Roadrunner Tattoo Meaning, Designs & Ideas

The roadrunner tattoo can have various meanings, including a representation of the famous cartoon character. This tattoo can also be related to different sports teams throughout the United States. Roadrunner tattoos may also symbolize strength, commitment, good luck, and speed.

In this article, we’ll explore different meanings of roadrunner tattoos.

All About Roadrunners

Roadrunners are a type of bird. There is the greater roadrunner which is found in the southern United States and Mexico, as well as the lesser roadrunner which lives in Mexico and Central America. They generally live in desert areas.

Also called chaparrals, roadrunners are able to fly but generally run instead. They have long legs and can run up to 20 miles per hour. They are about two feet in length, have a long tail, and a large crest on their head. Their feathers are black, brown, and white. Roadrunners mainly eat insects, lizards, snakes, rodents, spiders, fruit, and snails. 

Roadrunner Tattoos

There are two main types of roadrunner tattoos: one that depicts the cartoon character and one that shows a realistic image of the bird. The cartoon character typically features a blue crest and body, is sometimes shown with Wile E. Coyote, and can have the words “beep, beep” included in the tattoo.

Realistic versions of roadrunner birds are done either in color or black and gray. They show the bird either standing still or in motion, sometimes with a snake or other prey in its mouth. These tattoos often incorporate other desert images, such as cacti, rocks, shrubs, desert flowers, and the sun.

Cartoon Character

In the 1940s, the Road Runner character debuted in the Looney Tunes television series. He is generally seen escaping from Wile E. Coyote who is trying to catch him. Road Runner has special abilities, such as running through time and avoiding the effects of gravity, which help him to get away from his predator. In the television series, he makes the sound of a car horn: “beep, beep.”

Fans of The Road Runner may choose to get this tattoo to show that they enjoy the cartoon series. The character has also been featured in film, comics, and video games which can also inspire people to choose this tattoo. Since Road Runner is always able to escape from the coyote, a person might opt for this tattoo because they see the character as smart and cunning.

Sports Teams and Mascots

The roadrunner was chosen to represent several different athletic divisions and sports teams in the United States. Due to the roadrunner’s speed and agility, it makes a good choice for a sports mascot. Many of the colleges and universities that have a roadrunner as a mascot are in the southern United States, where the bird is typically found.

The American Hockey League has a team in Arizona called the Tucson Roadrunners. In San Antonio, the University of Texas features a roadrunner as its mascot. The Metropolitan State University of Denver and the California State University both have a roadrunner that represents their athletic departments.

Someone who played sports at one of these institutions might choose to get a roadrunner tattoo as a symbol of their athletic career. Similarly, a coach may want a roadrunner tattoo because it represents the fun and success they had with their team. Even someone who wasn’t directly involved with athletics but just attended one of these schools may feel an affiliation with the roadrunner and choose this tattoo.

Strength and Speed

One of the key features of the roadrunner is its ability to run quickly. While the average speed for these birds is around 20 miles per hour, some have been known to run as fast as 27 miles per hour. Their long legs help them to achieve great speed while their strong feet give them agility and strength.

A person may decide to get a roadrunner tattoo if they are a runner or sprinter, either as a hobby or competitively. This bird makes a great tattoo choice to show that a person is fast and can outrun their competitors. An athlete may see this tattoo as a symbol that brings them luck in their races.


Another interesting fact about roadrunners is that they mate for life. Once they have chosen a mate, they stay with that particular bird, not breeding with any others. While most birds are monogamous, only mating with one bird at a time, they typically change mates each season or more frequently. This makes the roadrunner unique in its commitment to its mate.

Someone who wants to illustrate their commitment to their partner or spouse might choose a roadrunner tattoo to do this. This tattoo symbolizes that they want to be with their loved one for the rest of their life. In some cases, both partners will get roadrunner tattoos to show their dedication to each other.

Good Luck

In some cultures, including Native American tribes, the roadrunner is seen as a symbol of good fortune. Some people believe that these birds provide protection against evil spirits. Their feathers can be used to create a boundary between people and the forces of evil. 

While the roadrunner can be considered a sacred bird, people view this meaning differently based on their culture. For example, some refuse to kill the roadrunner but others kill it because they believe its meat offers special qualities. Roadrunner meat is fed to people to build their strength and help them recover from illness.

Part of the reason that roadrunners are seen as a good luck symbol is because of their tracks. Their feet leave tracks in the shape of an “X” so that people looking at them cannot tell which way the bird went. It is thought that these tracks are able to confuse evil spirits and help keep them away from people.

A person may choose a roadrunner tattoo if they come from a culture that views these birds as sacred or good luck. Someone who is hoping to attract more good fortune into their life might see this tattoo as an ideal choice.

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