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What Happened To Abby's Eccentric Back Tattoo On NCIS?

"NCIS" has many memorable characters synonymous with the franchise, but one of its biggest fan favorites is the happy Goth forensic scientist Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette). Often found with a lab coat draped over her black clothes and sporting big boots and double ponytails, Abby flipped the script when it came to the image of a forensic scientist. This wasn't the usual image of a bespectacled scientist television usually presented to us on television.

As Perrette revealed in a 2007 TV Guide Interview, Abby's signature look was the idea of series creator Don Bellisario, who wanted to present an "alternative-style person" for the character who defied negative stereotypes. This meant Abby was supposed to sport a Gothic look with numerous tattoos but still come off as happy and prosperous. Perrette came tailor-made for the part thanks to her background in criminal science as well as the real-life tattoos she sports. However, despite her genuine ink, Perrette did feature some fake back tattoos on the show. And eagle-eyed viewers noticed that the fake designs weren't always present on her character's skin throughout the series.

Abby's fake spiderweb and cross tattoos went missing

Most of the ink fans see on Abby Sciuto are actually Pauley Perrette's real tattoos, except for two. She told Parade Magazine that "The spiderweb on my character's neck and the cross on her back belong to CBS." Perrette got the fake ink because producers of the series wanted visible tattoos for Abby no matter what the character was wearing. But that didn't mean both fake tattoos always appeared on the show.

The Daily Express noted that fans noticed a few episodes where Abby's spiderweb tattoo didn't appear. This was also echoed in fan Reddit forums as well. And although no one from the series ever gave an official reason why the spiderweb was missing in a few scenes, it's plausible that the makeup team may have just forgotten to place it on Perrette a few times or that it came off during filming. After all, the actress dreaded getting the neck tattoo and said that it was sticky and would occasionally come off, especially if Abby wore a choker.

As for the fake cross tattoo, fans saw it occasionally on Abby for the show's first six seasons. However, another tattoo appears on Abby's back in the Season 7 episode "Truth And Consequences." Here, Abby appears with a tattoo of a daisy on her back, and fans see it until Perrette's exit from "NCIS." This tattoo is actually Perrette's, as she had been seen revealing it during red carpet events. It's possible that the real ink could have just replaced the cross since the fake back tattoo doesn't appear in later "NCIS" seasons.