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Getting a matching tattoo with a family member, friend, or partner isn’t uncommon, but in most cases, the two or more people involved will decide on a design together.

But one man on Reddit took a different approach when he decided to get a tattoo to match his best friend’s, as instead of talking to her and coming up with an inking they could both get and share meaning in, he just copied one of her existing tattoos instead.

The man, from the US, said he got a rabbit tattoo after showing the artist a picture of his friend’s ink for reference, and while he thought she would love it, it actually left her “mad”.

In his post, he explained: “My friend Jenna and I have been friends since we met freshman year in college about three years ago. We met during orientation when I offered to sit with her at lunch and we’ve been best friends ever since. It’s almost weird to go a day without us spending time together.

“About a week ago, I went on a bachelor trip with my crew in Las Vegas and we all decided to go to a tattoo parlour and get tattoos together. It was a pretty on-the-fly decision, and the next tattoo that I was planning on getting was pretty large, so I kinda blanked on what I should get.

“I ended up getting a rabbit tattoo and showed the artist a picture of my friend Jenna’s tattoo for reference. We’ve been friends for years so why not get matching tattoos. I was so excited to show her and surprise her so I didn’t even tell her that we were getting tattoos.

“Today, we had planned to get coffee together and hang out so I thought this would finally be the time to surprise her. I took her to her favourite coffee shop, bought us both coffee, and grabbed us a table before I showed her my tattoo.”

The man’s plan backfired when Jenna told him that she had the rabbit tattoo done in memory of her grandfather, and said the sentimental meaning behind the ink had been ruined now that he had copied it without her permission.

But he still doesn’t believe he’s in the wrong, as “lots of friends get matching tattoos”.

He added: “She was super surprised, but not in the way I expected her to be. She was actually mad about it. Apparently, that tattoo was representing her grandfather and was very meaningful to her. I explained that it reminded me of her so it was very meaningful to me too.

“She stormed out of the coffee shop and hasn’t texted or called me back at all today. Lots of friends get matching tattoos so I’m not really sure why she’s upset.”

Commenters on the post were firmly on the side of the man’s friend, with many of them insisting that he’d actually “stolen” the tattoo rather than getting a matching one, since the woman had no idea beforehand.

One person said: “You stole her tattoo. You didn’t get a matching one, you copied hers. This is the equivalent of photocopying someone’s essay and saying you worked on it together, of course she’s mad.

“I don’t even know how you could fix this because you permanently stole the art on her body and put it on yours, attempting to change the meaning of hers in the process.”

While another added: “You don’t get matching tattoos without discussing it with the other person involved. Why would you think that’s a good plan?”

And a third wrote: “Lots of friends get matching tattoos, as in something they agree on and do together. You and your friend did not get matching tattoos. You just took a picture of hers and went behind her back to get a copy of it.”