A man who got a 'Baby Yoda' meme tattoo explains what led him to that decision

Business Insider US
Side-by-side images of Marchese's new tattoo and the "Baby Yerrrda" meme.
  • Among the many "Baby Yoda" tattoos going viral online is one of a very specific iteration of the meme - the "Baby Yerrrda"," who is dressed in a New York Yankees cap, Timberlands, and a North Face jacket with Airpods.
  • 31-year-old Tony Marchese told Insider that he got the tattoo from his best friend of 15 years, tattoo artist John Doughty, who drew the design in a traditional style after seeing the meme.
  • "I'm from Long Island, everyone's like 'Oh, Long Island proud,'" Marchese said. "When this came up I was like, 'Oh, best of both worlds.' It's got my Star Wars and my New York."
  • Doughty told Insider he's been asked multiple times since to do more Baby Yoda meme tattoos, but he'd like to switch up the details if he does any more.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider's home page.

Baby Yoda isn't just the latest meme craze. The adorable character in "The Mandalorian" is also a trendy tattoo - and not just in his normal space garb.

31-year-old Tony Marchese decided to get the "Baby Yerrrda" meme tattooed on the back of his right forearm after his long-time best friend, tattoo artist John Doughty, drew up a design based on the viral meme by @newyorknico on Instagram. This Baby Yoda is wearing a New York Yankees cap, Timberlands, a North Face jacket, and Airpods. Doughty also added a Rebel Alliance chain to his iteration.

"I'm from Long Island, everyone's like 'Oh, Long Island proud,'" Marchese told Insider. "When this came up I was like, 'Oh, best of both worlds.' It's got my Star Wars and my New York."

Marchese's Baby Yoda tattoo line work, and how it looks as it heals.
Tony Marchese

Doughty and Marchese have been best friends for 15 years (Marchese was the recipient of Doughty's first ever tattoo), and have both been lifelong Star Wars fans. When Doughty saw the New York version of Baby Yoda, he decided to draw it in the traditional tattoo style, with heavier lines and more color saturation.

"I didn't think anybody would go crazy for it. I thought it was cool, my friend thought it was cool, so we did it," Doughty said. They shared it with the meme's creator, who reposted it, and the tattoo has since gotten hundreds of thousands of likes on Instagram on various pages. His friends love the Baby Yoda tattoo, although his fiancée "finds it funny but thinks it's stupid."

"She thinks it's ridiculous because she's not a Star Wars fan," he said. "Her little sister loves it, but they both think it's ridiculous because I'm not a Yankees fan."

Marchese hoped getting the tattoo and going viral would boost Doughty's business, and the artist says several more people have asked about getting it. Doughty also made a feminine design based on the Cardi B version of the Baby Yoda meme, and he says he'd potentially give another Baby Yoda tattoo with the details switched up, like adding a Knicks jersey or a Mets cap instead.

It's Marchese's first Star Wars tattoo, and definitely his first meme tattoo, but he has plenty of others. He even got a pegasus tattooed on his back on an episode of "Ink Master."

"I was over at my mom's the other day and I normally don't tell her when I get tattoos because she always freaks out," Marchese said. "And she was like 'I know about your tattoo. Let me see it. Oh, it's famous, I see it all over the internet.'"

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