Loser Lover Tattoo Meaning, Designs & Ideas

A tattoo with the word “loser” changed to say “lover” is a reference to the 2017 Stephen King movie, It. 

In this article, we’ll look at the meaning behind the Loser Lover tattoo.

It, 2017

This horror film was released in 2017 and is based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel called It. The movie takes place in the fictional town of Derry, Maine. It tells the story of a group of seven adolescents who are haunted by a shape-shifting being. 

Andy Muschietti directed the film, which became the highest-grossing horror movie ever. One of the main characters of It is Eddie Kaspbrak, a young teen who is part of the Loser’s Club.

Loser’s Club

The group of teens calls themselves The Losers Club. Each of them experienced bullying and rejection from their peers. They all experience terror from the monstrous It, which appears to them as their worst fears. The group decides to work together to confront this entity.

Eddie Kaspbrak

In one scene, the teens go to the Well House to challenge It. Eddie becomes isolated in one of the hallways and falls through a hole when It appears behind him. Eddie’s arm is broken and he gets a cast put on.

Loser / Lover

Eddie goes to the pharmacy to pick up some medication and encounters Greta Keene. She is depicted as a bully from one of the richer parts of town. She offers to sign Eddie’s cast but ends up writing the word “loser” on it instead in black marker.

Eddie uses a red marker to write the letter “V” over the letter “S” on his cast. Now instead of saying “loser,” his cast shows the word “lover.” 


After the movie was released, people got a variety of tattoos based on scenes from the film. The loser lover tattoo is a replication of what the words looked like on Eddie’s cast. In most tattoos, the word loser is in black ink and the letter “V” is over top in red ink.

Some of these tattoos just have the words, while others have accompanying images. For example, the red balloon is often added to the tattoo. Other images include a paper boat, the face of Pennywise the clown, or the word “It.”

These tattoos are done in various sizes, ranging from quite small to large. They have been done on different parts of the body, including the chest, foot, and leg. The arm is the most popular spot for this tattoo to be placed.

Motivation for Tattoo

There are two main reasons why people choose to get the lover loser tattoo. The first reason is that they are fans of the movie and want to display their interest in the film. The second reason is that they feel some similarity to how Eddie did in the film in terms of having been bullied or being an outcast. 

Often people share both of these motivations for getting the tattoo.

Bullying and Rejection

For children and adolescents, bullying is a very common experience. Studies estimate that 1 in 5 or up to as high as 1 in 3 students in the United States will deal with being bullied by their peers.

Bullying can take many forms, including verbal harassment and physical abuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define bullying in the following way:

  • A form of youth violence 
  • Unwanted aggressive behavior by other youth
  • Involves a power imbalance, whether real or perceived
  • Is repeated multiple times or is likely to be repeated

Other forms of bullying can include isolating or rejecting an individual from their peer group, spreading false information about a person, or damaging their property. 


With the prevalence of technology and access to the internet, online or cyberbullying has become more common among youth. People use social media and online forums to share rumors and even photographs of the person they are bullying.

Another form of cyberbullying is messaging the victim directly with threats of harm. Girls are more likely to experience online bullying than boys.

Consequences of Bullying

A person who experiences bullying can suffer physical and psychological effects. For someone who has been hurt physically, this can result in bruising, broken bones, and concussions. In some situations, bullies have gone so far as to kill their victim.

The psychological impact of bullying can include a loss of self-esteem, withdrawal from regular activities including school, and substance use. Many children and teens who experience being bullied end up dealing with mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

Bullying and Self-Harm

Adolescents who experience bullying sometimes turn to self-harm as a way of coping with the emotional distress that it causes them. The most common form of self-harm is cutting oneself. Other examples include head-banging or hitting, burning oneself, and ingesting harmful substances.

Alcohol and other drugs are commonly used to numb the pain associated with bullying. This harmful behavior can quickly become dangerous and result in overdose and death.

Tattoos and Self-Harm

People who have dealt with self-harm in the past often have visible scars from cutting or burning themselves. Many people choose to get tattoos to cover up these marks. This can be a way of putting the past behind them or turning their pain into something beautiful.

Someone who has struggled with bullying and self-harm may be drawn to the lover loser tattoo and what it represents. In the film, Eddie was able to take an instance of bullying behavior and turn it into an expression of himself and who he truly was.

Individuals may choose the lover loser tattoo to cover up scarring from self-harm. Or they may opt for this tattoo simply because it speaks to their experience with bullying or rejection.

Seeking Help

If you or someone you know is experiencing bullying, self-harm, or substance use, it is important to reach out for help. In the United States, you can call 1-800-273-TALK or text MHA to 741741 to speak with someone at a crisis center.

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