Throughout her time in the spotlight, Vanessa Hudgens has racked up her fair share of tattoos. The former High School Musical star may not be inked up from head to toe, but she still loves showing off the few that she has.

While some stay hidden unless the brunette beauty is sporting a bikini, other ink designs are more visible. From a few that act as heartfelt tributes, with one dedicated to one of her musical roles, the Disney Channel alum has some pretty meaningful messages permanently etched on her.

But what do all of her tattoo designs mean? Well, J-14 did a major investigation and broke down every single one of Vanessa’s tiny tats. In 2011, after debuting her first tattoo — a butterfly design — Vanessa chatted about its meaning during an interview on The Late Show with David Letterman at the time

“It was very last minute, but I’ve actually wanted it for years,” the HSM star explained. “A butterfly landed on my mom’s stomach a week before I was born and that’s how I got my name, because Vanessa means butterfly — it’s a Latin derivative.”

Vanessa added, “It’s my very first tattoo, and I kind of feel like a badass now!” As fans know, the actress has gotten a lot more ink designs since then!

In fact one tattoo from 2020 even came following her role in the musical movie Tick, Tick … Boom! The shoulder tattoo reads “Cages or Wings” and appears to be referencing the song “Louder Than Words” and acts as a tribute to playwright Jonathan Larson who wrote the musical. “Before RENT, there was tick, tick… BOOM! This is such a special project,” Vanessa shared alongside the movie’s trailer on Instagram in June 2021. “From everyone involved to the score to the story … just everything. Can’t wait for you guys to see it.”

Although she has stayed mum about her tattoo meanings over the years, in March 2020, Vanessa shared her reaction to seeing her angel design for the first time. “Lol this was the first time I saw it. I never peeked. Hilarious,” the songstress captioned her Instagram video at the time. In the short clip, Vanessa was in awe with the stunning design.

From what she’s said about them to what fans think they mean, scroll through our gallery for a complete breakdown of all of Vanessa’s tattoos and see pictures of them all!

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