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John Cena reveals the hilarious backstory to his iconic catchphrase 'You can't see me'

John Cena's iconic catchphrase 'You Can't See Me' has become a part of mainstream sports culture but it had a rather hilarious origin.

John Cena reveals the hilarious backstory to his iconic catchphrase 'You can't see me'
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 23: John Cena stops by the newest Tapout Fitness location in Herald Square to talk fitness and share his favorite looks from the Tapout fitness apparel collection available at JCPenney on January 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by

John Cena, the legendary WWE wrestler, is famous for his hand gesture and verbal taunt, “You Can’t See Me.” The catchphrase has become a part of mainstream sports culture, but few people knew about its origins until Cena revealed the story in an interview. It turns out that the catchphrase was born out of a goofy dance that Cena’s little brother did during a music session for Cena’s upcoming album. Cena modified the dance and tried to get it aired on TV, and the rest is history. According to WWE, The “You Can’t See Me” catchphrase has worked for Cena on several levels. The WWE Universe has enthusiastically adopted it as a certified Cenation rallying cry, and when he raises his open hand towards the roof of the arena, fans ready their voices to join him in shouting it out loud for all to hear. The phrase has also become a celebration for a home run, touchdown, and countless other athletic endeavors.

Image Source: GettyImages/	Ronald Martinez
Image Source: GettyImages/ Ronald Martinez


However, the catchphrase has also become a double-edged sword for Cena. When things are not going his way, his rivals use it against him. Cena finds it unpleasant to see a significant aspect of his identity portrayed negatively. Meanwhile, his opponents take delight in it and sometimes interpret his catchphrase "You Can't See Me" a bit too literally, resulting in them making the obvious joke that a man of his size wearing a brightly-colored t-shirt can be seen by anyone.

Image Source: GettyImages/Ronald Martinez
Image Source: GettyImages/Ronald Martinez


Cena has explained that the catchphrase has a dual meaning. On one level, it works from a camouflage, invisibility aspect. But on another level, “You Can’t See Me” is telling someone they are not where he is at competitively. Cena is on another level, and his opponents cannot see him coming. It is a reminder to his opponents that he is a formidable competitor and that they are not on his level. The catchphrase has become an iconic part of Cena’s identity. His fans, known as the Cenation, pay little heed to snarky comments from his rivals. Most WWE fans understand the dual meaning of the catchphrase, and they appreciate Cena’s ability to turn a goofy dance into a powerful taunt. Cena has stated that he hates the word “catchphrase” and that it is just an ugly marketing term. But even though Cena hates the term, there is no denying that “You Can’t See Me” has become an enduring part of pop culture.



The catchphrase has even transcended sports and entered into other areas of popular culture. LeBron James, the NBA’s most high-profile star, has been seen mimicking John Cena after draining a key bucket. The catchphrase has also been used in movies, TV shows, and other forms of entertainment. Regardless of who uses it in the future, the white WWE canvas will always be its home, with The Champ looming over another unfortunate opponent on their path to triumph.

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