35 Subtle Neck Tattoos That Will Make You Think, ‘Oh, Maybe I *Could* Pull One Off…’

We looked at some bold and big neck tattoos a few days ago, and as we researched the tattoos, we couldn’t help noticing that people either go all-in or choose something that doesn’t draw too much attention. Because there was such a variety of styles and designs, we decided to revisit the lovable neck tattoo and to share even more with you. If you’re willing to put your neck on the line, or more appropriately, line on your neck, you will love these amazingly understated designs. Here are 35 subtle neck tattoos that we think you’ll love. Although there’s nothing subtle about a neck tattoo!

Crescent Moon

This romantic crescent moon formed with tiny flowers is certainly light and subtle. We love this delicate design that’s perfect for the back of the neck or even behind an ear.

Darling Daisy

We’re living for this pastel daisy and its super airy shading. The way the stem fades at the bottom is also a very nice touch.

Dot Faces

Dotwork tattoos are the greatest! You can get so much detail with this technique. We love these mirrored faces and we’re always down for the stem of a plant being thrown in for good measure.

Pencil Heel

Someone is a fashionista! We love tattoos of everyday objects that are elevated to art. This heel is no exception!


If you’re after real subtlety, nothing is better than the simple elegance of your favorite flower. Here, we find a gold and red beauty that’s positioned perfectly behind the ear.

A Little Leo Love

As you’ll see throughout this list, one of the most understated places to get a neck tattoo is behind the ear. This zodiac symbol tattoo is for all the Leos out there!

The Quietest Hum

This tiny hummingbird tattoo looks like it’s whispering in this woman’s ear! This is a micro tattoo that looks amazing and took a lot of skill to get this size.

The Sands of Time

Will she love this tattoo forever? Only time will tell. This hourglass tattoo is fun and looks like something you might find in an illustrated children’s book.

Is This Thing On?

Okay, so full disclosure, this tattoo is not very subtle. It is rather small and it is really weird. This tattoo was completed using the stick and poke method.

Diamonds On my Neck

These cute little geometric diamonds are not the best we’ve seen, but we wanted to write “diamonds on my neck.” You know what they say: Diamonds are forever and so are tattoos.

Birds of a Feather

These gorgeous silhouettes of birds create a hopeful scene. Again, not all that subtle, but if you showed up for an interview with this, we don’t think you’d be turned away.


Many tattoo parlors and shops do special tattoo events on Friday the 13th. This banana peel tattoo is one of our favorites on the list. You can see a small “13” on the bottom left. What a cute tattoo!


This small floral-inspired sprig fits nicely just below the ear. For nature lovers, there’s no better way to express your love of the great outdoors than with images and objects you love to see when you’re out in nature.

Her First Tattoo!

This brave tattoo enthusiast made her first tattoo one she’ll never forget! The tattoo artist lovingly referred to the tattoo as a “jobstopper.” In tattoo lingo, any tattoo that goes on the face, hands, or neck is considered a “jobstopper.” We think it’s cute! Hire this lady!


We are all really weird creatures and tattoos allow people to really express themselves and their personalities. In the classic 2000 blockbuster, Cast Away, Tom Hanks forms a bond with a volleyball while stranded on an island. This tribute to that movie and to dearest Wilson is a treasure.

One Step at a Time

A ladder is a symbol of movement and of progress because you reach new heights when you use one. This cute, simple, black line tattoo is very hopeful.

You Got This

Never. This beautiful Picasso-style dove tattoo with the message “Never give up” is an affirmation we could look at every day. A lot of people get mental health tattoos to encourage them to continue being their authentic selves.

Fur Baby

This pet tattoo of a dog is so sweet. We love how the dog is “facing” the same direction as its owner. We all love our little fur babies so much.

Do It, Right Now

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Always. ???? Merci Meech !

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Another great reminder here, to take a deep breath every once in a while is a welcome message. For many people with anxiety or stress, not breathing or only taking shallow breaths is common.

Needed a Recharge

Probably one of the weirdest tattoos on the list, this USB charger is not a tattoo we necessarily endorse, but we did want you to know that it exists. The tattoo artist tattooed this for his wife and he shared the picture with the message “always charging.” We got it, thanks.

Feline Friends

Aw. Cats are the most. Period. We love cats and any pet tattoo. Here’s a picture of some furry friends together. We wouldn’t say this tattoo is very subtly, but the minimal design keeps it from being too much.

She Sees All

This mesmerizing eye tattoo really gives us some feels. It is expertly done and reminds us of every mom or caregiver who’s ever said: “I’ve got eyes in the back of my head.”

Pretty Little Fishes

Red ink on this skin tone is a winner. These modestly sized koi fish look stunning in red. They look ethereal like they’re actually swimming.

It’s Forever

For women with long hair, the back of the neck can be covered for certain situations. We’re not sure if this is considered a “jobstopper” because it’s just too sweet. The infinity sign with a micro hummingbird has so much charm.

Specs and Crossbones

We really hope the person who got this neck tattoo wears glasses. If not, we don’t know what to make of it! We like any nerdy sort of design so we’ll take it either way.


The woman with these five dots tattooed on her neck says she was inspired by industrial music. Okay! These dots seem to have a peaceful almost meditative vibe to us.

He is

In Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, the concluding quote is “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I amI amI am.” Many people were inspired by this and understand that it’s about existence. This beautiful neck tattoo is simple, subtle, and carries a beautiful message.

Love to See It

She wears her heart on her neck. This cute heart is very loveable and a great reminder to spread love to all.

The Girl with Dragon Tattoo

Wow! This fierce red dragon is a blast. The dragon represents so many things to so many people and different cultures. The red ink on this tattoo was an excellent choice and it proves way more interesting than black for this design.

Take Care

A semicolon tattoo is an affirmation of and solidarity with any person with mental health issues. This small, but effective tattoo communicates a lot even though it’s just a dot and a comma.

She’s Got a Point

A fine line tattoo can really dazzle and this example does just that. Look at all of those teeny tiny hatch marks that give the sword depth. The artist needed a steady hand to complete them.


This cartoon ghost is simple but very fun to look at. Its blue eyes are a mystery, but we love them. Many people are attracted to ghost tattoos because they represent the unknown.

It’s A Fine, Fine Line

Okay. This is maybe the weirdest tattoo that we can’t stop looking at. As you can see, there’s a white line at this woman’s jawline that’s been tattooed and has healed. Below, the pink-looking are is a freshly completed line. It’s a white ink tattoo that’s probably unnoticeable to anyone who’s not near her. Stay weird! This is amazing.

We Love Her For It

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. #NeckTattoo #ChooseLife

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Neck tattoos are a great form of affirmation for many people. Tattoos that foster emotional support and encouragement will never go out of style.

Butterfly Kisses

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Have you ever? These stunning micro butterfly tattoos don’t look real. We would love to see more baby butterfly tattoos like this. Please and thank you.

Neck tattoos can be big or small. They can be loud and bombastic looking or subtle and barely noticeable. For many of us, getting a neck tattoo isn’t even a consideration. For others, these tattoos can be gorgeous, inspiring, funny, or even reminders of positivity. Tattoos are such a valuable form of self-expression that help us understand others. It’s an amazing insight into a person’s interests and aesthetic. When we talk about neck tattoos, this is exponentially true because of their visibility.

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