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“Be Strong For Mother” is an expression associated with various photographs in which a subject, usually a person, animal or otherwise anthropomorphic character, appears to be suffering from either physical pain or mental stress, in similar vein to the use of phrases like “Kill Me” and “This Isn’t Even My Final Form.”
The quote originally appeared in a multi-pane webcomic depicting “Weepinduo,” a hybrid Pokémon Fusion character made from Weepinbell and Doduo, created by Tumblr user ohcorny on May 19th, 2013 (shown below). As of October 19th, the original post has accumulated more than 120,000 notes on Tumblr.
In the comic, the two-headed creature is depicted as a pair of siblings learning to cope with their apparent physical deformity, with one asking the other “do you love me brother,” to which the latter determinedly responds “be strong Clarence, be strong for mother” in internal monologue. The nature of the webcomic dialogue has been compared to another vertical multi-pane image featuring two brothers from the 2011 BeyBlades eBay Auction, though it remains unclear whether the phrase “be strong, Clarence” was directly inspired by the instance (shown below).
In the following days, the Tumblr post quickly accumulated thousands of notes through the site’s massive Pokemon fanbase and continued to spread on numerous Internet humor sites, including 9GAG and We Know Memes among many others. On May 20th, the original webcomic reached the front page of Reddit following its submission to /r/pokemon by Redditor Smooshie. A few months later, on August 18th, Tumblr user mr-man-man uploaded a photograph of a replica model of Weepinduo. Captioned with the phrase “Be strong, Clarence. Be strong for mother,” the Tumblr post gained more than 39,8000 notes within first two months.
Though later seen again in several mockups made by different tumblr users in the “#Be Strong for Mother” tag on tumblr, it has to be noted how most of them were either direct reposts or translated versions of the comic with little to none differences aside from the lower quality and attention signal most of the reposters’ blog put as a caption in those posts. Several posts have been spotted dealing with similar events of either animate or inanimate objects captioned as sentient beings with a struggling feeling of the situation they would be trapped at, either at their own will, (therefore being captioned as “Be Strong for mother”, or “Be Strong, Clarence”) or against it. It has to be noted whatsoever that an amount of posts in an image macro fashion have been made by blogs whose owners are either friends or in a friendly behavior with the original artist, as an implied inside joke between them, much of an amusing reaction of the artist for the increasing fame of the post and it gaining its title of an image macro in its littlest aspect.
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