Stand Out With The Unique Trash Polka Tattoos: 50+ Designs

Trash Polka Tattoos
Photos of 50+ unusual trash polka tattoo ideas in high quality only. Bonus for you: secret meanings for all tattoo designs.

The trash polka tattoo is a tattoo style that originated in Germany in 1988. Some people find images of tattoos in this style harsh and unpleasant, but others consider them to be unconventional and interesting. In any case, the trash polka tattoo leaves no one indifferent.

This tattoo style was created by the married couple Volko Merschky and Simone Pfaff. The name “trash polka” takes German and even gypsy folklore as its basis. Tattoo designs of this trend resemble a collage of inscriptions, symbols, strokes, lines, and spots. 

The classic motifs of the trash polka tattoo are:

⭐️ Skulls and bones;
⭐️ Birds (especially ravens);
⭐️ Animals;
⭐️ Clocks;
⭐️ Portraits.

Trash Polka Tattoo Distinguishing Features

Trash polka tattoos look very unusual, so this young style of tattoo is very recognizable. However, it is still better to get acquainted with their main distinguishing features to be sure of the tattoo style:

  • The predominant use of black and red colors in the tattoo design.

Red is associated with blood and harshness. This color is most commonly used for stains, undertones, strokes, and flecks.

  • Predominantly large tattoo size.

Trash polka tattoo designs are most often depicted in larger sizes to make all their elements clearer and more eye-catching. It is also believed that in this case, tattoos look more brutal, thus more preferable among men.

  • The use of symbols that are associated with cruelty, death, and brute force.

The most popular trash polka tattoo motifs are lion, skull, raven, and clock. These symbols mean power, death, balance, and the transience of life.

  • Inscriptions are most often used with a newspaper font. 

This can look like individual letters cut from newspaper excerpts or a whole phrase with a newspaper font. This carries a special imprint of time in tattoo design, giving a mesmerizing effect.

50+ Trash Polka Tattoo Ideas

Tattoo in the style of trash polka unequivocally causes interest from others, you want to consider it in detail and guess its secrets. Standard tattoo symbols with strokes, abstract figures, and lines definitely will not leave anyone indifferent.

Also, many trash polka tattoo designs are large, as this is required by the classic understanding of this style. If you are ready for increased attention among others, then welcome to our selection of 50+ tattoo ideas and their hidden meanings.

How to find more unique ideas? Just use our new gallery, where we have collected top designs by InkMatch tattoo artists, and check out the best trash polka tattoos among them.

With Skeleton

Images of skeletons have always inspired a special fear, as they are associated with death. But what does it mean?

πŸ’€ Protection;
πŸ’€ Immortality;
πŸ’€ Knowledge;
πŸ’€ Mystery;
πŸ’€ Fearlessness;
πŸ’€ The ability to keep a secret.

A person wishing to have a skeleton trash polka tattoo usually, on the contrary, wants to laugh at death, to show that he is not afraid of it. It can also mean that he has his “skeletons in the closet”, that is, secrets that he hides from outsiders.

With Owls

The owl has become a symbol of a dark, nocturnal, sinister force for many peoples. Because of her nocturnal and predatory way of life, as well as her fearful night image, she was associated with the afterlife, black magic, sorrow, and even death.

So what does the trash polka owl tattoo mean today? Its main interpretations are as follows:

πŸ¦‰ A higher mind;
πŸ¦‰ Fear;
πŸ¦‰ Wisdom;
πŸ¦‰ Loneliness;
πŸ¦‰ Lust for the nightlife;
πŸ¦‰ Mystique;
πŸ¦‰ Craving for the otherworldly.

With Raven

For the first time, the raven image is found in the culture of the ancient Celts, but to this day it has not lost its relevance and popularity. It is also one of the classic symbols present in trash polka tattoo designs since the inception of this style.

The meaning of the raven tattoo is diverse and has both positive and negative meanings:

🐦 Wisdom;
🐦 Longevity;
🐦 Loneliness;
🐦 The pain of loss;
🐦 Evil otherworldly forces;
🐦 Death;
🐦 Militancy;
🐦 Masculinity.

With Roses

A tattoo with a rose is one of the most common tattoo designs in the floral style. Choosing this symbol for a trash polka style tattoo you can choose any of its interpretations and sizes.

A tattoo with a rose is popular among both women and men. And the meaning of this trash polka tattoo design is quite multifaceted:

🌹 Love;
🌹 Beauty;
🌹 Holiness;
🌹 Mercy;
🌹 Purity;
🌹 Rebirth;
🌹 Youth.

With Clocks

The clock is quite a philosophical tattoo, before you choose it, you should read its meaning in detail. Very often the tattoo with the image of a clock is applied in memory of a certain date, which is important to the owner of the tattoo.

However, in addition to this, the trash polka tattoo with a clock has conflicting interpretations:

πŸ•“ Development;
πŸ•“ Life;
πŸ•“ Eternity;
πŸ•“ The changeability of the world;
πŸ•“ Time;
πŸ•“ Inevitability;
πŸ•“ Death;
πŸ•“ The transience of life.

With Women and Female Elements

Tattoo trash polka with an image of female portraits is particularly popular among men, although it occurs among women as well. Most often such designs depict individual parts of a woman’s face or a part of it.

The eye tattoo is interpreted as:

πŸ‘€ Control;
πŸ‘€ Wisdom;
πŸ‘€ Truth;
πŸ‘€ Knowledge;
πŸ‘€ Hypersensitivity;
πŸ‘€ Focus on purpose.

The lip tattoo came out in trends recently and is very popular in the trash polka style. Its meanings are as follows:

πŸ‘„ Romanticism;
πŸ‘„ Passion;
πŸ‘„ Daring Character;
πŸ‘„ Search for love;
πŸ‘„ Living a life of pleasure without limits;
πŸ‘„ Wealth;
πŸ‘„ Pursuit of luxury.

Japanese Traditional Inspired

The Japanese-themed tattoo has not lost its popularity for many decades. It is also reflected in the trash polka style. 

The most frequent idea of Japanese trash polka tattoos is the samurai. So below we will list to you the meaning of such a drawing:

πŸ‘˜ Loyalty; 
πŸ‘˜ Devotion to his loved ones; 
πŸ‘˜ Veneration of tradition; 
πŸ‘˜ Accuracy of one’s stance in life; 
πŸ‘˜ Physical perfection; 
πŸ‘˜ Strength of mind;
πŸ‘˜ Courage;
πŸ‘˜ Fortitude.


The nautical theme trash polka tattoo looks very unusual and unconventional. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you can safely choose this design.

Because of their themes, such tattoo ideas are more common among men. They emphasize their brutality and masculinity.

Compass as a trash polka tattoo element means:

🧭 Willful character;
🧭 Travel;
🧭 Freedom;
🧭 Loyalty;
🧭 Adventure;
🧭 Life Guidance;
🧭 Balance.

An anchor tattoo has the following interpretations:

βš“οΈ Protection talisman;
βš“οΈ Anchor;
βš“οΈ Hope;
βš“οΈ Faith in the salvation of the soul;
βš“οΈ Stability;
βš“οΈ Serenity;
βš“οΈ Sustainability.

A trash polka tattoo with a helm has such meanings:

☸ Confidence in one’s abilities;
☸ Power;
☸ Dominance;
☸ Freedom;
☸ Love of travel;
☸ Desire to find meaning in life.

A tattoo with a lighthouse means:

πŸ’‘ Help;
πŸ’‘ Kindness;
πŸ’‘ Desire to find a way;
πŸ’‘ Faith;
πŸ’‘ Hope for the best;
πŸ’‘ Enlightenment.

With Trees

A trash polka tattoo with trees looks great on any part of the body because the unevenness of the human body creates the effect of volume and makes the image more clear and bright.

A trash polka tattoo with a tree has many different meanings. To make it easier for you to choose, we will list the most important ones below:

🌳 Immortality;
🌳 Creation; 
🌳 Resurrection;
🌳 Truth;
🌳 Wisdom; 
🌳 Goodness;
🌳 Wealth; 
🌳 Fertility.

With Warriors

A trash polka warrior tattoo is very brutal and great for a strong minded-person. Such a tattoo directly demonstrates the militant attitude of its owner, the readiness to defend his interests, ideals, and family.

The warrior tattoo is interpreted as follows:

βš”οΈ Physical strength;
βš”οΈ Bravery;
βš”οΈ Moral power;
βš”οΈ Selflessness;
βš”οΈ Quick reaction;
βš”οΈ Defense;
βš”οΈ Stress resistance;
βš”οΈ Ability to plan your own and others’ actions.

Geometric Designs

Geometric trash polka tattoo designs are most often made on the arm in the form of a sleeve. It looks very futuristic and attracts the attention of others.

Geometric designs trash polka tattoos have the following meanings:

◼️ Harmony;
◼️ Serenity;
◼️ Justice;
◼️ Power of mind.

With Lions

Everyone knows the lion as the king of animals and because of his greatness this animal has been respected and even feared by many peoples since ancient times. Only people with lion qualities in their character are recommended to get such a tattoo.

The trash polka lion tattoo has contradictory meanings:

🦁 Royalty;
🦁 Ferocity;
🦁 Respect;
🦁 Nobility;
🦁 Aggression;
🦁 Wisdom;
🦁 Courage;
🦁 Justice.

With Heart

Unlike other styles, in trash polka, it is customary to depict the heart in the form of a human organ rather than our usual symbol ?.

A trash polka heart tattoo has the following meanings:

❀️ Love;
❀️ Friendship;
❀️ Courage;
❀️ Devotion;
❀️ A symbol of vitality.

The Best Places to Take a Trash Polka Tattoo

The most popular body parts to get the best trash polka tattoo are:

✈️ Arm;
✈️ Leg;
✈️ Chest.

This is because this style of tattoo involves, in most cases, large designs. They are most often done on the chest. More elongated designs are usually done on the arm or leg, so as not to stretch the sketch into an unnatural shape.

Based on the diagram above, we can describe the pain map for a trash polka tattoo as in the table below.

Body partLevel of pain (1 – 5)
For womenFor men

Pain level 1 – tolerable pain;
Pain level 5 – extremely painful.


The trash polka tattoo style appeared in Germany in 1988. It was based on motifs of German and Gypsy folklore. It is the reason why such tattoos have a characteristic feature in the form of red & black colors.

Compared to other styles of tattoo, trash polka is a young trend. It is still relevant today, so now you can find many different popular designs of such tattoos. In our article we have collected for you 50+ unique trash polka tattoo designs.

Such tattoos immediately attract attention due to their deep colors & contrast and have very interesting meanings. Therefore, to make it easier for you to choose, we have gathered in one article 50+ trash polka tattoo ideas, their distinctive features, and places on the body where it is best to get such a drawing.

✨ Be unique! Stand out from the crowd!


πŸ† What Are the Most Popular Trash Polka Tattoo Ideas?

The most popular trash polka tattoo ideas are skeletons, owls, ravens, roses, clocks, women & female elements, Japanese traditional themes, marine-themed, trees, warriors, geometric designs, lions, and hearts.

πŸ“œ What Are Some Classic Trash Polka Tattoo Motifs?

Classic trash polka tattoo motifs are skulls & bones, birds (especially ravens), animals, clocks, and portraits.

πŸ“Œ What Are the Distinctive Features of the Trash Polka Tattoo?

Distinctive features of trash polka tattoos are red & black colors, large size, the use of symbols that are associated with cruelty, death & brute force, and inscriptions with newspaper fonts.


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