johnny depp tattoo meaning

Johnny Depp has a total of 37 tattoos.

His first tattoo was a Cherokee headdress tattoo which he got inked when he was 17, to honor his Indian heritage, as his great-grandmother was a Cherokee.

Cherokee Tribe

Johnny received his first tattoo at the age of 17, which is the wording “Cherokee Tribe,” on his upper right arm. Given that his great-grandmother was Cherokee, the tattoo was created as a tribute to his Native American heritage.

The Brave

An odd pattern can be seen on Johnny’s right forearm: a stitched mouth guy with a question mark above his head. The image is taken from the logo for the indie neo-western movie The Brave, which Depp co-wrote and directed in 1997. In it, Johnny played Raphael, a Native American who consents to be killed for a snuff movie that is being directed by Marlon Brando’s character.


The name of Lily-Rose Depp, the firstborn child of Johnny and Vanessa Paradis, is tattooed on his chest. Johnny once told the Philly Inquirer, “My daughter made me understand, helped me grasp, why there is life and why I should live, why I get up in the morning, and why I want to continue this weird journey I’m on. I almost think that my previous life wasn’t truly life at all. I didn’t actually live, you see.”

Three Hearts

Three hearts are displayed on Johnny Depp’s left arm as a tribute to his two children, Lily-Rose Depp and Jack Depp, as well as his ex-wife, Vanessa Paradis. Vanessa and Johnny split up in 2012, although they are still friends.

Three Rectangles 

In addition to the tattoos on his body are numerous ink markers on his hands and fingers. Located on the index finger of his right hand are three rectangles. “I used to doodle these when I was on the telephone,” he told The Washington Post in 1995.

The Number 3 

“I like the number 3,” Johnny told The Post. Johnny has also said that the number is “magical” to him, which is why he has the design on his left hand. He also has a number 3 on his left arm.

Question Mark Tattoo 

On his right leg, Johnny has a question mark over an X – very reminiscent of a pirate’s treasure map. The design was reportedly done by tattoo artist Jonathan Shaw, who let Johnny tattoo the same design on his left knee.

Jack Sparrow Tattoo

Johnny’s sparrow tattoo on his right arm is very similar to the one that his Pirates of the Caribbean character, Jack Sparrow, has – except Johnny’s sparrow is flying towards him and now away. That is likely due to Johnny’s love for his son Jack, born in 2002. Supposedly, Johnn said that you “always want him coming back to you.”


Perhaps one of Johnny’s most famous coverups is “WINO FOREVER” on his right arm or the cover of his tattoo for his ex-girlfriend, Winona Ryder, whom he began dating in 1990. The pair met while filming for Edward Scissorhands and quickly fell in love. However, they didn’t last, and Johnny ended up inking over his love mark in 1993 following their split.

Suprematism Triangle

Johnny has a “suprematism triangle” tattooed on his left shoulder, an adaptation of a painting done by the Russian painter Ilya Chashnik in 1925. The drawing was again inked by Jonathan Shaw in 1993. Suprematism was a Russian offshoot of Cubism and Futurism, according to Britannia, and has been described as “the appropriate means of representation is always the one which gives fullest possible expression to feeling as such and which ignores the familiar appearance of objects.”

“Betty Sue” 

On Johnny’s left arm, he has a heart with “Betty Sue” written across it. Betsy Sue was the name of Johnny’s mother, who died on May 20, 2016, due to a long illness. However, the ink was done long before her death on his left arm by tattoo artist Johnathan Shaw on May 31, 1988.

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