Are you looking for the perfect spot for your next tattoo? You might be after a place that offers a touch of discretion which makes the area behind the ear a perfect choice. However, if this is your first tattoo, you might want to hold off until you’ve been tattooed elsewhere as the experience of getting tattooed behind the ear is unique. If you poke the area of skin there, you’ll notice that there’s not much between the skin and the skull, and getting a tattoo there will literally make your skull rattle. Some people are into it! But, we thought we’d put that out there for good measure.
Behind the ear tattoos are especially great because they’re slightly obscured. By using the natural curved shape of the ear as a guide, tattoo artists can turn the area into the perfect canvas that compliments the shape of your ear. These tattoos are a bit risky as some employers still hold antiquated views about ink, but for the most part, this is not a controversial part of the body to get inked. We decided to take a look at some excellent designs to bring you 25 excellent behind the ear tattoos. Show a hint of your personality without going all out with these modest designs!
Here, we find roman numerals in a half-moon shape which is, by far, the most popular choice. The tattoo artist had a very steady hand as these numerals are as sharp as can be! Bravo!
A cute little floral banger is always a wise choice. Peach, blue, and green inks shine in this micro tattoo. Floral designs for both realistic and abstract aesthetics are popular choices. You’ll see a few more examples on this list, but you can’t go wrong with something delicate like this.
That’s one fine, fine line. We imagine this tattoo has to be pointed out if the person with it lets their hair down. We’re very much into ghost tattoos and this one is truly adorable.
Here’s a larger design than the last and it is rather unusual in shape. That’s not to say we don’t love it! This blooming peony looks as light as a watercolor painting.
We could all use a little extra luck! These crossed fingers in a blocky style were a smart choice. The artist shared this image with a note that the person who just got it is a barber. Cute!
When in doubt, go with red ink! It always looks fantastic. Here, we find a cute little feather completed entirely with red ink. We don’t know why, but red instantly makes a tattoo better.
First, crossed fingers. Now, a skeletal rock hand. Do we spot a trend? This tattoo gives us Grateful Dead vibes and we’re not mad about it.
Do You Hear That Buzzing?
Well, this tattoo probably looks like an actual bee when you’re not this close to it. The buzzing in the ear is low-hanging fruit, but this tattoo just asks for it. This is a beauty.
Why, yes! You can get the most adorable little cupcake ever tattooed behind your ear. We encourage it! If you love baking or gardening or a sport, choose an object to represent it and get that bad boy tattooed on you. This is a dream!
This tattoo would rank pretty highly among some of the funnest tattoos we’ve seen. Both tough and feminine this design strikes a balance that’s unbeatable. We’re so lucky we stumbled across this treasure of a tattoo.
“Ceci n’est pas une pipe”
The Treachery of Images is a 1929 painting by surrealist painter René Magritte. A pipe is painted with the phrase “This is not a pipe” (translated from French) underneath. We don’t know for sure if that painting inspired this pipe tattoo but we would not be surprised.
This eye design with dots is reminiscent of cave painting and we love it. As we’ve already stated, red ink is your friend. Simplicity is bliss and we’ve found it with this tattoo.
Flowers work exceptionally well behind the ear and make for a natural touch that will bring joy to anyone who sees it. We love these bouquet of colorful beauties.
Check out this cute little snake tattoo that’s filled to look as if it’s fading into black or obscured by an imaginary shadow of the ear. We don’t like snakes, but this cutie we can handle!
Rainbow dots are really fun and we find them radiating out from behind the ear in this tattoo. This wonderfully tidy design brings a ton of color and character to the area behind the ear.
This crescent moon has been shaded and colored to look as if its undergone some sort of ombre effect. We love the way it burns in bright orange and red. What a thrill!
If you’re after something that will bring serenity and inner peace, consider a lotus flower. This gorgeous blossom is accompanied by simple dots to make it feel more intentional.
Luna, the cat from Sailor Moon makes an unexpected appearance behind the ear here. It’s the perfect kawaii tattoo that brings a sort of childlike energy to the party. Cute!
This very, very small butterfly tattoo is the size of a dime as you can see. Tattoos of this size are tricky to pull off, but this one has been mostly a success. Going small is a great way to get the peekaboo effect.
This is a tattoo for someone who doesn’t enjoy leaving quietly. We love this storm cloud that’s complete with dazzling, electric lightning. Be brave! Be bold!
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This Waldo tattoo may or may not be making ASL sign for “a******”… We’re going to pretend that’s not the case and just remark on how novel the idea was to hide Waldo behind an ear.
Soak Up the Sun
Get yourself that sunflower tattoo you’ve always wanted. This happy flower brings a touch of color and plenty of brightness behind the ear.
Yes, make your winged hourglass dreams come true with a tattoo like this one. If you look closely, you can tell that this seemingly simple tattoo is actually extremely detailed with very fine lines. Great work!
A little nostalgia by way of your favorite crab, Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. As far as Disney tattoos go, you really can’t go wrong with a time-tested one inspired by a classic film. We can hear him singing “Under the Sea” now.
Turn the Heat Up
This winter dream of a tattoo features a sharp snowflake front and center with a speckled, snowy blue and white background to set the tone. If winter is your favorite season or if you just like snow, this would be a great and welcome choice.
There you go! We hope you enjoyed these 25 behind the ear tattoos that add a little pizazz in an often overlooked area. As we mentioned, these tattoos can be uncomfortable so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before going all in.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 Numerals
- 2 Les Fleurs
- 3 Baby Boo!
- 4 Peonies
- 5 Fingers Crossed
- 6 Red Feather
- 7 You Rock
- 8 Do You Hear That Buzzing?
- 9 Cake
- 10 Tiny Heels
- 11 “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”
- 12 Red Eye
- 13 Wildflowers
- 14 Smokey Snake
- 15 Proud
- 16 Colorful Crescent
- 17 Lotus
- 18 Sailor Cat
- 19 Baby Butterfly
- 20 Stormy
- 21 Found Him
- 22 Soak Up the Sun
- 23 Time Flies
- 24 Sebastian
- 25 Turn the Heat Up
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