Hollywood is a fickle beast. The faster a star rises to fame, the quicker they fall. It only takes one bad movie to spiral an A-lister into a complete unknown, but it also only takes one good one to pluck a normal person out of their regular job and throw them into a life of fame and excess. With all the whirlwind relationships and vacillating careers, it seems like Hollywood’s finest are always on a metaphorical (or actual) private jet to what’s next. Just one thing remains permanent in a life built to be fleeting: tattoos.
Celebrities love tattoos — whether it symbolizes something they’re passionate about or reminds them of a special moment — and plenty of A-listers have gotten matching ink to commemorate friendships, film roles, and romantic partners. Unfortunately, not all of them have realized that laser tattoo removal is painful and expensive, and sometimes, a bond really is forever (even if it’s just the bond they’ve got with their bad choices).
Here’s the real story behind these stars’ matching tattoos — for better or for worse.
Forget 13 reasons, one is enough for these matching tattoos
Justin Bieber may regret his Selena Gomez tattoo, but Gomez knows better than to get ink that resembles an ex. Instead, the “Look At Her Now” singer permanently bonded herself to her Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which premiered its fourth and final season in the summer of 2020.
None of the cast could’ve predicted the drama’s success. The controversial series saw 6 million viewers within the first three days of its Season 2 premiere, according to Variety. At one point, it had twice as many viewers as The Crown despite the widespread accusations that it glamorized suicide. Nonetheless, in 2017, a month after the show’s wildly successful premiere, Gomez — who served as executive producer — and stars Alisha Boe and Tommy Dorfman all got matching semicolon tattoos on their wrists to honor the show’s message.
Thanks to Project Semicolon, a charity aimed to help those struggling with mental health issues, semicolons have come to represent suicide prevention and mental health awareness. In an Instagram post, Dorfman revealed that he struggled with both addiction and depression, which made the tattoo particularly poignant. “The [semicolon] symbol stands for an end of one thought and a beginning of another,” he wrote. “Instead of a period, authors use the semicolon to continue a sentence. For us, it means a beginning of another chapter in life, in lieu of ending your life.”
Don't tell Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean that they have matching tattoos
Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean are two peas in a pod. They don’t just sing together, they also take the meaning of sponsored content to a whole new level. Why not become a walking billboard for products you love? We’ve already monetized every other aspect of our culture, haven’t we?
Okay, so technically, the country singers didn’t make any cash from their matching tattoos. It was free advertising, but maybe it works similar to how it did for that one Taco Bell fan who got a lifetime supply of Doritos Locos tacos after getting a Taco Bell logo permanently affixed to his body. According to Taste of Country, Bryan and Aldean forwent fast food and opted for the Buck Commander logo to commemorate the brand and Outdoor Channel reality show. Both friends, who appear on the series and in online videos, are considered Buckmen, but Aldean was adamant about it not being matching ink. “To set the record straight, me and [Luke Bryan] did NOT get matching tatoos [sic],” he tweeted. “We were the only 2 [Buck Commander] owners to not have one.”
Nonetheless, the tattoos look nearly identical, and if what Aldean said is true, the pair may be the only two country stars to have matching tattoos with a member of A&E’s Duck Dynasty (regardless of the semantics). Who needs a Grammy when you’ve permanently cemented your place in the Duck Dynasty.
Paris Jackson is the yin to Prince Jackson's yang
Paris Jackson is no stranger to ink. According to Rolling Stone, she had more than 50 tattoos when she was just 18 years old. That’s a lot considering you can’t legally get zapped until you’re an adult. Jackson apparently had to “[sneak] in the first few while underage,” but that doesn’t mean she gets inked without thought. One of the star’s most meaningful tattoos is one she shares with her older brother Prince. The pair have an incredible bond after losing their late father, Michael Jackson.
In 2017, Paris shared an Instagram photo of the pair’s freshly-inked yin yang tattoos, representing their close relationship. Each sibling got a different half of the symbol on their ankle. “Sometimes I feel like my big brother and I always think the same thoughts, he just doesn’t have a filter and always vocalizes them,” she wrote. “Though total opposites, like my gooko and I, the inseparable yin and yang work together finding and causing balance within each other. Matchies with my bestie [Prince Jackson]!”
Prince shared a simpler — but equally as heartfelt – message with his tattoo reveal. “You are with me and I am with you,” he wrote in an Instagram post. We’re not crying, you’re crying.
Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson made their relationship tattoo official
We were really rooting for Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson. For crying out loud, they bought a saucy bondage bench and gave us the gift of smiley paparazzi photos taken while blatantly carrying it into their home. We don’t even care that it might have been a PR stunt. The couple went on to give each other adorable pet names, spark engagement rumors, and hold hands just about everywhere.
Alas, the couple did not make it. They only lasted about two years, but before Benson moved onto Halsey’s (alleged) cheating ex, the model and her Pretty Little Liars lover made their romance tattoo official. According to Harper’s Bazaar, the couple got matching tattoos of their initials. Delevingne inked an “A” underneath her left breast, and Benson inked a “CD” on her ribcage near her left breast. She debuted the tattoo in an Instagram ad for her sunglasses line.
Hey, diamonds are forever, but so is some ink — unless they’ve covered it up since then.
Kaia Gerber and Cara Delevingne are solemates
Cara Delevingne has a thing for matching tattoos. Aside from her ink with Ashley Benson, the model also got zapped with her best friend, possible lover, and so-called “solemate,” Kaia Gerber. Chill y’all: the pair are most certainly not dating despite sharing a single Taylor Swift cardigan and the fact that they’re almost always touching whenever they’re within a 20-foot radius of a camera, right?
Either way, the supermodels are bonded for life — or until they put on socks. As The Cut wrote, Delevingne and Gerber’s “possibly erotic friendship” was made permanent onto their skin when the pair got matching foot tattoos that read “solemate.” There’s nothing like a pun tattoo unless you ask Cindy Crawford, who is apparently unhappy with the couple’s relationship, according to a report in Woman’s Day. Was Pete Davidson any better?
According to People, the cheeky tats were revealed in Gerber’s Instagram story, where she wished her fellow model happy birthday and posted a photo of them holding feet instead of hands — a seriously underrated form of PDA if you ask us.
Well, this tattoo between Kylie Jenner and Jordyn Woods is awkward
Friendships are meant to last forever, but most friends don’t embark on an affair with your sister’s boyfriend. Things got ultra awkward in Calabasas when Kylie Jenner’s longtime BFF Jordyn Woods was allegedly caught kissing Tristan Thompson – Khloe Kardashian’s then-boyfriend and baby daddy. To think, they even got married on national TV (to be clear, we’re talking about the BFFs, who had a friendship commitment ceremony in 2017, and not True’s parents, who are allegedly mending their trust issues).
Following the incident, TMZ reported that Jordyn allegedly moved out of Kylie’s home and went crawling back to her mother, but the real question is, what happens to the pair’s matching tattoos?
In 2016, Kylie revealed that she got a matching pinky tattoo with Jordyn from the Los Angeles-based tattoo artist JonBoy. Though it’s just a wavy red line, it’s certainly in a visible area — at least if you’re elegantly sipping some tea with your pinky out (as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire is completely qualified to do). The exact meaning of the tattoo isn’t actually known, but today it serves as a reminder of a friendship gone wrong. Awkward.
Billie Lourd's matching ink is an homage to Carrie Fisher
Billie Lourd is keeping the family legacy alive with her role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Though Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix just had a small cameo in the film, the actress’ role is only expected to grow. She is, after all, the daughter of Princess Leia — the ultimate space princess with the ink to match.
As it turns out, Star Wars isn’t the only thing that Lourd shares with her late mother, Carrie Fisher. In 2017, the Scream Queens star got a matching space-themed ankle tattoo. In an interview with InStyle, she revealed that she was just eight years old when she watched her mother get the original Star Wars-inspired ink at a tattoo shop on the Sunset Strip.
“Hers was a really horrible version of mine basically. Hers kind of looked like she got kicked in the leg,” Lourd told InStyle. “She had a moon and a star and it looked like a Turkish flag, so she went back and was like, ‘Oh let’s add some galaxy stuff.’ When you say that to a tattoo artist, they probably think bruise, so it kind of looked like a bruise galaxy. So I got a version of that that’s classier, but not a bruise galaxy.”
Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson have at least 5 matching tattoos
With over 55 tattoos and counting, Ariana Grande is clearly saying “thank you, next” to her tattoo artist — and you better believe he does coverups. The Sweetener singer is a fan of getting zapped with her boyfriend du jour. According to Insider, her matching ink list includes a 2015 tattoo she got with Ricky Alvarez (and covered up after they split), but her most infamous stem from her five-month relationship with Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson.
Grande’s short romance saw numerous trips to the tattoo parlor, and after breaking off their engagement, they went their separate ways with a litany of matching and/or relationship-themed tattoos. Most famously, Davidson covered up his Dangerous Woman ink, but the pair share at least five tattoos that explicitly match. According to People, the full list includes clouds on their middle fingers, the word “reborn” on their thumbs, the words “Mille Tendresse” on the back of their necks, the FDNY badge number that belonged to Davidson’s late father, and the acronym “H2GKMO,” which stands for Grande’s favorite phrase, “Honest to God, knock me out.”
Grande’s spontaneous ink has been met with immense criticism, but the singer made it clear that she has no regrets. In 2018, the star told a Twitter commenter who sounded off on the drama, “I can’t wait to be 90 and remember how happy my life was & how few f**ks my friends and I gave.”
The Avengers celebrated 'Infinity War' with permanent ink
The Avengers may have reached their endgame, but much like the Infinity Gauntlet, the bond between the original cast members will last an eternity. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Robert Downey Jr. revealed that five of the original Avengers — including Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and himself — all got matching Avengers tattoos to commemorate Infinity War in 2018. Mark Ruffalo was the only one of the original six to sit it out.
Per the interview, Johansson came up with the idea and enlisted New York-based tattoo artist Josh Lord, who allowed the cast to personally give him a version of the same ink since Ruffalo bailed. “Each one of us drew a line on the artist with his own tattoo gun and it was a total massacre,” Downey Jr. told Entertainment Tonight. “Each of us contributed to giving the tattoo artist the sixth tattoo that he designed for us.”
In Ruffalo’s defense, the tattoo would’ve probably been irreversibly stretched the second he started to Hulk out.
The Pretty Little Liars cast got pretty, little tattoos
The women of Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars have a secret, and they’re not going to keep it. In 2016, stars Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell, Janel Parrish, Ashley Benson, Troian Bellisario, and Sasha Pieterse celebrated the end of their series with tiny initial tattoos on their index fingers — and things got emotional.
It’s only fitting that the stars got inked on their “shhh” fingers. That finger got a lot of use with all the secrets told throughout the show’s run. The initials corresponded with their on-screen characters, and though ET reports that the girls all shared their new tattoos online, it was Bellisario who was the most emotional because it happened on her birthday. “Almost as the needle touched my skin the clock struck midnight and some of the most beautiful and best women I know sang me happy birthday while I got my tattoo,” Bellisario wrote in an Instagram post. “Thank you guys and I love you. What a way to say goodbye and start a new chapter of life.”
The tattoo marked the end of filming, but according to ET, it was a slow burn. The sixth and final season didn’t air until later in the spring.
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth went for American and Australian classics
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth split for good, but the pair shares a matching tattoo since before they broke up for the first time. We’re not saying that’s an excuse for getting back together, but it certainly saves on the laser removal bills.
According to Us Weekly, it was Hemsworth who first matched his boo. The singer got a Theodore Roosevelt quote — a line from his famed 1910 speech at the Sorbonne in Paris, France — inked on her arm in the summer of 2012. It reads: “So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” Hemsworth followed up months later by getting a tattoo of the line that directly precedes it: “If he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.”
It’s not really clear why that specific speech is important to either star, but Cyrus does like matching tattoos. According to the Daily Mail, she later got a matching bottle of Vegemite, the popular Australian spread, with her now-ex. She even shares one with her former sister-in-law Elsa Pataky. There are tattoos for exes of every kind!
The Jonas Brothers left Kevin out of this one
The Jonas Brothers have matching ink — but Kevin Jonas might feel a little bit left out. In 2016, years before the group’s triumphant reunion, Joe and Nick Jonas got matching arrow tattoos on their upper arms without their bandmate brother.
According to MTV, there’s a reason that Kevin was left out. The tattoo session happened right before the VMAs, which was a big moment for Nick and Joe, and honestly, back then, Kevin was probably busy being a dad (he was the first JoBro to have kids). All we really know is that night, Nick sang “Bacon” with Ty Dolla $ign, and DNCE — Joe’s project outside of his Disney Channel band — was nominated for Best New Artist. In a way, the matching tattoos were a nod to the fact that the JoBros can succeed on their own just as much as they can succeed together, but their separation didn’t last long.
In 2019, the JoBros made their triumphant return to the VMAs, where all three of them sang their single “Sucker.” Kevin still did not get a matching tattoo, but he did prove that all of us are suckers for a well-timed reunion.
These 'Supernatural' stars were vying for the crown
The CW’s Supernatural ended in 2020, but the cast bonded themselves together forever about a year before that. It all started when star Jeffrey Dean Morgan wed his longtime love (and fellow CW star) Hilarie Burton. According to Entertainment Weekly, the pair had a tattoo artist at their reception, which was fully utilized by Morgan’s on-screen sons Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. Though none of them set out to get matching tattoos, it inadvertently happened anyway.
During a Supernatural fan convention, Ackles revealed that the tattoo artist had a flash sheet of about 20 small designs, including a crown, which caught the eye of all three stars. “I was standing there, and Jeff comes up, he’s like, ‘Dude, are going to get one?'” Ackles said. “I was like, ‘I don’t know, maybe.’ I was like, ‘The crown’s kind of cool.’ I didn’t know it was a Basquiat crown. I was thinking like, ‘Oh, I was king of Mardi Gras this year, maybe I’ll get the crown.’ [Jeff’s] like, ‘I’m gonna get that crown.’ I was like, ‘Oh, no way, that was actually the one I was looking at.'”
Both Ackles and Morgan decided to get the same ink, and when Padalecki shared similar feelings, he rolled with it, too. That’s one wedding favor, for sure.
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