For those of you who don't know, Charisma Carpenter has a tattoo. I don't know when she acquired it. For an interview in The Watcher's Guide (taken during the end of season two of Buffy) Charisma claimed to have no tattoos. But now she does. It was likely added some time between the two shows because I don't recall ever having seen it on Buffy.
Anyway, the tattoo (as pictured here) is of the sun, and it rests on her lower back. Since her character on Angel has taken to wearing tops which reveal an inch or so of her midriff, we have been given the opportunity to spot it onscreen more than once.
For no particular reason, I will list here any occurrences I spot of the famed tattoo. It may not be informative, but by Cordy it's certainly fun doing the research! Oh, and if you should happen to spot any of its appearances I miss, please write it down and send it to me at email@example.com!
Rm w/a Vu - when Cordelia turns to run into the back during the big fight at her apartment, the tattoo can clearly be seen as she flees.
Sense and Sensitivity - After she, Doyle and Angel break into the police station, her back turns to the camera and we see the sun clearly drawn on the exposed flesh.
Parting Gifts - After two episodes (I Will Remember You, and Hero) where the directors inexplicably went to great lengths to hide the tattoo (especially with little tassles hanging down Cordy's back over it), the little guy makes a few appearances here. Firstly, when Cordelia kisses Angel, the tattoo is visible in two shots from the same angle. Later, when making coffee for Barney it is very clearly visible. We see it in two or three shots there, and then a very short time later when she runs round the sofa away from Barney.
The Prodigal - Cordelia throws the keys to Angel, who is going to visit Mr Lochley for a second time. As she walks away, the upper half of our favorite tattoo is just visible in the gloom.
Sanctuary - Right after the main credits sequence, Cordelia walks away from the camera, and the old tattoo gets plenty of coverage from the camera.
Are You Now or Have You Ever Been - After Judy dies, as Wesley is saying no one's ever called him paranoid, there is an extended great shot of the tattoo. The best yet!
First Impressions - When Cordelia, thinking she's saving Gunn, hits Joey in the back of the head with an axe, a reverse shot shows a very brief glimpse of the tat.
The Thin Dead Line - It's been a while, but the tat is back! It can be seen very (very) briefly when Cordy is instructed to put pressure on Wesley's gunshot wound. Again, a brief appearance when opening the door, to get Wes out, and spotting the zombie cops arriving. The best shots are in the scene where Cordelia is helping to fight the attacking cops, saving Anne and shoving a couch against the broken window, and holding the door shut against the cops. Plenty of coverage!
Reprise - Cordy is leaving the office when Mrs. Sharpe calls - as she walks away, the top of the tattoo is just visible above the waistband of her pants.
Disharmony - Lots to see here. When Angel tries to make small talk with Cordy near the beginning, the top of the tattoo can be spotted. This recurs throughout the scene, at the beginning of her vision, and then when Harmony comes to the offices. There's a fantastic close-up, though, during the scene when Wes and Angel break into her place to 'rescue' her. She gets up (to get her coat) and we see the full tattoo really well. Later, when she and the team are covertly entering the theater where the cult meet, we see the tattoo a bit also.
Dead End - While Gunn is calling the hospitals, searching for the guy from Cordy's vision, the girl herself is cleaning with her back to the camera. The tattoo is easily visible, and continues to be throughout the scene, up to when Angel begins to talk to her about getting more info from the vision.
Through the Looking Glass - A little departure here - I'm reporting a notable non-appearance of the tattoo. Here, Tim Minear (writer and director) has Cor in a skimpy bikini-like outfit, which shows a great deal of her lower back, including the area where the tattoo is. But he's covered it up with make-up! Why? Many directors recently have featured it prominently on the screen. We know it's there. Why is Tim trying to pretend it isn't suddenly?
Heartthrob - While Angel is fighting James at the hotel, Cordy bends over to pick up a stake (which James will soon intercept on its way to Angel's hand). Her back is to the camera, and the tattoo is clearly (though briefly) visible.
Carpe Noctem - A few times in this one. When Cor comes back from interviewing the hookers, she goes to the elevator (where Fred is crying). During this walk, the top of the tattoo is visible. It also makes a (better) appearance when Cordy sits on Wes' desk, as the group determine that Angel was the victim of a body-swap. We can also see the tattoo later, after she zaps Marcus in Angel's body.
Billy - When Cordy and Angel are training at episode's end, the tattoo can be spotted.
Offspring - Angel smells the plastic flowers Cordy has sent, then she walks towards him, turning her back to the camera. Later on, after Fred walks in on Cordy training with Angel, Cordy leaves and reveals the tattoo a second time.
This is all I've seen for now. Don't worry though, I'm sure our shy friend will reveal itself on more occasions in the future. Just keep those watchful eyes out, huh?