How many tattoos does Kristen Bell have? Funny Or Die prank video counted 'a lot'

Alexandra Ciufudean July 29, 2022
How many tattoos does Kristen Bell have? Funny Or Die prank video counted 'a lot'


Does it really take a make-up team 12 hours to cover up Kristen Bell’s tattoos before filming? How many tattoos does she even have?

An oldie-but-goldie video published by Funny Or Die in 2012 resurfaced this week to confuse a new generation of Kristen Bell fans.

According to the spoof, the actress is covered head-to-toe in ink and often spends upwards of 12 hours getting it all covered up with make-up before filming.

Is this true and have The Good Place fans been living a lie this whole time?

Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images

How many tattoos does Kristen Bell have?

According to a 2012 video created by comedy production company Funny Or Die, Kristen Bell has 214 professional tattoos and nine she made herself.

She admits this means “getting into character takes a little bit longer [for her] than most other actors”. A make-up artist who seems familiar with the actress’s ink says Bell usually arrives on set at 3:30 am and spends between 12 and 14 hours having her tattoos covered up.

“Let’s just say I’ve accrued a lot of ink over the years”.

Bell then gives viewers a brief tour of her many tattoos. There’s Steve Urkel from Family Matters and his alias, Stefan Urquell, facing each other on opposite shoulder blades, representing “the duality of man” and “one butterfly for each year the South African apartheid was enacted”. That adds up to 72 butterflies.

Bell admits to the interviewer that, while she doesn’t regret any of her 223 tattoos – not even the face ink representing her seventh grade braces – she does think her tribal wristband is a bit “outdated”.

Is the actress covered in tattoos in real life?

In case you hadn’t figured it out by now, no. The Funny Or Die video is a comedy sketch and was never meant to be taken seriously. It’s all a joke.

Screenshot via Funny Or Die official YouTube channel

So how many tattoos does Kristen Bell have then? None, it seems.

In an interview with Wired where the actress answered fans’ most-Googled questions, she said “I’ve always wanted a tattoo, but my husband doesn’t like, uh, girls with tattoos.”

However, she hasn’t completely ruled out getting tatted and admitted in a 2020 episode of The Motherly Podcast that she’d like to get a back tattoo that reads “there’s no such thing as other people’s children.”

“I realized I’ve had maternal instincts my entire life, and I never labeled them as that, but I will,” she said. 

“I mean, at one point I’m going to get a little back tattoo that says ‘there’s no such thing as other people’s children’ because there’s just not, I mean, I believe it to my core because everyone you pass on the street was celebrated when they were born.”

Kristen Bell’s husband has a tattoo in honour of her last name

We mean an actual bell. At the 2014 premiere of his film, This Is Where I Leave You, Kristen Bell’s husband Dax Shepherd debuted a small tattoo of a bell on his left ring finger made to honour his then-pregnant wife.

At the time, the couple had been married for almost one year and the actress was expecting their first child. They now have two kids together – Lincoln, who is eight and Delta, six.

Although Kristen Bell doesn’t have any tattoos of her own, she and Shepherd have been known to don some DIY ink from time to time.

At the 2016 premiere of Game Of Thrones’ sixth season, the two actors showed off matching tank tops printed with the message “Stark in the streets, wilding in the sheets” and temporary chest tattoos that read Ours Is The Fury and Winter Is Coming, respectively.

Kristen Bell was thoroughly confused by the viral tattoo video

Although the Funny Or Die video of Kristen Bell covered in tattoos is a joke, and definitely not real, not all her fans know this.

For those more familiar with Bell as loveable Arizona dirtbag Eleanor Shellstrop than 2000s teen detective Veronica Mars, the video is extremely confusing. Many Twitter users seem to take it at face value, tweeting questions at the actress like “do you really have 216 tattoos?”.

  1. No and 2. that’s not how many tattoos Kristen Bell says she has in the now-viral video – but it’s close.

Hook, line and sinker.

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Alexandra is Head of Entertainment at The Focus, managing a growing team of outstanding graduate and experienced writers. She has worked previously as an editor, writer and content specialist across web, video and social platforms and has a bachelor's in English Linguistics and a master's in Comparative Literature.