walk on ricki and the flash tattoo

TMS Tattoo Project: Why I’m Getting a Ricki and the Flash Quote

As we thought about getting tattoos that were nerdy and represented us, only one thing came to my mind.

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When I found out that my grandma had an aggressive form of brain cancer, my life went from being kind of perfect to suddenly being faced with the reality that, if we were lucky, we’d get one more year with my grandma. Obviously, my emotions were all over the place, so when a friend of mine had a rough day and needed a pick-me-up, she said she wanted to watch a Sebastian Stan movie. Unfortunately, we had both already seen the majority of his career.

If she hadn’t seen The Bronze, I had. If I hadn’t seen Spread, she had. So the only film that neither of us had seen came in the form of Ricki and the Flash—a movie that, surprisingly, was not on my radar. I didn’t care about it enough to actively see it without a MoviePass-like platform, which didn’t exist yet when it was in theaters, so I just never saw it.

While most people didn’t like it (63% critic score, 43% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes), there was something so uplifting about the story that really struck me. It was something I could turn to when I was sad. So when 2018 started and I knew that my time with my grandmother was limited, I decided that I’d watch this wild movie once a month to make me feel better.

Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away in March, but that didn’t stop my love of the movie, and each month, I continued to watch it. To show my love of her, the film, and this entire experience, in a way, I decided to get a Ricki and the Flash tattoo, from a scene in the movie when Julie (Mamie Gummer) gets nervous.

Throughout the movie, she struggles with being left by her ex-husband and her own mental health. Her mother (Meryl Streep), who left them as children, comes back into her life when her father (Kevin Kline) invites her to Indianapolis to help her overcome her divorce. When she first gets there, Ricki and Julie are in the car as a song saying “walk on” plays.

So, when Julie is trying to make it down the aisle as a bridesmaid at her brother’s wedding, she starts to panic, and when she goes to leave, her mother is there, telling her to “walk on.” It was easy making the choice of what tattoo to get to represent the movie, but I wanted something a little bit more. Telling Tony, the amazing artist doing our tattoos, that I wanted to combine the quote with my love of space, he came up with this tattoo!


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can’t wait to get this beautiful tattoo! tomorrow i will be writing up why i chose this quote so make sure to check out the mary sue

A post shared by Rachel Leishman (@rachel_leishman) on

Make sure to check back here at the Mary Sue for our finished tattoos and our collaboration with West 4 tattoos!

(image: Princess Weekes)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.