The technology giant Google "prides itself on being a playful company" and has added Easter eggs and April Fools' Day jokes and hoaxes into many of its products and services, such as Google Search, YouTube, and Android since at least 2000.
Easter eggs are hidden features or messages, inside jokes, and cultural references inserted into media. They are often well hidden, so that users find it gratifying when they discover them, helping form bonds between Google and its users. The easter eggs are sometimes created by employees during their 20% time. Google avoids adding easter eggs to popular search pages, as they do not want to negatively impact usability.
A Google web search for:
- "a long time ago in a galaxy far far away" resulted in the same tilted, scrolling style that the introductions to the original Star Wars movies were presented in. This included the music, which was muted but could be heard by clicking on or selecting the muted speaker icon on the page. However, this no longer worked as of 28 June 2017.
" shows "Did you mean: nag a ram".
- "define anagram
" shows "Did you mean: nerd fame again"
- "anagram" and "define anagram" in other languages. For example, a Google ES search for "anagrama" shows Quizás quisiste decir: gama rana".
" causes and "tilt" cause the results page to be tilted, leaning down, left to right.
- "bletchley parkthe attraction being decoded in the Knowledge Graph.
" shows the name of
- "<blink>blink element in the results.
", "blink tag ", or "blink html " includes samples of the
- "Christmas", "Hanukkah", and "Kwanzaa" will show decorations next to the search bar for each respective holiday. The feature is only active during the month of December. Each year, new decorations are shown.
- "conway's game of lifethe game to the right of the search results. The process can also be stopped and altered by the user.
" on a desktop browser generates a running configuration of
- "do a barrel rollStar Fox-style barrel roll.
" or "z or r twice " causes the result page to do a
- "drag queen" or "drag king" causes a rainbow to display next to the search results.
- "festivusFestivus pole beside the search results.
" shows an image of the
- "gay prideLGBT related searches, at times of gay pride festival activity, cause the results page to have a rainbow themed header.
", "homosexuality ", "stonewall " and other
- "google in 1998
" on a desktop browser will generate a layout similar to the one Google used for its search engine in 1998.
- “is google down
” returns with "No".
- "kerningkerning" in the search results.
" will add spaces between the letters of the word "
" will remove some of the space between the letters of the word "keming" in the search results. "Keming" refers to improper kerning, particularly when not enough space is used between letters, which can cause mistakes like "kerning" to be read as "keming".
- "<marquee>marquee element to the results count.
", "marquee tag ", or "marquee html " will apply the
- "recursionrecursion" link back to the same page.
" includes a "Did you mean:
- "sonic the hedgehogknowledge graph with Sonic waiting. Clicking on Sonic will make him jump; if clicked on 25 times, Sonic will transform into Super Sonic.
" and "green hill zone " will give a
- "super mario brosSuper Mario Bros. that contains a flashing ? Block which generates a coin and 200 points when clicked. After 100 coins are collected, the "1UP" sound plays.
" shows a knowledge graph for
Google's webdriver torso logo
A Google web search for:
- "breathing exercise
" will have a 1-minute breathing exercise.
- "bubble levelmobile device will have an interactive spirit level.
" on a
- "flip a coin
" will flip a coin: heads or tails.
- "fun facts
" or "i'm feeling curious " will show a fun fact. Once a search result has been given, clicking on "Ask another question" will show another question. It will show a short fact in about 1-3 sentences and a link to the website where the fact was found within a featured box at the top of the search results.
- "metronomemetronome that can be adjusted from 40 to 218 BPM.
" will have a
- "Pac-Man", "Google Pacman " or "play Pacman " will show the interactive Google Doodle from 2010.
The initial configuration of Google's Pac-Man banner.
- "play dreideldreidel, landing on Nun, Gimel, He, or Shin.
" will spin a
- "random number generator" or "rng " will generate a random number between 1 and 10.
- "RGB to Hexcolor picker and a conversion between RGB and hexadecimal color values. Selecting "Show color values" will also show conversions to the CMYK, HSL and HSV color models.
" will have a
- "roll a diedie: between 1 and 6.
" will roll a
- "snakesnake video game" will result in a "Play Snake" card. By selecting Click to Play, the user can play the game on both desktop and mobile. Clicking the snake after the game ends will switch it between blue to rainbow; a new game can be played with the rainbow snake.
", "play snake ", "snake game " and "
" will have a playable game of solitaire. Users can select between two modes: easy and hard.
- "spinnerfidget spinner which can be toggled via the switch. For the spinning wheel, a dropdown menu can change the number of numbers on the wheel: from 2 to 20. Whereas, for the fidget spinner, users have to mimic a rotating motion in order for the spinner to spin.
" will have an interactive spinning wheel and a
- "tic tac toe Users can select to be either player 1 (x) or player 2 (o).
" will have a playable game of tic tac toe.
" and "timer " will provide interactive timing methods; the stopwatch counting up and the timer counting down. Both tools are shown for each search term. Variants such as "set a timer for 10 minutes " can be used.
- "what sound does a dog make
" will sound out what a dog will make. The word "dog" can be replaced with other animals in the search query.
Google birthday surprise spinner
Searching for "google birthday surprise spinnerGoogle Doodles, tools (see above) and games. Whichever is randomly selected may be opened, or the wheel may be spun again. It was added in celebration of Google's 19th birthday.
" will result in a wheel that spins to one of a selection of playable
Late 2011, Google added a graphical calculator to search results. By using natural language processing, Google's algorithms have calculated that the result might be mathematical in nature. Woven into this feature are several not entirely academic understandings, which might be considered Easter eggs.
A Google web search for:
- "baker's dozenbaker's dozen = 13"
" shows the additional result "1
- "once in a blue moononce in a blue moon = 1.16699016 × 10−8 hertz".
" will give the additional result of "
- "the answer to [the ultimate question of] life the universe and everything
" provides the answer "
42" as a result in reference to the Douglas Adams novel series, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". It is believed to be the first Google Easter egg, predating the calculator in which it's now revealed.
- "the number of horns on a unicorn" shows the number "
1" on the calculator.
- "what is the loneliest number
" shows the number = "
1" in the calculator.
Results may be calculated; for example: "the number of horns on a unicorn plus the answer to life the universe and everything
" will return "
- A Google image search for "atari breakout " starts a game of Breakout, using the gallery of image results as bricks. Once the bricks are destroyed, a random phrase is automatically searched, you will add the extra ball, and the game will restart.
Google Maps and Google Earth
- The world of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" may be explored with Google Street View. Visit New York City in 1926 as brought to life in the film, as well as the real locations today. Fans can visit MACUSA (Magical Congress of the USA); Steen National Bank, where Newt first meets Jacob Kowalski; the underground speakeasy The Blind Pig; and the magical apartment of Tina and Queenie Goldstein, two of the film’s key characters.
- Another 3D buildings easter egg involves the famous bridge jump scene from The Blues Brothers, which is recreated in Google Earth at the Tacony–Palmyra Bridge linking New Jersey and Philadelphia.
- The Mars Feature of Google Earth allows users to speak to a primitive ELIZA clone on the planet, by searching for "Meliza".
- On July 20, 2005, the 36th anniversary of the first human landing on the Moon, Google debuted a version of Google Maps that included a small segment of the surface of the Moon. It is based entirely on NASA images and includes only a very limited region. Panning causes the map to tile. Zooming to the closest level used to show that the Moon was made of cheese. The map also gives the locations of all Moon landings, and the Google Moon FAQ humorously mentions a connection to the Google Copernicus hoax, which Google claimed to be developing. Supposedly, by 2069, Google Local will support all lunar businesses and addresses.
- In Street View, on Earls Court Rd, London, United Kingdom, a TARDIS from the famous science fiction series Doctor Who is on display. Street View allows one to enter the TARDIS where it is "Bigger on the Inside" and explore the set actually used in the show.
- When navigating from Snowdon to Brecon Beacons, the user can choose to travel by dragon, which takes 21 minutes.
- When navigating from Urquhart Castle to Fort Augustus, the user can choose to travel by the Loch Ness Monster, which takes 25 minutes.
- When navigating from Magdalene College to President's Lodge Queens College, the user can choose to be punted, which takes 45 minutes.
- Searching for public transportation from Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace will offer the Royal Carriage option.
- Certain navigation within the greater London area showed the as-yet unopened Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) in royal purple (April Fool's Day, 2016).
- To promote the upcoming release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, users could explore Bruce Wayne's residence and the Batcave.
- For April Fools' Day 2015, when in certain areas in Google Maps, there was a Pac-Man button. When clicked (if one's in a suitable area for it to work), a Pac-Man game started, controlled by arrow keys, using the roads as paths for Pac-Man to go. A similar feature was brought back for April Fools' Day 2017, allowing users to play a version of Ms. Pac-Man upon clicking the icon on the Google Maps webpage or mobile app.
- In early test versions of Google Maps, searching for a route between locations separated by expanses of water (e.g. Paris and New York) provided road directions to the coast of the embarkation country (in this case, the west coast of France) before suggesting "Swim the Atlantic Ocean (3,500 miles)" or another ocean for a different distance.
- While Google Maps' walking directions were in beta, requesting them from the start point of "The Shire" or "Rivendell" to the destination of "Mordor", the directions returned the warning: "Use caution – One does not simply walk into Mordor."
- Searching for "R'lyeh" would take users to the coordinates of the sunken city. It was listed as a "Place of worship".
- Visiting "Salford Lads' Club" with 3D buildings activated will show Morrissey of The Smiths at the entrance. The club was featured in the cover art of the Smiths' album The Queen Is Dead.
- On Mario Day 2018, Google and Nintendo had partnered up to bring Mario into Google Maps mobile app worldwide for a week. A yellow icon with a question mark would show up at the bottom of the directions page, next to the start navigation button. Tapping on the icon would allow the user to have Mario and his kart as the navigation arrow. Tapping the icon 100 times would activate a 1-UP sound like in the Nintendo’s games.
- For April Fools’ Day 2018, when on the website or app, a picture of Waldo will appear on the left side of the screen. When clicked, a game of Where’s Waldo comes up. The objective of the game is to find Waldo and his friends. Users can earn a badge when played.
- If the user navigates to Loch Ness, the lake can be seen from a street view and the Pegman looks like the Loch Ness Monster.
- He is given special clothing for some widely observed special occasions: for Halloween he rides a broomstick; for Valentine's Day he stands upon a heart; and during Christmas week, he becomes a snowman and on certain hashtags like the #prideforeveryone hashtag he gets a certain object like a rainbow cape.
- Around February 8, the launch day of Google Maps, he appears dressed as a birthday cake.
- When viewing past street views, he turns into Emmett Brown, one of the protagonists from Back to the Future.
- When dragged into Legoland in Carlsbad, the Pegman turns into a LEGO Minifigure.
- When dragged into Street View in Sun Valley, Idaho, he becomes a skier.
- On Election Day the Pegman is wearing a Uncle Sam's hat and an "I voted" button
- When dragged onto the vicinity of the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Pegman becomes a tennis player holding a racket.
- Dragged near the Kennedy Space Center, Pegman becomes an astronaut.
- When dragging Pegman around Groom Lake in Nevada or Area 51, he will turn into a UFO.
- When viewing some royal residences, such as Buckingham Palace (and the surrounding palaces), The Palace of Holyroodhouse and Hillsborough Castle, the Pegman turns into a representation of Queen Elizabeth II, "PegMa'am".
- When dragged onto Hawaii or Florida, the Pegman becomes a mermaid, but only when close to the ocean. The figure reverts if dragged too far inland. Pegman also turns into a mermaid when dragged to the vicinity of the Galápagos Islands.
- Dragging the Google Street View Pegman onto Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, CA used to display him with a tie-dyed shirt.
- There is a place on the southern point of Half Moon Island, Antarctica that has blue roads. When the Pegman was dragged on this spot, the Pegman turned into a penguin and users could explore the area as if on roads. Penguins and a research team in red parkas can be seen at various points on these roads.
- For the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Pegman on Google Maps was a stormtrooper or an X-wing fighter pilot.
- For the release of the video game The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD for the Wii U, the Pegman was Link holding a Master Sword and a Hylian Shield.
- For Google Street View's birthday (which took place on June 1, 2017), the Pegman appears on both Maps and Street View as if he is celebrating a birthday, wearing a red and white striped miniature party hat and holding three pastel violet, pink, and blue balloons in his right hand.
- Rolling over the I'm Feeling Lucky button causes the button text to spin, landing on a random phrase. Clicking on the button without text in the search bar will serve the corresponding web page.
Google offers interfaces for several different fictional languages. Users can set any language (except pig latin) as their preferred language in their search settings.
The teapot found at Google's 418 error page.
- "www.google.com/heartJava applet with an interactive jumping heart shows under the Google logo on the search page. The applet was made in 2000 by Ken Perlin. Note: To view it, users must use a browser that supports Java.
" will redirect to an archived page which is a preservation of the old Google interface, complete with a banner that states "This site is an old friend from Google’s past, kept in its original form. Enjoy!" However, typing something in the search box and clicking "Google Search" will perform a search on the current Google interface. A
" is a simple plain text file serving to remind its readers that Google isn't only built on technology but, is created by many humans too. It asks for interested readers to visit their careers page.
" is a humorous plain text file in robots.txt format.
- "www.google.com/teapotI’m a teapot. The requested entity body is short and stout. Tip me over and pour me out." Clicking on the picture of the teapot or tilting the mobile device will result in an animation of it pouring tea into a teacup. The web page is a reference to the Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol.
" states, "418.
- Since the version 2.3 (Gingerbread) of Google's Android operating system an easter egg containing an animation has been hidden. The easter egg can be accessed through the "Settings" application, in the "About phone" section, by repeatedly tapping the "Android version" section. The animation is different in every version of the OS.
- In 2.3 – 2.3.7 (Gingerbread) there is a painting of an Android next to a zombie gingerbread man, surrounded by zombies using cellphones.
- In 3.0 – 3.2.6 (Honeycomb) there is a blue honeybee. Below it, there is the text "REZZZZZZZ…" as a reference to Tron: Legacy.
- In 4.0 – 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) there is pixel art of an ice cream sandwich android. Long-pressing it will result in many ice cream sandwich androids flying across the screen, dubbed the "nyan droid" as they are a tribute to Nyan Cat.
- In 4.1 – 4.3.1 (Jelly Bean) a red jelly bean appears, which if pressed will show its face along with the OS version. If this jelly bean is then long-pressed, an interactive jelly bean minigame will appear. This is where one can fling the jelly beans around.
- In 4.4 (KitKat) a rotating letter "K" appears, which if continually tapped turns into the text "Android" in the styling of a KitKat logo. If the Android logo is then long-pressed a tile interface, known as "a daydream" called "Dessert Case", loads with icons from all previous versions of Android. It appears to be a mock of the Windows Phone interface.
- In 5.x (Lollipop) and 6.x (Marshmallow), a colored circle appears (or a circle with a stylized M inside in Marshmallow). If continuously tapped, it will turn into a lollipop with the text lollipop inside (or the M changes into a marshmallow in 6.x). Tapping the circle changes the color. When long-pressed, a game of Flappy Bird starts with the Android mascot instead. In Marshmallow, tapping the plus sign adds extra players (up to five), which can be controlled by the user or other players.
- In 7.0 (Nougat), an "N" appears, which will enable another Easter egg if tapped. This Easter egg, titled "Android Neko" as a reference to the cat collecting mobile game Neko Atsume, can be accessed from the Quick Settings menu, and allows the user to create virtual treats, which will eventually attract kittens. The kittens can be viewed in a gallery-style screen. Additionally, long-pressing on the aforementioned "N" repeatedly will alternate between displaying the no symbol emoji and the cat face emoji, respectively toggling the Easter egg on and off. "No" and "cat" is a mondegreen for "nougat".
- In 8.0 (Oreo), instead of the normal way of going to the easter egg, heading to System > About Phone and tapping on the Android version repeatedly will launch the easter egg. An orange circle appears, representing an "O" for Oreo. Tapping on it a few times will open a blue screen representing a sea with an octopus floating around. The "O" in octopus represents Oreo while the eight legs on the octopus represent the version (8.0). The octopus can be moved by dragging the head around.
- Spells may be cast on an Android phone by saying "Ok Google" followed by "Lumos" or "Nox" to turn the flashlight on and off, or "Silencio" to silence the ringer and notifications.
- In the Google Play Games app, if the player swipes the Konami Code, a box will appear with three buttons – a B, an A and an ►. Pressing B then A then ► unlocks a secret achievement called "All your game are belong to us", a reference to the well known "All your base are belong to us" phrase.
- In the Google Allo app, sending the Konami Code to the Google Assistant by typing "up up down down left right left right b a start" will respond with "Cheat mode enabled". Typing it again will respond with random statements relatable to the code.
- In the Google Play Store app, when viewing the Google MyGlass app page, the fifth screenshot is a picture of a dog in pajamas.
- In the Google Phone (Dialer) app, inputting the "Emergency Number"
0118 999 881 999 119 725 3, advertised to replace "
999" in The IT Crowd's season 1 episode "Calamity Jen", will cause the phone to vibrate and the call button to flash blue and red. The feature only works on stock Android Marshmallow and Android Nougat.
- In Google+, if the device is shaken while viewing a photo, snow will fall; if the device is shaken again it will save an animated GIF of the image with falling snow to the pictures directory.
- Searching for "let's go caroling" or "let's go carolling" on Google Now will result in an extra card which displays a list of Christmas carols. The phone will play the music and show the words if one of them is selected.
- On YouTube Creator Studio, swiping down the screen repeatedly will show a cat at the top of the screen.
- Entering the tabview on the Google Chrome App and swiping up on a tab five times will cause the tab do a backflip.
- Opening more than 99 tabs in the Google Chrome App will result in "
:D" shown instead of the number of opened tabs.
- Tapping on the dinosaur, which is shown if the Google Chrome App is not able to connect to internet, will start a "jump and run" game.
- On a video published by Numberphile on June 22, 2012, titled "Why do YouTube views freeze at 301? ", the view count is frozen at
301, referencing the bug in the now changed subject behavior.
- Adding "
&wadsworth=1" to a video URL will apply "Wadsworth's constant", skipping the first
30% of the video.
- Whilst viewing any video, type "awesome" and the progress bar and other player elements will flash multicolored. Typing "awesome" again will stop it.
- YouTube's robots.txt file at "www.youtube.com/robots.txt " states that it was "Created in the distant future (the year 2000) after the robotic uprising of the mid 90's which wiped out all humans." This is an ostensible reference to the song "Robots" by Flight of the Conchords.
- When the live-stream countdown reaches 24 hours before it is scheduled to start, a "Dawn of The Final Day -24 Hours Remain-" is shown along with a sound effect, referencing the video game The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
- On December 12, 2015, in order to promote the then-upcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the progress bar was changed in order to look like a Lightsaber. By signing up to a specially created promotional page, users were able to follow the Light Side (which would change the progress bar to blue) or the Dark Side (which would change the progress bar to red). This was turned off after February 1, 2016. Along with this, mousing over the volume controls would play a lightsaber sound like it was turned on, and mousing off of it would play a power off sound.
- A Snake game could be activated by pressing a combination of arrow keys whilst videos were paused or playing. Once started, the snake could be controlled by further use of the arrow keys, directing it to "gobble up dots" to increase its size. If the snake hit the edges of the video window, the game ended. The feature no longer works.
- When watching a video with "fidget spinnerfidget spinner.
" in the title, the buffering icon will change into a spinning
- The title of the video "Too Many Cooks", a surreal dark comedy short by Adult Swim, is yellow and in the Georgia font, mimicking the video's theme.
A YouTube search for:
- "beam me up scotty", a reference to Star Trek, would cause the search results to beam down onto the screen, as in Star Trek.
- "doge meme" changes the font on the search result page to pastel color Comic Sans typical of the Doge meme.
- "do the harlem shake" will cause the Harlem Shake song to play and the results to dance around.
- "use the force luke" causes the results to levitate, as if by the force mentioned in Star Wars.
- "webdriver torso" will return the results but with a red background and a blue rectangle around some videos. It also says "
aqua.flv – Slide 000[0–9]" at the bottom left of the page. This is a reference to the Webdriver Torso mystery. Google has confirmed that it is behind the Webdriver Torso mystery; it is one of many test channels used by YouTube to ensure video quality.
- If the user tries to browse when offline, a message is shown that they are not connected to the Internet. An illustration of the "Lonely T-Rex" dinosaur is shown at the top, designed by Sebastien Gabriel. From September 2014, tapping the dinosaur (in Android or iOS) or pressing space or ↑ (on desktop) launches a browser game called "T-Rex Runner" in which the player controls a running dinosaur by tapping the screen (in Android or iOS) or pressing space, ↑ or ↓ (on desktop) to avoid obstacles, including cacti and, from June 2015, pterodactyls. In 2016, another feature was added to the game. When the player reaches 700 points the game begins to switch between day (white background, black lines and shapes) and night (black background, white lines and shapes). Reaching a score of 900 will switch the colour scheme back to day, and the switch back and forth will occur at further subsequent milestones. The game is also available at the "
chrome://dino" page. The game's code is available on the Chromium site.
- In the Apps splash page at "chrome://appsOne Ring featured in The Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien.
", a comment can be found under the body header that reads "A div to hold all the templates, and in the darkness bind them". This is a reference to the
- In the Camera app, activating caps lock and typing "CRAZYPONY" will open the files app and prompt the user to select a video file. Users can then add filters and take screenshots of the video.
- The keyboard shortcut ctrl+alt+⇧ Shift+refresh causes the current window to spin (Barrel Roll).
- Pressing Ctrl+⇧ Shift+Y in the Picasa desktop application will cause a teddy bear to appear on the screen.
- In the Google I/O 2013 page, "instrument.github.io/google-io-2013/ ", one can click the letters "
I" and "
O" to input passwords.
- In Google Glass, tapping Settings -> Device info -> View licenses, then tapping the touchpad 9 times, will show a Tap Meet Team option. Tapping again will show a photo of the Google Glass development team.
- Any photograph with Christmas lights uploaded to Google+ will be turned into an animated GIF, showing sparkling lights.
- On the Google Play Store, clicking the search button with a blank search field will search "unicorns".
- When using Google Translate to translate the German version of The Funniest Joke in the World ("Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput! ") to English, the result will be "[FATAL ERROR]".
- In Google's iPhone and iPod touch search application, swiping downwards (past About) repeatedly in the Settings interface brings up a hidden menu item, called Bells and Whistles, allowing customization of colors, sounds and more within the app. However, this no longer works as of the newer app updates.
- On Google Forms, entering the table flip emoticon
(╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻ as the title will cause the interface to flip and replace the title with
- The model numbers for the first generation Chromecast unit and its power adapter read H2G2-42 and MST3K-US, respectively.
- The password for Project Fi data only SIM cards is h2g2, another reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
- In Sheets, as to celebrate LGBT pride, typing "PRIDE" in cells A1-E1 with each individual letter in each cell will make change the fill color of columns to make a rainbow.  
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