Like your friendship, best friend tattoo ideas and designs last forever. Best friend necklaces are for kids. Increasingly, real ride or die friends are paying homage to their friendship with ink. That could mean pieces that join when you are together, mirror images that serve as a reminder of each other when you are apart, or a design that is distinct and personal with a meaning that is clear only to the two of you. If you and your BFF are looking to make it official, then check out our gallery to get some good inspiration.
60 Epic Best Friend Tattoo Ideas and Designs that Truly Last Forever
There was a time when best friend designs were largely considered the domain of the childish. We’re living in better times now. There’s no shame in expressing your love for a friend, and more and more people are doing it with tattoos. Puzzle piece designs are still very popular for the clarity of their message and the simplicity of their design. But plenty of ink enthusiasts are getting creative with their friendship tats. Some opt for mirror-image pieces that are almost but not quite the same. Others opt for complementary pieces that better reflect the nature of their relationship. In other words, modern friendship tattoos are as varied and unique as the pairs that wear them.
1. Twin Lotus Flower Friend Tattoos
Little lotus tattoos may look simple, but their symbolism is anything but. The lotus is one of the most spiritually significant flowers in the world. It is sacred in Eastern religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism. It is strongly associated with purity. The flower is especially poignant in a friendship context because of its ability to endure.
2. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Complementary tattoos speak to the different natures of the friends that wear them. They also indicate that friendship is as elemental as the ocean and as immovable as the mountains. Choosing different tattoos but keeping the same size and style is an easy way to make them both personal and cohesive.
3. The Sun and The Moon
The sun and the moon are linked both literally and figuratively. In nature, the moon could not shine without the sun. In ancient religions, the two celestial bodies are often depicted as two complementary gods. One may be dark and one may be light, but all the goodness in the world comes from the balance between them.
4. Tied Together Forever Friendship Tattoo
These sweet illustrations make adorable standalone tattoos. When combined, they tell an even sweeter story. One girl holds a heart close while the other remains attached by a string. It speaks to the occasional physical distance between friends but also pays homage to the constant presence of love.
5. Elephants Never Forget Their Best Friends
Elephants are wise, enduring, and adorable. In other words, they make an ideal symbol for friendship. Who’s to say what additional meaning the wearers ascribe to this ink? A low-key outline design keeps the tattoos subtle while a heart reinforces the message of love.
6. Some Kind of Wonderful BFF Crystal Tattoo
These ink loving friends are also clearly into crystals. One wears a large crystal point while the other has a natural crystal formation inside a crescent. The mystical elements are apparent, and presumably, the crystals are meant to bring their friendship good luck.
7. Yin and Yang Triangle Tats
These sparse triangle tattoos present a unique take on the popular yin and yang concept. One friend has a simple outline. The other friend has a black triangle – called negative space, in the tattoo world. Together they represent an all-encompassing friendship.
8. Our Friendship Grows like Wild Flowers
Wildflowers are a popular tattoo design for free spirits. Here, a pair of soulmates have chosen matching thistle and wildflower bouquets. The message is clear; their friendship is natural, beautiful, and strong like the flowers they favor.
9. A Flower for Each Friend
While best friends are usually seen in pairs, this tattoo proves that sometimes more is better. These three BFFs chose matching floral bouquets. But their individuality is honored too, as each friend chose a different flower to represent them in the bouquet.
10. I Dino What I’d Do Without You
It’s hard to say what specifically inspired this fun dinosaur themed tattoo. Maybe the friends watched Land Before Time together. Or maybe, like so many other people, they just like dinosaurs. While the tattoos share their size and placement, one friend has a triceratops and the other a stegosaurus.
11. A Wishbone Your Heart Makes
Many siblings share a family tradition of fighting over a wishbone. These friends pay homage to that tradition with a tiny wishbone tattoo. Placed near the site of a real wishbone, this design promises good luck to the women that wear it.
12. Earth and Water Elemental Friend Tattoos
The friends that chose these tattoos want the world to know that their love is as immovable as the elements. One wears the mountains. The other wears the ocean. Both are forces of nature, bound by their friendship but made stronger by it, too.
13. Pinky Swear to Love You Forever
The pinky swear is a gesture familiar to kids the world over. It’s a binding promise to keep your word. These friends wear that commitment on their sleeves. As a tattoo, the pinky swear speaks of their enduring loyalty, trust, and unbreakable love.
14. Lightning Strikes Twice Harry Potter Tattoos
Lightning represents many things. In mythology, it is the weapon of the god Zeus. In pop culture, it might be a sports team, superhero, or brand logo. It’s also the telltale scar of The Boy Who Lived and a clever nod to these friends’ shared love for Harry Potter.
15. You Complete Me Heart Puzzle
Each of these watercolor heart tattoos is a beautiful piece all on its own. A pretty pastel palette makes them distinctly feminine, but also makes them an obvious match. One friend wears a frame that looks almost biomorphic while the other wears the heart that completes the puzzle.
More best friend tattoos on the next page…
16. A Secret Only We Know
Friendships are full of secrets. That’s what makes these behind-the-ear squiggle tattoos so clever. Are they important initials, or a symbol that means something only to them? They’re not telling, making these unique but discrete tats just another secret that they share.
17. Double Monarch Butterfly Wrist Tattoos
Monarch butterfly tattoos are pretty and popular. It’s no surprise that friends would agree to get matching butterfly tattoos. At face value, butterflies are timeless and inoffensive. Symbolically, they may represent the way their wearers’ have grown together with time and wisdom.
18. Simple Saturn Inner Wrist Tattoos
Science nerds will appreciate the straightforward simplicity of these Saturn tattoos. Maybe they are just a subtle nod to the friends’ sci-fi interests. Or maybe they are a reference to the zodiac sign Capricorn. Either way, they serve as a sweet reminder of their absent friend.
19. Head to Toe Triangle Turtles
A geometric turtle design is striking in its ingenuity but takes up very little space. One friend wears it on their wrist. The other wears it on their ankle. The tattoo is easily concealed but when revealed makes the viewer feel as if they’ve been let in on a whimsical secret.
20. A Stem of Pink Orchids
In flowers, the color pink represents innocence and joy. The orchid, in contrast, represents strength and beauty. Pink orchids, then, are the perfect tattoo choice for complex women. The wearers of these sophisticated flowers find power in embracing their femininity.
21. Ocean Sunrise and Tidal Force
The sun and the moon are inextricably linked. These tattoos are further linked by sharing an ocean setting. What many don’t realize is that while the moon cannot shine without the sun, the moon also exerts more influence on the ocean tides than the sun does.
22. Original Fantasy Jewelry Forearm Tattoos
These stunning forearm tattoos share the same concept and layout but differ in the details. One is inked in blue and the other in pink. Both have something like a compass at the center, though one frames a floral design and the other a jewel.
23. Standing Tall and Strong Together
A stand of three trees represents three friends or siblings. The tattoo design pays homage to the strength and durability of their love. Two of the friends wear the tattoo on their arms for the world to see while the other keeps hers close to her heart.
24. Sharing a Swing and a Chat
Two girls – no doubt modeled after the women that wear them – sit on swings. When the models are together, it looks like they share the same swing. When they are apart, a playful game of tattoo telephone keeps them connected.
25. No Matter What & No Matter Where
The message of these coordinating friend tattoos is loud and clear. No matter what happens and no matter where it happens, these friends will always be there for each other. That is the simplest definition of what real friendship means.
26. I’ll Never Let You Go
The act of holding hands is simple but undeniably sweet. Many children are taught to hold hands for safety from a young age. As they grow, it remains a symbol of loyalty and love, as demonstrated by this friendship arm tattoo.
27. Sketch Style Tortoise Wrist Tattoo
It takes a moment to identify this tattoo design as a tortoise. The sketch style makes it look almost abstract. When you see each of the tattoos side-by-side, it is clear that the tortoises are looking toward each other, even when the friends that wear them are apart.
28. Two Halves of a Whole Avocado
Avocadoes have become very trendy food. That said, they can also be polarizing. Clearly, a shared love for this savory fruit has become a fun feature of this friendship. These whimsical illustrations are a cute new twist on the two halves of a whole tattoo concept.
29. A Flower and a Fruit
Not all friend tattoos are literal or obvious. This pair of friends have chosen designs that are beautiful on their own. One has a hand holding fruit. The other has a hand holding a flower. Together, they clearly possess some secret symbolism significant to their friendship.
30. My Heart on a String
These delightful little girl illustrations clearly show that the two friends that wear them share their hearts freely. While one girl blows a kiss, the other cuddles her friend’s heart close. A string implies that the two are always connected.
More best friend tattoos on the next page…
31. Simple Numbers with Surprising Significance
When tattoos are especially personal, it’s not uncommon for their owners to keep their meaning somewhat obscure. One can surmise that the years these friends are wearing are tied to important events in their relationship, but only they know their full significance.
32. I’d Cross the World for You
Two friends wear similar but distinct world tattoos. The illustration style varies, and each map is circled by a plain in a different location. Either these friends have logged a lot of miles together, or they want to stay connected, no matter where in the world each is.
33. Fancy Fish Bring Luck to Friends
Koi fish are widely considered to be a symbol of luck. They can also represent wisdom and spirituality. These two friends wear koi facing in opposite directions. Side by side, the fish form a loose circle, indicating that the models only feel complete when they are together.
34. You Keep Me Safe Tattoos
If you only glance at these tattoos, you might just register them as pretty cursive words. But the deeper meaning of the words is powerful and personal. “You keep me safe” is scrawled across the models’ ribs. It’s a testament to the life-saving nature of their friendship.
35. To Infinity and Beyond Ink
“To infinity and beyond” is the iconic catchphrase of the cartoon astronaut Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story movie franchise. Chances are the friends that wear these tattoos are as close as Buzz and Woody. This ink and the friendship that it represents will last forever.
36. Geometric Hearts on Their Sleeves
To wear one’s heart on one sleeve is to be open about their emotions. These friends took that phrase very literally when they decided to get geometric heart designs tattooed on their wrists. The emotion they’re displaying here is unmistakably to love.
37. Fingers Crossed for Good Luck
These two kindred spirits were lucky to find each other. Now they want to keep the good luck going by wearing crossed fingers on their arms forever. By choosing the same tattoo design, they also pay homage to the fortuitous nature of their friendship.
38. The Powerpuff Girls Forearm Tattoos
The Powerpuff Girls make ideal models for friendship tattoos. While Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttercup are sisters, they are also best friends. The trio of cartoon heroes first appeared in the 1990s and remains an upbeat but empowered symbol of feminism.
39. Keep Me Wild and Keep Me Sane
The best friendships are the ones that represent a balance. These friend tattoos share the same two phrases: “Keep Me Wild” and “Keep Me Sane.” But each tattoo highlights a different phrase, suggesting that each friend brings something different to the table.
40. Traveling Around the World Together
If this globe-trotting design is to be believed, then this is a friendship that has stood the test of time and distance. A tattoo is a fitting way to honor that achievement because it will also stand the test of time.
41. One Little, Two Little, Three Little Dinosaurs
Everybody loves dinosaurs! That makes them an agreeable design for a trio of friends; especially friends that have been together since they were young enough to watch dinosaur cartoons. While each friend has chosen a different dino, together the three tattoos look totally cohesive.
42. Another Little Piece of My Heart
A pair of quirky cartoon girls each waves a puzzle piece. When the women that inspired the girls to get together, their puzzle pieces combine to make a heart. It’s a cute way to show that they carry a piece of each other with them always.
43. Collecting Shells Friendship Trio Tattoos
Some friends get seashell tattoos because there are two sides to every shell. This trio got seashells to pay homage to their shared love of the ocean. Seashells are also used as a symbol of prosperity and protection; desirable attributes in any friendship!
44. Call Me on The Telephone
These cartoon cutie pies share a great, 1950s-inspired kitsch style. More importantly, they are playing a classic game of telephone. No doubt the friends that wear these tattoos once played that game too and continue to stay connected by talking on their real telephones.
45. A Friendship that Crosses Time and Space
Somewhere along the way, the complementary rocket ship and Saturn tattoos came to symbolize friendship. Maybe it’s the childlike style of the illustration. Maybe it’s the suggestion of fun and exploration. Or maybe these friends just wanted some light-hearted ink.
More best friend tattoos on the next page…
46. Mirror Image Inner Arm Wildflowers
Mirror image tattoos make great friendship designs because they express that the people that wear them are different but the same. These pink wildflowers make a beautifully realized standalone design, but when they come together they look like two parts of the same plant.
47. Negative Space Sun and Moon Tattoos
There are no larger symbols of symbiosis than the sun and the moon. For all of human history, these two celestial bodies have been associated. That makes them perfect tattoo models for an enduring friendship. Alternating negative space keeps each design slightly different.
48. We’ll Swing Off into the Sunset
This heart-warming tattoo design depicts two girls sharing a swing at sunset. Bright pops of orange make the otherwise monochromatic sketch come alive. For the friends that wear these tattoos, the scene is a meaningful reminder of their best days together.
49. I’ll Be There for You
“I’ll Be There for You” is famously the theme song of the hit TV show Friends. It’s no surprise, then, that a group of friends would feel drawn to the phrase. Even without the pop culture significance, the line is a timeless reflection on the nature of friendship.
50. Alternating Skylines Men’s Friendship Tattoos
Here’s a truly clever way to honor friends that are far apart. The tattoo designs depict two different skylines, but the top and bottom alternate from one wearer to the next. The friends play up this mind-bending concept by alternating the placement, too.
51. Sun, Crescent Moon, and Eclipse Ink
Pointillist rays of a barely-there sun disappear into a black crescent. The tattoo could represent popular friendship symbols the sun and the moon. Or it could be embracing the mysticism of an eclipse. Either way, it immediately identifies the two models as friends.
52. I Pinky Swear Friendship Design
These friends take the pinky swear so seriously, they have commemorated it in ink. To further clarify the meaning of the tattoo, a joyful red heart bounces above the crossed fingers. It’s an ode to loyalty, enduring relationships, and platonic love.
53. A Friendship that Connects the Dots
This adorable tattoo design takes a simple concept like a dotted line heart and makes it special by adding a plane. The image suggests that these BFFs will travel any distance to be together again and that the effort is justified by their love.
54. Write It in Roman Numerals
Here’s a friendship tattoo idea that is easy to personalize. While the models have used the Roman numerals for 9 and 2003, you can easily change the numbers to represent whatever day is most significant to you and your friend(s).
55. Mehndi Arm Tattoos for Friends
At first, these friends appear to have the same tattoo. A closer look shows that each design sports a slightly different line of mehndi symbols. Like any good friendship, the concept allows the women to honor what makes them unique while also celebrating what they have in common.
56. Cup Phone Best Friend Tattoo
The game of cup phone is so ubiquitous in childhood that it has come to represent friendships that began during those innocent years. Each of these friends wears the same design. The artist has flipped it so that when they are together, the telephone game is connected.
57. Hugs and Kisses for Affectionate Friends
The simple combination of an X and an O is universally recognized as the symbol for hugs and kisses. Many a friend has signed a note, text, or tweet with those letters. These friends have used those iconic symbols to pay permanent homage to their love with matching tattoos.
58. Whisper Words of Wisdom Lyrics Tattoo
The Beatles are one of the most popular bands of all time. It’s no surprise then that these friends both find meaning in the lyrics of one of their most famous songs. One wears the line, “Whisper Words of Wisdom.” The other has a complimentary tattoo of the title, “Let It Be.”
59. No Matter Where I’ll Be There
These matching vertical text tattoos speak to the determination of the friends that wear them. The statement “No Matter Where” suggests that they will always find and help each other, no matter the distance or obstacles. The leg placement reinforces their commitment to come running when called.
60. Friends That Lash Together Stay Together
Long eyelashes have been associated with glamour for hundreds of years. While it’s possible these friends both sport lashes on their arms because they love glamour, it seems more likely that they see the humor in the faces created by the lashes being placed above their elbows.
60 Unforgettable Best Friend Tattoo Ideas and Designs
Only true friends take the leap and commemorate their love with tattoos. The kinds of friendships that inspire permanent ink are the kinds that last forever. Some friends choose to commemorate an important date with numbers or Roman Numerals. Others choose a design that reflects a shared interest. Still, others put their feelings into words. Some friends just get the same tattoo because they both like it. But the most inspiring friendship tattoo designs speak to the nature of the friendship itself, whether that means a yin and yang balance or the mirror image of kindred spirits.