How Google Reflected the TV Shows We Loved in 2020

Last year was a great year for TV. Some cracking shows were released, and because we spent so much time indoors, our viewing of those shows shot up by an incredible 63% compared to 2019. The shows that caused the most buzz also managed to cause a huge increase in interest in a variety of previously flatlined games, fashion items, and people. Google has released some fascinating stats about what was searched, and those figures reveal just how much the shows that we watched and enjoyed affected the rest of our lives. Here are the areas where interest surged, all because of the TV shows that we binge-watched and consumed during a year that was quite unlike any other.

The Fashion Industry

Did you buy a bucket hat in 2020? Or a turtleneck? If so, you aren’t alone. Two shows caused dramatic shifts in fashion e-commerce: The Crown and Emily in Paris. The popularity of the TV show The Crown has certainly led to some controversy, but it also led more people than ever to start Googling very specific items of clothing. As season four of the hit show landed, the website Betway highlights that the following Google searches shot up:

  • Blue Suit: A 1000% increase in searches
  • Bow Collar: A 2,900% increase in searches
  • Turtleneck: A 7,000% increase in searches

It wasn’t just The Crown though. The hugely popular romantic comedy Emily in Paris, with its obvious attention to detail from the costuming department, also saw a release that coincided with some unique fashion trends, including:

  • Beret: A 41% increase in searches
  • Jelly Snapshot: A 92% increase in searches
  • Bucket Hat: A 342% increase in searches

Whether you loved Emily or think the royal family doesn’t deserve the attention, the data speaks for itself. People loved these shows, and their wardrobes in 2021 look very different as a result.


The surprise hit of 2020 was The Queen’s Gambit. Turning the game of chess into a lush, sensual, and almost decadent experience, the story of Beth Harmon, played exquisitely by Anya Taylor-Joy, was a massive success. It became the most popular show in the history of Netflix, with 62 million households streaming the mini-series in just 28 days. It also saw an incredible surge of interest in the classic board game, and the word chess was searched 88% times more than it was before the show was released. Other search terms rocketed too:

  • Chess moves: A 150% increase
  • Queen’s Gambit: A 250% increase
  • Sicilian defense: A 300% increase

And that’s not all. The book that the series is based on went from relatively unknown to a bestseller in mere weeks, and the website chess.com had a 500% increase in the number of people playing the game on their site. Even sales of chess sets went up, with some companies reporting a 1000% increase in sales.

From the clothes that we wear to the games that we play, pop culture affects us a lot more than we might like to admit.

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