In brief

  • Ted Lasso is the latest hit TV show to drop a reference to crypto
  • The reference involves a character who bought the currency in 2009

In the latest sign of crypto seeping into popular culture, the hit TV show "Ted Lasso" dropped a reference to Bitcoin in its Season 2 finale that came out Friday on Apple TV.

The line comes in a scene where the character Sam Obisanya is torn over whether to stay with his London-based soccer club or accept a billionaire's prestigious offer to join a team in Morocco.

Speaking by phone from Nigeria, his father counsels Sam to let the universe give him a sign, to which Sam responds by asking if the decision might be too important to leave up to the universe.

"The universe has always put me on the right path," his father exclaims. "The universe told me to marry your mother and to buy Bitcoin in 2009. 2009!"

In 2009, Bitcoin had just started trading and was worth less than a penny. When the "Ted Lasso" episode aired, Bitcoin's price was over $55,000, which makes Sam's father a true crypto O.G.—and a very wealthy man if he held onto it, which the show implies.

It's unclear what led the writers to drop the Bitcoin reference in the finale of the show, which is Apple TV's biggest hit to date, and which was the runaway winner at last month's Emmy Awards.

"Ted Lasso" is hardly the first hit show to drop a crypto reference. In the award-winning "Billions" on Showtime, the lead character Bobby Axelrod rewards his favorite employee with a USB stick containing $5 million "in crypto" while his own son gets into trouble for mining Bitcoin at his prep school.

Meanwhile, the sci-fi series "Mr. Robot" on USA Network included multiple Bitcoin references, while HBO's "Silicon Valley" had an episode titled "Initial Coin Offering," in which a bombastic tech executive announces a pivot to something called Pied Piper Coin. (In Season 5 of the show, Pied Piper pivots to working on a decentralized internet using collective computing power from people's smartphones.)

The very first popular TV reference to Bitcoin supposedly came all the way back in 2012 on the show "The Good Wife," while the second appears to have come a year later on "The Simpsons." The quiz show "Jeopardy!" has also repeatedly referred to Bitcoin, including for the first time in a 2013 episode.

The third season of "Ted Lasso" won't air until next summer, so we'll have to wait to find out if the Bitcoin reference was a one-off, or if the show's writers, who appear to know a thing or two about it, will invoke crypto again.