13 of the coolest Friday the 13th tattoo ideas

Planning on getting a Friday the 13th tattoo? Here's some inspiration...

Friday the 13th tattoo ideas
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Believe it or not, Friday the 13th tattoos are a thing. The spooky date may symbolise the unluckiest day of the year, but for tattoo parlours it's quite the opposite. 

Over the last few decades, a special tradition has developed in which tattoo parlours offer limited-edition flash tattoos at a discounted price (often $13 per tattoo with a $7 tip) every Friday the 13th - also known as Friday the 13th flash tattoos. The deal has become the ultimate incentive for people to get inked up on the day, especially those who like delicate pieces with a gothic twist. 

Why are Friday the 13th tattoos a thing?

Traditionally, the idea is that tattoo parlours and artists offer a selection of small designs on a flash sheet which incorporate the number '13' or some sort of Halloween-esque theme, from skulls and witch hands to black cats. 

While it isn't known who exactly started the trend, some people credit sailors. Speaking to VICE, a Dallas-based tattoo artist named Oliver Peck explained that because the number has always been considered bad luck, sailors would get "13" tattooed as an antidote, to keep bad luck away. "Bad luck would come your way, it would see the number 13, see that bad luck is already there, and it would pass on by," he told the publication. 

As time has passed, however, people have started to stir away from the original concept of getting a themed tattoo and simply use the day as an excuse to get some new work done, making the most of the discounted prices - after all, tattoos don't come cheap. 

So, if you're thinking about getting one to mark the occasion this year, here are a few pieces to help inspire your Friday the 13th tattoo... 

Friday the 13th tattoo ideas

Sagal Mohammed

Sagal is a journalist, specialising in lifestyle, pop culture, fashion and beauty.  She has written for a number of publications including Vogue, Glamour, Stylist, Evening Standard, Bustle, You Magazine, Dazed and Wonderland to name a few.