A picture can tell a thousand words, but with these five highly tattooed characters in TV and film you’ll get half of a dictionary. Beyond showing the world that you’re bored being one tone of color, ink lets you show off your loves, your hates and sometimes your desire to be a lizard person. Come for the stories and leave with ideas to cover up your barbed wire tribal tattoo.

Michael Scofield. Some people come with a long pre-planned idea for their tattoos, others make snap decisions. With the Michael Scofield character in “Prison Break," all the ink came with a purpose and a big picture plan. Tattooed heavily, Scofield uses tattoos to assess tools, to store information on assets and allies and to hide everything in plain, bare skin sight. A genius of an idea for the prisoner to bring everything he needs with him on his skin that he needs to save his brother from execution and to carry out one heck of an escape plan. One of the most tattooed characters on television, Scofield was a great character that was further enhanced by his ink.

Max Cady. “Cape Fear” gives audiences the heavily tattooed Max Cady, played by Rober De Niro, who wears his tattoos as badges of hurt and retribution. With the phrase “vengeance is mine” inked on him along with other biblical phrases, you get the immediate feeling that Cady isn’t a turn the other cheek type of man. Then you get to see his back tattoos during the police search and find out that the only thing scarier than a tattoo of a clown, is a tattoo of a clown with a gun. Cady goes from the type of man you cross the street to avoid to the type you leave the state to get away from. Numerous tattoos can be beautiful, but if they have a theme check to make sure it’s not insanity or revenge before making friends.

Leonard Shelby. The permanence of a tattoo takes on a whole new meaning when your ability to hold on to short-term memories is shot to oblivion. “Memento” lets each tattoo unfold bits of the storyline slowly so the visual taste lingers in your brain and you desire more and more until the story ends. The self-awareness of his amnesia makes Guy Pearce’s performance all the more poignant and terrifying, as you come face to face with how tangible the loss of something intangible would be to your life.

Danny Parker. With flames, a large-scale death and a bullet hole tattoo, Danny Parker, played by Val Kilmer, goes hunting in “The Salton Sea." To understand the tattoos, or maybe you already have an inkling, you need to watch the film and let it fill in your guesses. Although the movie feels disjointed, it works with the subject of drug dealers and users and helps portray the fractures that run throughout Parker as well as the environment and people he deals with. Enjoy the body art and the story but stay cognizant of the threats that lurk in the characters that inhabit this film.

Mickey O’Neil. Few artwork pieces show a commitment to religious iconography like having "The Last Supper" tattooed on your back, and that’s what Mickey O’Neil, played by Brad Pitt in the film“Snatch,” is sporting. A bulldog inked on his elbow perhaps shows his tenacity in the ring or that he just isn’t a cat person, while the Madonna tattoo reiterates his spiritual beliefs. Other tattoos are evident in the ring and up to you to decode for yourself as well as perhaps support your ideas that flowers aren’t just for women anymore. O’Neil’s one seriously tattooed guy who isn’t afraid to hit you with heavy accent or a heavy fist.