we're just normal men

Right, why are people saying ‘we’re just normal men, we’re just innocent men’ on Twitter?

What do you mean normal men?

Sometimes, the strangest combinations of words and phrases will randomly go viral on Twitter, and loads of people are left wondering whether they’ve missed out on some big, international inside joke. I won’t lie, I genuinely believed “Skeleton Brunch” was a hidden gem TikTok trend until I realised people really did just put words together and decided to run with it.

Over the last few days, it feels like everyone’s been tweeting the words “we’re just normal men, we’re just innocent men” for no reason whatsoever. People have edited the soundbite over clips of Boris Johnson, Mark Zuckerberg and some random football men I won’t pretend to have any knowledge of. But WHY?

For once, the phrase does actually have a backstory… sort of. Here’s why you’ve been seeing it all over Twitter:

It comes from a (now iconic) CBBC blooper

@lauren.layfield I have NO idea why this went so viral this week but I’m glad it did. An oldie but a goodie for the @cbbc fans🖤 @Phil Fletcher @Hacker T Dog #innocentmen #normalmen #hackertdog #snorting #cbbc ♬ original sound – Lauren Layfield

Former CBBC presenter Lauren Layfield (who you might recognise from Capital) stands face-to-face with the legendary Hacker T. Dog. While it looks like they’re about to introduce the next show, or act out some sort of skit, Hacker throws a weird curveball and the pair end up belly-laughing until the scene is cut.

The puppet gazes into the presenter’s eyes and says: “We’re just normal men.”

Lauren responds: “What do you mean, normal men?”

Hacker replies: “We’re just innocent men.”

The blooper is made all the better by the cringey lift music which plays afterwards. Perfection.

Erm… so, what’s the context?

Oh no, let’s not go as far as to assume this has any meaning. There’s a tall tale making the rounds on Twitter at the moment which claims Hacker’s voice actor, Phil Fletcher, said it on a night out.

“Phil and some friends were on a night out in Leeds,” a Redditor wrote. “(They were) approached by the police and accused of some drunken vandalism (wasn’t them). One of the guys was panicking under questioning from a pissed off bobby, and this was part of the exchange between them: ‘We’re just normal men.’ ‘What do you mean normal men?’ ‘We’re just innocent men.’

“He thought this was hilarious at the time, and later told Lauren (and many others) as a funny anecdote. She cracked up about it, so he threw it into the show as he knew it would get her to crack again.”

we're just normal men

Sadly, Phil himself confirmed via TikTok this wasn’t true. “I read that,” he said to a commenter. “It’s made up.”

Oh, well. Let’s be thankful for what we’ve got: A 10/10 meme from a CBBC clip, no less.

Some of the best ‘we’re just normal men’ memes

1. The original

2. Ruining relationships for weeks to come

3. BBC Three adaptation coming soon

4. Deleted scene from PMQs

5. BBC Three adaptation’s first casting!!

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Featured image via BBC.