Mad Hatter Tattoo Meaning, Design & Ideas

If you weren’t already aware, the Mad Hatter is a character from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The character got the moniker ‘mad’ by the Cheshire Cat in the seventh chapter of the book. The chapter was titled “A Mad Tea Party”.

This book and movie are immensely popular. The book has been a hit since its release in 1865. In short, the story is about a girl named Alice who chases a rabbit until she comes upon the rabbit hole. She falls in and travels to a fantasy land filled with unusual and odd creatures.

One reason this book is so popular is because it strikes a chord with children and adults alike. It is considered one of the top examples of the genre of literary nonsense.

About the Mad Hatter

Now we know a bit about the Mad Hatter, let’s discuss where he enters the story and some of the background behind the character.

We are first introduced to the Mad Hatter when Alice is invited to a “mad” tea party. Other partygoers include the Hatter, the March Hare and the extra sleepy Dormouse. As you would expect, this tea party is madness with stories and riddles. Alice is told they have tea all day because they are being punished by Time and stay tea time at all times.

Mad Hatter Time Tattoo

This leads us to our first Mad Hatter tattoo symbolism. For those who want time represented in some form, they might have to get the Mad Hatter tattoo. Time is the only thing you cannot escape. It is always moving forward leaving behind everything in it’s wake. However, Time isn’t moving for the Mad Hatter. If the tattoo enthusiast wants to remember a certain time or make time stand still at a specific hour, the Mad Hatter tattoo might be a fun way to incorporate a great story and some meaning.

Mad Hatter Johnny Depp Tattoo

There is another version of the Mad Hatter tattoo that seems to be a popular one for fans of the show. This tattoo is spawned from Tim Burton’s 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland. In this movie, the Hatter is played by Johnny Depp. Depp’s performance of the Mad Hatter was, for the most part, liked by the majority of critics.

His name in this movie is Tarrant Hightopp. In the movie, Hightopp comes from a family of hatters that were wiped out by the Jabberwock. This is a beast controlled by the Red Queen. She did so on the day the White Queen was visiting their village. The only reason Tarrant escaped the attack is because he led the White Queen’s horse to safety. When he returned home, he saw the entire village was in ruins.

This led Tarrant to have a breakdown and lose his mind. He also developed a split personality in which he can become angry to the point his eye color changes and he develops a Scottish accent. Somebody with him must snap him out of the anger fog or he might never come back from it.

He’s an odd-looking character with frizzy red hair flowing out from under his giant top hat. His face was porcelain white with red bags under his green eyes. It’s a very distinct look and is very noticeable when tattooed on the canvas. You will probably see a color portrait when setting eyes on this version of the Mad Hatter tattoo. After all, it is Depp’s look that is most captivating to many.

In relation to his split personality, you may also see the Mad Hatter split down the middle with a yellow eye (when he is in a rage) and a green eye (normal). This represents the duality in all of us which is one way we have heard the symbolism of the Mad Hatter tattoo portrayed.

Mad Hatter Riddle Tattoo

Another interesting way we’ve seen the Mad Hatter tattoo used is by incorporating the famous riddle from the tea party. The riddle goes, “Why is a raven like a writing desk?”. After much contemplation, Alice gives up on the riddle and the Hatter admits he has no idea what the answer is.

The interesting thing about this riddle is that Lewis Carroll had no intention of having an answer to this. Fans went crazy and many of them requested an answer to the riddle. It was such a topic that a puzzle expert named Sam Loyd offered some potential answers for Carroll to for his fans. One answer Loyd offered was, “because Poe wrote on both”, which makes sense.

Carroll released a couple more answers for fans of the story but admitted the answers were afterthoughts and the riddle was never intended to have an answer. In all honesty, it almost fits the theme of the story. A riddle with no answer seemed to have created some waves with readers.

We’re All Mad Here Tattoo

This quote is indirectly related to the Mad Hatter because he didn’t say. The Cheshire can use this line when describing the Mad Hatter’s party and the creatures there. He claimed, “We’re all mad here”, and when Alice asked how he knew she was mad, he proclaimed that she must be because she is here.

This quote is related to the weirdo in all of us. We all have our quirks and this tattoo is a subtle reminder that we are all different in our own way. It might also be a reminder that we are no better than the next man as we all have tendencies that others might think are strange.

Whatever you reason for getting your Mad Hatter Tattoo, we hope this article helped you to understand some of the history behind the character and why so many are enamored with the Mad Hatter tattoo.

We’ve posted some example tattoos for you to look over. If there are any questions or if you need help finding an artist to help make your design come to life, reach out to us. We would love to help match you with the perfect tattoo artist.

Leave a Comment