PTSD Clarinet Boy
The meme in question utilizes just such a photo, of a young, prepubescent freckled boy in a band outfit gazing seriously out. The second photo of him is actually superimposed on his own head, and this one shows a contrast in expression for he is happily holding a clarinet.
Someone decided to create a story about the boy and his trusty clarinet, choosing to give the boy various characteristics of a Vietnam Veteran suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The juxtaposition of this sweet clarinet boy and a painful, horrifying traumatic past proved to be a winning formula in the meme world, and PTSD Clarinet Boy was born.
Many of the variations of this meme include hauntingly funny reminiscing about a tortured, war-filled past in the jungles of ‘Nam. The idea that an adorable little boy has such a tragic past became an appealing and humorous meme, and the meme took off.
Notable uses of this meme include: “I have seen things … No man should ever see”, and “You weren’t there man … You weren’t there”.