Fandom Tattoos are those people who become OBSESSIVE fans. How far do they go? Well, for one, they get tattoos of the thing that they’re obsessed with. Here are our favorites. Some of these are genius… and some are just wrong.
Try as I might, I have been unable to convince the naysayers in my life to become Whovians (let alone understand why anyone would want Doctor Who fandom tattoos). Maybe it’s because the whole idea of the show is so hard to explain. Maybe they can’t wrap their head around all the different Doctors who are all, in fact, one man. Whatever it is, I feel so sorry for them, and all of the joys and sorrows (curse you, Moffat!) they are missing out on. If I’ve learned anything in life, it’s that fandom life is tough. Especially when you have to wait AN ENTIRE YEAR for your show to come back (damn you, Moffat!).
Whovians are a passionate folk; we love the Doctor, the TARDIS, the companions, the villains, the sonic screwdrivers. We all have “our” Doctor (Ten is my Doctor. Ten will ALWAYS be my Doctor.), we all have that favorite quote and favorite episode. We have all dreamt of running away in the TARDIS to explore all of time and space. Unfortunately, we must settle for an Earth-bound life, and so we ink our love for Who into our skin, and binge watch a season on Netflix (well, at least we used to. Now where are we supposed to get our fix?!?).
141 Fabulous Doctor Who Fandom Tattoos:
Check out this list of my favorite Doctor Who fandom tattoos in all their Whovian glory. *Caution: If you aren’t caught up on the entire series…SPOILERS!*
1. Watercolor Sky
Starting this list off with a bang! This is the fandom tattoo that other fandom tattoos dare dream to be. It’s absolutely stunning! You’ve got the classic Who symbol, the TARDIS (that’s Time And Relative Dimension In Space, aka Police Box, aka Phone Box, aka time machine, aka space ship for those who have no idea what I’m talking about), something written in Gallifreyan (the langauge of the Doctor’s home planet, Gallifrey), and a beautiful watercolor background. What more could you ask for? Gorgeous!
2. Ten’s Accessories
As I mentioned, Ten is my Doctor. His signature look included a suit under a trench coat, with Converse high-tops. When on the lookout for Void stuff, he donned the 3D glasses. Then of course, there is his sonic screwdriver. It doesn’t do wood. Well, at least until “The Day of the Doctor.”
3. Gallifreyan Fandom Tattoos A-Go-Go
Personally, I find Gallifreyan to be a beautiful language to look at. There is no officially sanctioned BBC version of the language, but the one tended to be used in fandom tattoos is Loren Sherman’s version. It looks a bit different than what you see on the show, but it’s fairly easy to figure out and translate if you put in the effort. This tattoo, well, I have no idea what it’s supposed to say, as it doesn’t really look like anything from Sherman. Still looks pretty cool, though!
4. Eleven’s First Quote
This is a quote from the Eleventh Doctor, in the episode “The Almost People,” and is a favorite subject of Who fandom tattoos. It is in this episode that we discover that the Amy Pond we see is actually, in fact, a ganger, and the real Amy has been kidnapped and held hostage by the Church of the Papal Mainframe (aka, the Silence). Amy (the real Amy) goes into labor, and Ganger Amy feels it. Confusion ensues, baby Melody is taken from real Amy, and in the next episode we all learn, finally, who River Song is.
5. Ten and his enemies
I am loving this Doctor Who tattoo sleeve! It’s got it all! Daleks and Cybermen and Angels, oh my! This is one of the better representations I’ve seen of David Tennant when it comes to fandom tattoos – sometimes the face just looks weird. But seriously, this is super cool.
6. Silence Will Fall
In order to remember the un-rememberable Silence, the gang decides to mark their skin with a hash mark every time they see one. Apparently, this person has seen five Silence, but probably has no idea when they got this ink, or that it’s a popular theme in Doctor Who fandom tattoos. Because Silence.
7. Time and Space
Another awesome Whovain sleeve! Fandom tattoos are great, but it can be so hard deciding which part of your obsession you want to ink. Enter the sleeve! You can basically cram everything into one giant work of art! The owner of this ink seems to be a fan of both Ten and Eleven.
8. The Biggest Weeping Angel
Only a true Whovian will get this tattoo. In “The Angels Take Manhattan,” Amy and Rory’s swan song, we learn that the Statue of Liberty is actually a weeping angel. *Sidebar: So I decided to look up the episode on the TARDIS data core and ended up reading the entire synopsis of the episode and bawling my eyes out. Let’s move on.
9. Where do you want to start?
At the end of Matt Smith’s first full episode as the Doctor, “The Eleventh Hour,” he asks Amy “All of time and space. Everything that ever happened or ever will happen. Where do you want to start?” This has been come quite an iconic quote and a very popular choice for Who fandom tattoos. This one is cool because it also references the pocket watch that we learn can carry a timelord’s essence in case he needs to become human for a little while.
10. Bad Wolf
“Blaidd Drwg” is Welsh for “Bad Wolf,” and it’s what Slitheen Margaret names the nuclear power station she plans to build as Lord Mayor of Cardiff. I like this tattoo, because it takes a popular subject for Doctor Who fandom tattoos and spins it.
11. Portrait of a Dalek
Limited Time Offer (click photo)
Ah, the Daleks. The evil race of creature that refuses to die. Purportedly wiped out of existence in the Time War, somehow the few who managed to escape annihilation pop up throughout time to plague the Doctor from time to time. They are known for the catchphrase “Exterminate” and their desire to eliminate anyone who isn’t a Dalek. As evil as they are, it’s kind of impossible not to find them a little bit cute.
12. Time Vortex
This tattoo is reminiscent of the Doctor Who title sequence, which features the TARDIS tumbling through the time vortex. I really like this particular TARDIS tattoo, as it’s a fairly unique representation.
13. Swirly Watercolor TARDIS
If you’ve learned anything about me at all, it’s probably that I love watercolor tattoos. I especially love watercolor mixed with sketch style. So you take those two elements and use them to craft a TARDIS tattoo, and what you get is a real winner. I absolutely love this.
14. That Which Holds the Image of an Angel…
…becomes itself an angel. It’s dangerous territory, inking the image of a weeping angel on your arm. As we learned in “The Time of Angels,” an image of an angel, be it a drawing or a video loop, can become an actual angel. Now, I realize that it’s just a television show, and there are no weeping angels in real life, but why take the chance?
15. Love Gallifrey Style
This is probably the most personal Who tattoo I’ve seen on the interwebs. I’ve tried translating this using Sherman’s alphabet, and I’m pretty sure the one on the right says “Katlyn.” But the one on the left, I’m not sure…”Aemst?” No idea. I’m assuming it’s a name, and that they both love Doctor Who, and that they are also in love with each other.
16. Cosmic Police Box
I like that this TARDIS has the spacey-wacey stuff in front of it, rather than in the background. Makes it very unique, and visually, quite nice.
17. Victory of the Daleks
In this episode, Eleven encounters the Daleks for the first time, as they attempt to take over the world using WWII to their advantage. The Doctor, being the Doctor, exposes their fraud and saves the day once again. This tattoo is an homage to the war propaganda posters seen in Winston Churchill’s war rooms.
18. Bigger on the Inside
A reference to the Gallifreyan technology that causes the TARDIS to be “bigger on the inside.” I like the use of blue and red in this tattoo, as those colors are so associated with Doctor Who. It’s thought that one color is used during trips to the future, and the other for the past, but it’s difficult to confirm for sure.
19. Army of Daleks
I’m not sure what’s happening with the eye stalk on that one Dalek, but this is otherwise these Daleks on the move are a good example of Who fandom tattoos.
20. Eleven Doctors
I love this caricature style representation of the first eleven Doctors surrounding a TARDIS. I’ve seen the same tattoo in color, and I don’t know if it’s the same person in later stages of tattoo completion, but I like this in the outlines. I like this, even though it stops at Eleven, and we now know of “the War Doctor,” and the fact that we are technically on the Thirteenth Doctor. Maybe he will update it?
21. Time After Time
Time is, obviously, a huge part of Doctor Who. The Doctor’s fob watch features prominently in the episodes “Human Nature,” and “The Family of Blood,” where Ten has used the chameleon arch to hide from the family of blood. So this tattoo is basically a depiction of the essence of a timelord.
22. Red Eye
In “Planet of the Ood,” this red-eye condition sweeps across the Ood population, causing them to rise up against their captors. The Ood Brain is released from captivity and the Ood song rings out through three galaxies. It’s really a great story about breaking free from the reigns of an evil overlord and returning to a peaceful existence. When Donna hears the song for the first time – oh man, it gets me every time.
23. Eleven’s Second Quote
Oh, Vincent. This quote comes from one of my absolute favorite episodes of Doctor Who, “Vincent and the Doctor.” It’s a great quote all on its own, without context, but knowing the story behind his words, I just get all choked up every time I read them.
24. The Girl Who Waited
Little Amelia Pond looks kind of angry – which seems counter-intuitive in fandom tattoos – I wonder if it’s because she’s already realized that the Doctor is going to take over a decade to come back?
25. Doctor’s Best Friend
Who doesn’t love K-9? Nobody! The cheesiest little tin dog to ever roll across the universe! K-9 is one of the characters that made the transition from old Who to new Who, along with Sarah Jane. I never really watched old Who, but I appreciate this little guy nonetheless. I mean, he saves the day in “School Reunion.”
26. Classic Style
I love this classic tattoo style take on the Daleks and the TARDIS. So vibrant! So retro!
27. Rose’s Humor
The most hilarious line in “The Impossible Planet,” is delivered by Rose Tyler. Rose to Danny, “What are they?” Danny to Rose, “They’re the Ood.” “The Ood?” “The Ood.” And Rose replies with “Well, that’s…ood.” Oh man. Classic.
Handles, the decommissioned Cyberman head, kept the Doctor company during the 300 years he spent in the town of Christmas, on the planet Trenzalore. He was adorably hilarious with his literal responses to everything, and when his end came, I (and I’m sure most of you, too) cried like a cherished childhood friend had passed away in front of me. I love this tattoo tribute to an underrated companion.
29. Graffiti TARDIS
Gah! I love this! It’s so cool! I love the graffiti style, mirroring the way we see “Bad Wolf” scrawled all over London, and even on the side of the TARDIS. I’m totally into negative space, so I love how this tattoo utilizes it.
30. Ten’s Quote
Time is not a strict progression of cause to effect, as the Tenth Doctor explains in “Blink.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this quote is probably the number one most associated with Doctor Who. Probably because it basically sums up the entire show in a few silly words.
You know this scene. Your heart broke. “I’m burning up a sun just to say goodbye.” I’m seriously crying now just thinking about it.
32. Ten & Rose
Ten’s accouterments, surrounded by roses. Because, you know, Rose.
33. The Impossible Astronaut
What a complicated story line this was, and so heartbreaking until we finally learned the truth. Ugh. I am getting so many feels writing this list.
34. Are You My Mummy?
I’m pretty sure “The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances” is the creepiest episode of Doctor Who, or possibly any television show ever. That kid in that gas mask, man. Terrifying. Even watching it again, knowing that it’s just this poor kid who’d been healed incorrectly by the nanogenes. Even with the introduction of the incorrigible Captain Jack Harkness. Yikes. Just yikes.
35. The Impossible Girl
I am so in love with this tattoo of Clara Oswald! She’s not my favorite companion (hello, Donna Noble!), but I do like her, and I think this ink captures her perfectly. How amazing is the style of this tattoo, huh? I love it!
36. Out Of This World
There seems to be a lot of Qs in this Gallifreyan writing, so I’m thinking maybe it’s utilizing a slightly different alphabet than I am. Whatever it says, I like that galactic background.
37. I’m Waving at Fat
I want my own little adipose to love and hug! So much so that I actually made some out of fabric.
38. Gallifreyan Sentence
I’m not even going to try and translate this one. It looks amazing, though!
I love this quote from Ten. Not sure what it has to do with someone hanging off the moon, but hey, whatever you like, right? Check out more moon tattoos here, if you’re into that kind of thing.
40. Eleven’s Third Quote
Yet another heart-wrenching scene in the world of Who. The Eleventh Doctor is saying goodbye to Amy, when he was about to save the universe (again!) by blowing himself out of existence. It’s a great line – Eleven got a LOT of great lines – and it’s definitely a great choice for Whovian fandom tattoos. Words to live by, eh?
41. Matching Blue Boxes
I saved these matching blue box tattoos for last, because they are my absolute favorite. The subject is a simple one – just a TARDIS – but it is presented in such an amazing way. It’s a sketch, it’s a watercolor, it’s gorgeous! I am going to keep this image on file and see if I can’t convince my husband to get this tattoo with me. We have a mutual love for the Doctor (we even had a Whovian-themed wedding, complete with a bow tie clad minister who sealed our union with a sonic screwdriver!), and I think this would make a wonderful couples tattoo, don’t you?
Limited Time Offer (click photo)