The Ultimate Guide to John Wick Tattoos: Designs, Meanings, and Inspiration

john wick

John Wick 4, the latest installment in the popular action-thriller franchise, has made waves at the box office since its opening this year. The movie, which follows the story of the eponymous retired hitman played by Keanu Reeves, has been eagerly anticipated by fans of the series, who have been eagerly awaiting its release. 

As expected, the film has seen a surge in its opening weeks, with $137.5 million in record-breaking ticket sales and positive reviews from audiences and critics alike. Filled with compelling action scenes, awe-inspiring visuals, and a captivating story arc, John Wick 4 will surely be a box office hit of 2023 that will solidify the franchise as iconic among movie fans.

One of the most notable aspects of the John Wick franchise’s impact on popular culture is the emergence of John Wick tattoos. Fans of the series have been getting tattoos inspired by the character, often depicting his iconic image or quotes from the films. These tattoos have become increasingly popular, with many people using them to show their love and appreciation for the franchise.

The significance of John Wick’s tattoos lies in their ability to connect fans with the character and the world of the films on a deeper level. For many, tattoos are a way to express their identity and values, which they feel are embodied by John Wick’s persona. John Wick’s tattoos are a testament to the character’s enduring appeal and impact on popular culture. But what does each tattoo mean, and what designs best capture the character’s essence?

History and Evolution of John Wick Tattoos

Tattoos have a long and rich history that dates back thousands of years, with evidence of tattoos found on mummies from ancient civilizations such as Egypt and China. Over time, tattoos have evolved from a symbol of cultural identity or status to a form of self-expression, with people choosing designs that reflect their values, beliefs, and interests. In recent years, tattoos have become increasingly popular, with studies showing that almost 30 percent of Americans have at least one tattoo.

The emergence of John Wick tattoos is a natural progression of this trend toward self-expression through body art. Fans of the franchise have been getting tattoos inspired by the character and his story, often incorporating his iconic image, quotes, or symbols from the films. Some of the most popular John Wick tattoos include his signature black suit and tie, his dog, and the phrase “Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat.”

The evolution of John Wick’s tattoos over the years has seen a shift from simple designs to more complex and detailed pieces. In the franchise’s early days, tattoos were often small and minimalist, with fans choosing simple designs that were easy to replicate. However, as the franchise has grown in popularity and the fan base has expanded, so has the tattoos’ complexity. Many fans now opt for larger, more intricate pieces that incorporate multiple elements from the films, such as quotes or images of the characters.

According to a 2018 survey conducted by the Tavistock Institute, tattoos are becoming accepted in society. Research shows no significant difference in salary or job opportunities between people with tattoos and those without. Additionally, A 2017 PEW Research survey found that 38 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 have tattoos, indicating a steady increase in tattoo acceptance among young people.

The Meaning of John Wick Tattoos

John Wick’s tattoos are more than just a representation of the iconic character and his story. They also hold significant meaning for the people who choose to get them. The tattoos are a way for fans to connect with the character and the values he represents, including loyalty, honor, and revenge. They are also a form of self-expression, with each tattoo uniquely representing the wearer’s personality and beliefs.


One of the most iconic tattoos that John Wick has is the image of a wolf on his back. This tattoo is a symbol of strength, loyalty, and primal power.

The wolf is a powerful symbol in many cultures, representing strength, independence, and the primal instinct of the hunt. It is also often associated with loyalty, as wolves are known to form close bonds with their pack mates and fiercely protect their own.

In the context of the John Wick franchise context, the wolf tattoo serves as a reminder of the character’s strength and primal instincts. John is a highly skilled and deadly assassin, capable of taking on multiple opponents at once and coming out victorious. The tattoo represents his power and his willingness to embrace his inner animal to survive.

Skull in Flames

Another notable tattoo that John Wick has is the skull in flames design on his left shoulder. This tattoo is a powerful symbol of death, rebirth, and the inevitability of change.

The skull in flames design is a popular tattoo motif, often associated with the concept of death and the cycle of life. It represents the idea that all things must end but that new beginnings and opportunities arise from the ashes of what has passed. It is also often seen as a symbol of power and strength, as fire is a powerful force that can both create and destroy.

Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat

John Wick’s boldest statement is the Latin phrase, “Fortune Favors the Bold.” His body art speaks volumes regarding his creative and fearless approach toward life. This tattoo is featured in a scene where John is showering, revealing the tattoo on his back. The tattoo is significant not only for its message but also for its connection to the military and veteran community.

“Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat” is a common phrase used in military circles, often symbolizing the bravery and courage required to serve in the armed forces. It is also commonly associated with special operations units, with higher risks and stakes. The phrase became a rallying cry for those who served in the military and represents the values of honor, courage, and sacrifice.

John Wick’s tattoo of “Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat” reflects his experiences as a former hitman and his ties to the criminal underworld. He is a man who has seen and experienced the worst that the world has to offer, and he has survived thanks to his strength, courage, and determination. The tattoo serves as a reminder of the challenges he has faced and the risks he continues to take, highlighting his resilience and unyielding spirit.

Prayer Hands and Cross

Another notable tattoo that John Wick has is the one on his back featuring a pair of prayer hands and a cross. This tattoo is a powerful symbol of faith, redemption, and the quest for inner peace.

The prayer hands and cross design is common in Christian iconography, representing the power of prayer and the hope of salvation. It is also associated with forgiveness and atonement, as the cross represents the sacrifice of Jesus, and the hands represent the act of prayer and supplication to God.

The tattoo also represents John’s commitment to his moral code and sense of honor. Despite being an assassin in his past, John has a strong sense of justice and a desire to protect the innocent. His faith and spirituality are an integral part of this code, as he seeks to live a life guided by principles of compassion and mercy.

In popular culture, the prayer hands and cross tattoo has become popular symbols of faith and spirituality, with many people getting inked with similar designs to express their beliefs and values. It is also often seen in hip-hop and rap, with many artists sporting cross tattoos as a symbol of their spirituality and faith.

John Wick Tattoos in Popular Culture

John Wick tattoos have become a popular trend in popular culture, with fans of the franchise and celebrities alike sporting tattoos inspired by the films. The tattoos have become an iconic symbol of the franchise, representing the character’s strength, resilience, and unwavering determination.

Celebrities who have been seen sporting similar John Wick tattoos include Drake, with a flaming skull design on his arm, Justin Bieber, with a prayer hands tattoo on his leg; and Selena Gomez, with another prayer hands tattoo on her legs.

The rise of celebrity tattoos and their influence on popular culture has also contributed to the trend, with fans seeking to emulate their favorite stars and express their own fandom. Using symbols and imagery, these tattoos serve as a lasting tribute to the character’s legacy and impact on popular culture.

John Wick Tattoos and Travel

There is a strong relationship between John Wick tattoos and travel, as many fans of the franchise choose to get tattoos inspired by the character as a way to express their love and admiration for the films. In recent years, there has been a growing trend of travelers seeking out tattoo shops in destinations around the world in order to get their own John Wick-inspired designs.

One popular travel destination for John Wick tattoo enthusiasts is Japan. The country has a rich tradition of tattoo art, and many travelers visit Tokyo and other cities to get tattoos inspired by the films. The popularity of John Wick tattoos in Japan can be seen in the many tattoo shops that offer designs based on the films and the growing number of Japanese fans of the franchise.

Another popular travel destination for John Wick tattoo enthusiasts is Thailand. The country is known for its vibrant tattoo scene, and many travelers visit the country specifically to get tattooed by local artists. In recent years, travelers have been getting John Wick-inspired tattoos in Thailand, with designs ranging from the iconic Baba Yaga nickname to the skull in flames and wolf designs.

New York City is a popular destination for John Wick tattoo enthusiasts in the United States. The city is home to many filming locations for the franchise, and many fans choose to visit the city to experience the locations firsthand and get tattoos inspired by the films. According to a 2019 survey by, New York City was one of the top travel destinations for people looking to get tattoos, with 24 percent of respondents saying they would travel to the city specifically to get inked.

John Wick Tattoo Design Inspiration

If you’re considering getting a John Wick-inspired tattoo, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some popular designs and inspiration for your own John Wick tattoo:

Baba Yaga

This nickname for John Wick, which means “boogeyman” in Russian, is one of the most iconic aspects of the franchise. Many fans choose to get this nickname tattooed on their bodies, often accompanied by an image of John Wick himself.

The Continental

The Continental Hotel is a central location in the John Wick franchise. Many fans choose to get tattoos inspired by the hotel’s logo or other imagery related to the franchise’s unique underworld.


John Wick is known for his proficiency with various weapons, from guns to knives to pencils. Many fans choose to get tattoos of John Wick holding or wielding their weapon of choice.


The skull in flames and wolf designs are popular options for John Wick tattoos, as they are often associated with the character and his actions throughout the films.


John Wick is known for his dry wit and memorable one-liners. Many fans choose to get tattoos of their favorite quotes from the franchise, such as “I’m thinking I’m back” or “Yeah, I’m thinking I’m back.”

Many talented tattoo artists specialize in John Wick-inspired designs. Some famous tattoo artists to check out include:

Shane O’Neill

O’Neill is a renowned tattoo artist who has worked on many celebrities, including Sylvester Stallone and LeBron James. He is known for his realistic portrait tattoos and has created several John Wick-inspired designs.

Bang Bang

Bang Bang is a celebrity tattoo artist who has worked with stars like Justin Bieber and Rihanna. He has created several John Wick-inspired designs, including a portrait of Keanu Reeves as the character.

Nikko Hurtado

Hurtado is a tattoo artist who has won numerous awards for his realistic portrait tattoos. He has created several portraits of John Wick, often featuring the character in iconic poses from the films.

John Wick tattoos have become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to the character’s iconic imagery, quotes, and themes. Whether you’re a fan of the franchise or just looking for something unique, there are plenty of designs to choose from when it comes to John Wick tattoos. From simple symbols to elaborate portraits, these tattoos are a great way to show your admiration for the character and his legacy. No matter what design you choose, you can be sure that your John Wick tattoo will serve as a lasting reminder of the character’s power and resilience. Don’t forget to share your experience, and show off your John Wick ink!

By Mike Smith

Mike Smith, a talented writer and devoted art enthusiast with a deep love for tattoos. As a creative soul, Mike's passion for arts, culture, music, and lifestyle shines through his engaging writing. With a keen eye for detail, he delves into the world of tattoos, exploring their rich symbolism and captivating stories.

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