Well, the first time I saw one was probably in 1993, in the movie Hard Target. The villain's right-hand man carried a SS SE Police. But for some reason the first time seeing a Spyderco actually registered in my brain was in the movie Anaconda back in 1997. It was a Delica. Shortly after seeing that movie, I received an unsolicited knife catalog in the mail from a knife dealer based somewhere in WA state. That catalog was the first I ever hard of Spyderco, Benchmade, Kershaw, and even Case (as a kid, I never saw Case knives for sale in my area, only Schrade, Ka-Bar, Camillus, Buck, etc.). I recognized the Delica as the knife I'd seen in Anaconda, and at least found out it had a name. Later that same year ('97), I bought my first Spyderco, a PE AUS-8 Delica.
By 1997, I had already been carrying and using pocketknives for 20 years.