Skip to main content

Friday the 13th has been an unofficial holiday for tattooers for as long as we can remember. Folks line up outside of tattoo shops all over the country, eager to grab a tattoo off a special flash sheet for the dirt-cheap price of $13. Artists work like machines in an assembly line, cranking out tattoo after tattoo in a hectic atmosphere. It's the best. 

Like much of tattoo history, the origins behind the tradition are hazy at best. Some credit Oliver Peck for coming up with the idea back in the early nineties, but he's also the very first person to refute the notion that he started it. One thing is for sure though, once Peck turned it into a party the idea caught on like wildfire. 

Here in NYC, there are a ton of shops that get into the spirit for the day, but none quite like Daredevil Tattoo. People start to line up well before dawn for the opportunity to take part in the tradition. Co-owner Michelle Myles likens the day to what it must have been like working payday in a naval town back in the day, where artists went through as many people as they possibly could. The experience is chaotic for sure, but also a hell of a lot of fun. 

One small piece of advice, Friday the 13th is not the ideal day to get your first tattoo. What you're going to end up with is a small banger tattoo, not exactly a work of art. But, more importantly, the artists aren't going to have any extra time to help walk you through the process. It's all about picking a thing off the wall, getting it done and moving on to the next person in line. 

Not all shops do a deal like this, so please don't just show up like an asshole and demand a $13 tattoo. Check out your local shop's social media or give 'em a call to see if they're doing something. Prices may vary, inflation is a bitch, but you're likely still going to get a pretty sweet deal. Below you'll find just a fraction of the shops that will be taking part in the event.