Laugh Now Cry Later Tattoos: 50+ Ideas, Meanings & Its History

Laugh now cry later tattoo (60)
What is the most popular laugh now cry later tattoo idea? Who came up with this tattoo design? Answers to all the questions in our article.

It seems that choosing one tattoo idea out of a million is the ultimate success, after which you can go straight to a tattoo artist. However, it’s not that simple. You can realize your idea in a huge variety of available designs.

There are more than 12 styles of tattooing in which you can implement your idea. Also, keep in mind additional elements like flowers, twigs, etc. 

Laugh now cry later tattoo is a popular classic design idea that you can execute in any style with many additional elements. Also, we noticed that a lot of people want to see different incarnations of this motif.

Therefore, in this article, we have gathered 50+ laugh-now cry-later tattoo ideas for men and women, explained the meaning, told the history of origin, and clarified the average cost of implementing different design sizes.

Let’s get started!

What Is the Laugh Now Cry Later Tattoo Meaning?

Laugh now cry later tattoo

The laugh now cry later symbol has a fairly simple interpretation. Masks symbolize the concepts of good and bad. Accordingly, in a broader sense, this tattoo design can mean black and white stripes in life. The small distance between the masks can be interpreted as a possible rapid transition from one state to another.

Also, some people choose the laugh now cry later design because they can express their emotions and experiences through it. For example, the abrupt change between good and bad can cause a person to feel confused, that everything has been turned upside down. The laugh now cry later symbol perfectly reflects this emotional state.

It is important to note that you can vary the interpretation of your tattoo by adding elements to it. We’ll tell you more about the meaning of each design as we list it below.

Laugh Now Cry Later Tattoo History

Laugh Now Cry Later Tattoo History

The laugh now cry later design was inspired by comedy and tragedy masks. They were used as a symbol of Ancient Greek theater. Their combination also formed a new symbol of another theatrical genre – tragicomedy.

There was also a belief that these masks were associated with Dionysus, the god of wine-making in Ancient Greece. Drinking wine, people quickly changed emotions of joy and sadness.

So if you want to make a tattoo that has a long and deep history, you can choose the laugh now cry later idea.

50+ Laugh Now Cry Later Designs

50+ Laugh Now Cry Later Designs

At first glance, the idea of a laugh now cry later tattoo is performed in approximately the same style. However, by searching a little you can find many variations of this tattoo.

So you don’t have to look long for a suitable design, we collected 50+ interesting ideas and divided them into 14 groups.

Let’s choose a laugh now cry later tattoo!

On the Hand

The classic laugh now cry later tattoo designs are the smiling and crying masks. It is in this design that this tattoo is applied to the hands. Of course, the debate about whether to get a tattoo on the hands does not cease to this day. However, laugh now cry later drawings on the hands have two irrefutable advantages.

  • Attracts attention. The hands are the most visible part of the body besides the face. Moreover, in countries with warm or temperate climates, this part of the body is exposed 90% of the time.
  • Creates a harmonious composition. In most cases, the idea of a laugh now cry later tattoo consists of two masks. You can put one mask on one hand and the other on the other hand. In this way you get 3 different tattoos at one time: a smiling mask, a crying mask, and both masks as a laugh now cry later pattern.


The Chicano style originated on the streets of Los Angeles and immediately began to stand out among other tattoo styles. Its distinctive features are the black and gray color, expressive images, hooliganism, and similarities to graffiti art.

This style of tattooing perfectly conveys the difference between the emotions on the masks of laugh now cry later tattoos.

On the Forearm

The forearm is one of the most popular places for tattooing. It is because it is one of the least painful place to make drawings. Therefore, you can get a laugh now cry later picture on your forearm in any size and detail.


Simple laugh now, cry later tattoo designs have a few differences from others. The size of such drawings is on average 4-5″. Also, such tattoos often have a simple outline without color filling. And at last, simple laugh now cry later designs can be complemented by small elements like stars, lines, and so on.


The half-sleeve laugh now cry later tattoo is most often done by men on the shoulder. Such a drawing allows you to emphasize the musculature relief. If you do not have a developed musculature or are complex because of the flaws, the tattoo will help you hide them.


The Joker is a character from DC Comics. He represents excitement and the constant change of mood. The latter fact is ideal for the embodiment of the character in the form of a laugh now cry later tattoo. 

The most popular Joker is Heath Ledger’s character from the movie The Dark Knight. The actor was awarded an Oscar for this role.

Also, in addition to the character of movies and comics, you can depict the joker used in playing cards.

On the Neck

Not everyone is ready to get a tattoo on the neck, since it’s one of the most painful places for tattooing. Because of this, the laugh now cry later on the neck tattoo will have additional importance and meaning for its bearer.

❗️ Important:
Before you do a tattoo on the neck, consult with the tattoo artist regarding cautions and contraindications.


Gangsta-style laugh now cry later tattoos can contain different subjects. They can be based on popular movies like The Godfather. You can also simply complete the tattoo with gangsta-style elements. For example, you can use fonts like in the example tattoo designs above.

On the Leg

Legs occupy 36% of the body surface, so you can get tattoos of any size and shape on them. In the case of the laugh now cry later idea, you can get an elongated drawing in which the mask is placed over another mask. 

Another idea might be to get a tattoo of a crying mask on one leg and a joyful mask on the other.


Traditional or American Traditional is a style that uses bold outlines, a limited color palette, and no volume. 

More often than not, you will find unusual laugh now cry later tattoo designs in this direction. Instead of the usual masks, you will see women’s, children’s, or men’s faces in different variations and subjects.

πŸ’‘ Note:
If you want a traditional laugh now cry later tattoo, you can turn to the best tattoo artists nearby who work in this style.

On the Chest

The chest is a very practical place for a tattoo. It is quite large and flat. Also in this place, it is not so painful to get a tattoo, because there are a lot of muscles between the skin and the bones.

It is worth noting that a laugh now cry later tattoo on the chest will more subtly emphasize your emotional state because behind the chest is the heart which represents your feelings and emotions.


Laugh now cry later tattoos in the lettering style will always be unique due to the conditions of this direction of tattooing. Before making a full composition, the tattoo artist will draw the letters by hand, taking into account the proportions of your body.

πŸ’‘ Note:

On the Thigh

The main thing to know about the laugh now cry later tattoo on the thigh is the choice of a particular place. The most suitable one will be the outer part of the thigh because it is the least painful to get tattoos.  On the back of the thigh you will experience considerable discomfort, and on the inside, you will feel hell.

With Roses

The rose is one of the most popular extras for tattoos. The same goes for the laugh now cry later idea. The rose is woven between two masks of emotion.

Below we will list the additional meanings that the rose tattoo has:

  • 🌹 Love;
  • 🌹 Passion;
  • 🌹 Sensuality;
  • 🌹 Hope.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Laugh Now Cry Later Tattoo?

To calculate the cost of the laugh now cry later tattoo, you need to know the size of the picture, style, and the experience of the tattoo master.

Below we list the approximate cost of a laugh now cry later tattoo in various styles from a tattoo artist with 5 years of experience.

Laugh now cry later tattoo

Tattoo size/Tattoo styleAmerican traditionalFinelineRealism
Small (<5 cm/2”)$230$170$430
Medium (up to 10 cm/4”)$1245$620$3245
Large (>30cm/12″)$1800$870$4800

πŸ’‘ Note:
If you want to calculate the approximate cost of a laugh now cry later tattoo, you can use the calculator.


The progenitor of the laugh now cry later idea is the sign of the dramatic theater of Ancient Greece. Its main meaning was the display of good and bad emotions, which are the symbol of comedy and tragedy. 

The laugh now, cry later design is very popular because this idea allows people to record their emotional experiences. However, it is very difficult to choose one design among thousands of different ones.

Therefore, in this article, we have collected 50+ laugh now cry later tattoo ideas, explained the meaning and history of the design, and indicated the approximate cost of the tattoo.


🎭 What Does the Happy-Sad Tattoo Mean?

A tattoo happy-sad face is a representation of the constant change of two emotions – joy and sadness.

😒 What Does a Crying Face Tattoo Mean?

The crying face usually represents the sadness and distress the person is experiencing.

πŸ€” Where Did the Smile Now Cry Later Come From?

Smile now cry later tattoo goes back to the days of Ancient Greece, where this symbol was a representation of comedy and tragedy.

❓ What Does a Mask Tattoo Mean?

A mask tattoo can mean hiding a person’s emotions. Also, several masks can convey different states of a person.


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