NY Ink Drinking Game
11:52 AM
nyinkbanner.jpgTonight at 10/9C, The Learning Channel will be debuting their latest tatttoo-reality show, NY Ink - and if you're anything like us, you rolled your eyes upon learning of the show and let out an ultra-snotty, "Oh, just what we needed, another tattoo-reality show."

(Full Disclosure - We actually have several friends on the show and wish them the best of luck.  After all, most tattooists don't have 401(k) retirement plans, so we're all in favor of "buying-in" before our tattooist pals get arthritis and scoliosis.  That said, we gave our pals full warning that we'd be mocking them incessantly - because that's what friends do.)

But after a dozen adult beverages at happy hour, we at Needles and Sins (along with the awesome help of Nathan at KnuckleTattoos.com) think we've found a way to incorporate an exciting plot twist in what will otherwise be a "same story, different city" situation.  That's right - we hereby present to you the SEMI-OFFICIAL NY INK DRINKING GAME!

The rules are listed below my introductory video, but if you don't want to drink in front of the TV while cradling your laptop (and we wouldn't recommend that) we've also whipped up a printable PDF Rulesheet.

  • Every time they do an establishing shot of a New York landmark (the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, subways, yellow cabs, etc).
  • Every time there's incredibly scripted voice over/testimonial monologue (ie - "If you can make it here in New York, you can make it anywhere" or "It's not easy running a shop, but with a crew of talented artists like this...")
  • If someone gets a NYC tattoo (see above references, plus Yankees logos. If they get a twin towers tattoo, pour two tall shots and drink both)
  • During any discussion of the Sacred Three Taboo Tattoo Areas (above the collar, below the cuff, under the underwear)
  • If anyone actually gets a tattoo in one of the S.T.T.T.A. you have to drink every time it is shown.

  • Every time Ami James complains about being in New York City (adventurous, high-tolerance drinkers should simply drink every time Ami complains about anything).
  • Every time Ami has his shirt off in the shop for no explicable reason (this ain't Miami, son)
  • Every time the "shop girl" looks like she's near tears.
  • Every time someone is wearing those fashionable, black latex gloves.
  • Every time an artist is late for an appointment
  • Every time an artist storms out of the shop in anger (take two drinks - one for you and one for the drink he/she is about to go get around the corner).

  • Every time someone mentions a personal project (band, blog, self-published book, etc) to garner press for personal gain.
  • Every time a client is getting a "memorial tattoo" (however, any time it's for a "homey who ain't here" you are required to pour some out - pets and family members are excluded from this stipulation).  If you tear up during one of the memorial tattoo descriptions, CHUG your drink and then punch yourself in the junk.
  • Every time there is a meaningful, heartfelt "back story" behind a client's inspiration for their tattoo.
  • Every time a client mentions their congenital/accidental disability (drink twice if the tattoo "empowers" them)
  • Every time a client starts crying at their new, beautiful tattoo (CHUG for as long as they're crying DURING the tattooing process).
  • If someone pusses out on a tattoo, finish your drink and then hunt them for sport ("Functioning Alcoholic" level players only).
  • Every time a client walks in with a completely un-tattooable piece of reference art (drink double if the client or their friend drew it).


  • Pick three (3) rules total from any category.

  • Pick six (6) rules total from any two categories

  • (Well, now... someone wore their big-boy pants today!)

  • All rules from page one apply, plus...
  • If you know the client personally, double all drinking requirements.
  • Every time a large-scale tattoo (full sleeve, backpiece, etc) is completed in one episode - take one drink every session it presumably took to complete.

  • All previous rules apply, plus stock your bar for the following:
  • Make your alcohol-choices directly related to the tattoo happening on-screen.  Sake or Asahi for Japanese work, Miller Lite for tribal work, Irish whiskey for "memorial" tattoos, tequila for fine-line black-and-grey work, wine coolers for tramp stamps (amaretto sours are also acceptable - but one is required to scream "WOOOO!" or chant "Gym, Tan, Laundry!")

And may God have mercy on your soul... and your liver.

(Thanks again to Nathan at KnuckleTattoos for his help - if you have any recommendations for additional rules, tweet them with the hashtag #nyinkdrinkinggame)

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