How the 'normal men, innocent men' meme became the biggest of 2022

How the 'normal men, innocent men' meme became the biggest of 2022
A CBBC dog saying 'normal men, innocent men' has become the internet's ...

Sometimes, the internet can be a wonderful place.

Memes have been keeping us all sane over recent years, and one of the most popular ones of recent times came out of nowhere to be one of the most popular on social media.

As you might well have seen if you’ve been scrolling through Twitter and Instagram recently, a puppet dog from a CBBC kids show has been popping up an awful lot.

Hacker T Dog has become something of a viral sensation after a hilarious moment from way back in 2016 was picked up by users.

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But what exactly is it? Here’s everything you need to know about the meme.

What is the “innocent men” meme all about?

How has a 2016 clip become the most popular meme of the year?CBBC

CBBC's Hacker T Dog is a much-loved children’s TV figure who’s been around for years and is performed by puppeteer Phil Fletcher.

A clip from six years ago has gone viral over recent weeks after footage of the puppet making his co-host Lauren Layfield corpse live on air was picked up and shared by users.

The clip sees Layfield stooped close to the puppet, in the middle of the show. Then seemingly out of nowhere, the clip sees Hacker say – in incongruously earnest fashion – “we’re just normal men… innocent men”.

Layfield then bursts out laughing, as we probably all would in the same situation.

While the random nature of the quote adds to the beauty of the whole thing, Fletcher has spoken about the background behind it – or the complete lack thereof.

There have been all sorts of rumours circulating about the meme since it went viral. One outlandish theory claims that Fletcher was inspired to say the clip after having been arrested during a night out in Leeds, after saying the same words to a police officer.

But, it’s all nonsense. As it turns out, it was just an oddly inspired and totally unscripted moment.

“There’s no underlying story, it’s just nonsense,” he said.

Layfield is one of the people who have shared the meme online too, writing: “That snort is when my career peaked guys”.

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