HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Caleb Plott, 19, is a freshman at the University of Southern Mississippi originally from West Springfield, Virginia, roughly 20 minutes outside of Washington, D.C.
Going to school in Hattiesburg, Plott was not able to visit his family for Thanksgiving this year.
"It didn't make sense for me to travel for two days to only spend three days with them," Plott explained. "Too much money for too little time."
With their oldest brother absent, Joseph, 16, and Noah, 14, decided to play a little prank on the elder Plott.
They set up a candle next to a photograph of his senior portrait, creating a "memorial" for Plott. Noah uploaded the a picture of the scene to Instagram with the caption, "Our first Thanksgiving without him."
"I just started laughing because knowing him, he's a joker who would do something like this, but that he would actually post it to Instagram was crazy to me," Plott said regarding his reaction to seeing the Instagram post.
Plott posted the photo to his Twitter, and that's when he noticed a much larger reaction to the prank.
"All of Friday it just kept getting more and more popular," he said. "I loved it because I had friends from back home and other places I had lived texting me and sending me links to people's reactions to it. All my brothers were freaking out because they thought it'd get a few likes but not nearly as many as it did."
Plott does plan to return home for the Christmas holiday.