didn’t believe; ‘You’ll become addicted’. Surely not, I just wanted the one, and it had taken me 10 years to decide on it! I walked out of the tattoo parlour later that day. I already wanted another one. Only took me 3 years this time!

And I’m already trying to decide what tattoo number 3 is going to be. The first was Kermit’s eye, tattooed on my left wrist, the second was Jim Henson’s original design for Big Bird, tattooed on my right inner upper arm. And while number 3 likely won’t be Muppet-based, I’ll occassionally peruse different websites to see what kind of Muppet tattoos there are out there. Some of them are REALLY good. Some of them are, uh… yeah. Today I came across a list of 15 Muppet tattoos from TattooDo.com (though there’s only 14?), and I thought it might be fun to rank them on a scale of ‘Would Get’ to ‘Wouldn’t Get’. I’ve also chosen this list because they’re all genuinelly pretty good, and I didn’t want to can anyones artwork or personal choices. So while some of these I wouldn’t get myself, I still very much appreciate why someone would.

We’ll go from least wanted to most wanted (‘We’re Doin’ A Sequel’ etc)


14: Gonzo Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas

…You guys know that Johnny Depp’s character in that movie wasn’t Dr. Gonzo, right? There’s a character with the same name, played by Benicio del Toro, and yet you’ve chosen the OTHER guy to parody with Gonzo? I mean, I’ve never found this parody overly amusing, but I’d always assumed it at least made sense. 0/10, wouldn’t get this, and now I’m just confused.


13 – Fozzie’s Bust

Here’s the thing – I like the idea of a Fozzie tattoo, but I can’t get past the fact that this design is based on a piece of relatively obscure Muppet merchandise, the 2002 Sideshow Collection Muppet Busts. Was there literally no other photo of Fozzie anyone could find?


12 – Black and White Miss Piggy

As much as I adore Miss Piggy, I can’t imagine I’d ever have a giant portrait of her tattooed to my body, even if she forced me. As part of a mosiac of Muppets? Maybe yes, but all by her self, I think it’d be too much. I love you, Piggy, but not that much. Maybe on the bottom of my toe so I can play ‘This little piggy’? …That’s a legit idea I might consider…


11 – Sleepy Doctor Teeth

This is an interesting one, because I genuinely actually really love this tattoo. It’s realistic, it’s got a lot of color and movement, and it feels like a screenshot from The Muppet Show. My issue is that Doctor Teeth’s eyelids are giving him a real ‘The band is happy – legally now’ vibe. If his eyes were more alert in that manic Doctor Teeth fashion, this would be far higher in the rankings, but this just goes to show you how good the rest of these tattoos are going to be.


10 – Gonzo and The Swedish Chef

What I love about this tattoo is that both Gonzo and Chef are clean, colorful and clearly recognisable, yet they’re very slightly off model. There’s a real cartoony vibe to the two, a slight exaggeration in the nose or the facial hair. It’s a super fun look, and I really love the tattoo. The only reason it’s at number 10 is because I wouldn’t get these two together. I’m assuming the person this was tattooed on has a real love for these two characters, but for me there’s no distinct relationship between the two.


9 – Statler and Waldorf Portraits

I love these a lot, even if the cartoony line work is a bit much for my liking. As I grow towards old age (is 33 old age?) I find myself more and more relating to the two old guys in thew balcony. I want to make fun of things, but I still want to watch them. I want to get annoyed that Stranger Things Season 4 is going to be like watching 7 long films. I’m going to make fun of that with my friends. But I’m still going to watch them. So the idea of having Statler and Waldorf as a part of me certainly appeals. But I’d only do it if I got a matching tattoo with a friend. I get one, they get the other. But which of the two would I want?


8 – Shiny Eye Beaker

When the ‘Muggles’ of the world (that’s a phrase I’ve coined to mean non-hardcore Muppet fans) talk about their favorite Muppets, it’s usually Animal, followed by Beaker. People just love that cylinder. I get it. He’s the butt of the joke, so people feel for him. He’s trying his hardest in the face of adversity (and sharpened bananas) and people connect with that. So I think you’d find a lot of people would choose a Beaker tattoo. And this one is super cool, the only thing that puts me off is the shiny, shiny eyes. Did Bunsen put his head in a bowling ball polisher? Let’s be honest – probably.


7 – Swedish Chef Doing THAT Pose

Yeah, I know, he looks like he’s holding a joint. We get it. Ha-di-ha-ha. Let’s move on.

I appreciate that this tattoo has a real oil painting look about it. It’s fun, and everyone who looks at it is going to do their best Swedish Chef impression. And even a bad Swedish Chef impression is still hilarious, so, what a fun life you’ll have. Go to the store? Swedish Chef impression. Go to the bank? Swedish Chef impression. In the hospital taking your last breath? Swedish Chef impression.


6 – Smokey Eye Cookie Monster

I’ve interviewed Cookie Monster twice, so legally that makes us best friends. A Cookie Monster tattoo is something I’ve genuinely considered, and before I settled on the Big Bird design I was also toying with Cookie’s eyes, to match my tattoo of Kermit’s eye. I love the design this artist has chosen, and Cookie really feels scruffy and furry. The smokey eye is an interesting choice. I understand that it needs to show a little detail and depth considering the realism of the rest of the piece, it just feels a little too shiny. While I might go for a more understated piece if I get a Cookie tattoo, this is something I’d love to see on other people.


5 – Stunned Pepe

Fun fact: When I was 15 I volunteered for a weekend event and had my very own name badge. We were asked when making it to include a photo of something we enjoyed, so that people might have something to chat to us about. I, during a particuarly strange time obsessed with Muppets From Space, chose a photo of Pepe. I’d argue 95% of people knew who exactly who he was. I even got a girl’s number from it. So, yes, I’d get a tattoo of Pepe, because then I’d find love.


4 – That Electric Mayhem One Everyone Has Seen

You knew this one had to be on the list. This tattoo might be the Muppet Cupcakes of tattoos – every six months it becomes a thing, and your aunt will tag you on Facebook. And I get it, because this tattoo rocks. It’s cartoony, it’s bright, it’s fun, and it’s Muppety. While purists will say it needs to include Lips, you can always point to your mouth if anyone asks where he is. That’s good comedy! Floyd is for sure my favorite part, the red really stands out against the purple. 10/10, would gladly comment WOW when I’m tagged on Facebook.


3 – Rockin’ Janice

There is a LOT to love about this tattoo. The shading is perfect, the linework not too intrusive, and the movement of Janice is impeccable. I have a real soft spot for Janice, maybe it was something Richard Hunt brought to her, but I’d cite her in my top 5 Muppets. I’d seen a lot of the tattoos on this list before, but this was brand new and stopped me in my tracks, where I audibly muttered ‘Wow’ to myself (because I’m super cool). While I don’t know that I’d ever get this design alone, it’d be cool to have with an equally well designed Floyd next to her.


2 – Sunglasses Animal

This is a pretty popular tattoo, with 6 of the top results for ‘Muppet Tattoo’ on Google being variations of this design. This one has a soft shading tone which I very much appreciate, and the blue behind Animal is a wonderful contrast and a nice touch. It’s cartoony but still realistic. If you click here, this is by a tattoo artist on Reddit, who has done an INSANELY realistic version. I’d probably go for that over this one, but man, I really love this tattoo… Am I going to get this tattooed on my leg? Sigh, I am, aren’t I.


1 – Three Yip Yips

Oh man. OH MAN. This is something I might actually consider. Hey, Joe and Ryan, wanna get a Yip Yip each!? What a great design, based on an art style Sesame leaned on hard 15 years ago. And for good reason, every single drawing they did was gorgeous. I’m not sure I’d get more than one of these guys, but man, having one would be amazing. Imagine someone asking if you had a tattoo, you could point to it and say ‘Yip yip yip yip yip – ahuh’. Hours of entertainment!

Click here to get matching old man tattoos on the ToughPigs forum!

By Jarrod Fairclough – Jarrod@ToughPigs.com

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