Signifies the person was raped in prison. The tattoo represents the tears they couldn't cry while being inside.
See that guy with the teardrop tattoo, he was raped in prison.
Made famous by Johnny Depp's character in the movie Crybaby. It is a tattoo of a teardrop below one's eye on either side. Originally placed in prison to signify that the bearer was owned by a fellow prisoner. In prison terms "there bitch." The tear drop signifies that pain and humiliation one would feel after being "turned out" in prison. The tattoo is placed on the face to further humiliate the victim and mark them in a place where they could not cover the mark.
Confusion about it's meaning has come from the victim's having to explain the tattoo when they get out of prison and have to explain it to family and loved one's. They would often state that they got the tattoo because they killed a man in prison. This statement was not far from the truth since their submissive act of becoming another man's "bitch" could easily be viewed as the death of their manhood.
Problems arose when men on the outside began to get the tattoos and brag that it signified their killing someone or lost a loved one. Unwittingly they had marked themselves as a target for predators if they ever went to prison.
"Did you hear, Marcus put a teardrop tattoo on his new bitch. I wonder how long before he starts trading him for cigarettes."