Emo Dad is an image macro series centered around various profile pictures posted by MySpace user CrisXcruX, who appears to be a middle-aged man dressed in a "scene" or "emo rock" fashion that is usually associated with teenagers and youth music scenes. The biographical description on his MySpace profile features a poem summing up the character:
Alone it is I face the tide
the swelling waves that drown my pride
For solace is my quiet friend
illuminating thoughts within
which then cast shadows from my doubts
of what my life should be
Too quick to take the lonely path
to climb aboard my broken raft
and cast myself upon life's sea
and think of no one else but me?
A tortured soul in me resides
Alone it is…I'll face the tide
CrisXcruX's MySpace page was created sometime in 2009, with his earliest uploads of profile pictures dating to August 11th, 2009. The original profile image depicted a gloomy middle-aged man taking an iPhone picture of himself in front of a mirror at an angle, which was eventually turned into the default template for "Emo Dad" image macros. As of September 2012, the identity of CrisXcruX remains unknown.
CrisXcruX's MySpace profile images soon became adopted by other internet users as their avatar pictures. Beginning in September 2009, they were picked up by internet humor blogs like FunnyJunk, BuzzFeed, Reddit and I Am Bored among others. The images also sparked a debate on a number of internet humor forums like Sherdog and eBaumsworld over the identity of CrisXcruX, with some speculating a midlife crisis as his motive and others advocating his youthful style of fashion.