Secret Google Easter Eggs

Check out some of Google's hidden secrets

Screenshot of Google search results for Easter Eggs

Known for being a company that "works hard and plays hard," Google has made a game of introducing playful Easter eggs and other jokes into its products, most notably Google search. These Easter eggs aren't the kind shown in the search results image above. Instead, they take the form of inside jokes and hidden features that are often difficult to discover. Here are our favorite Google Easter eggs of all time.

Atari Breakout

Screenshot of Atari Breakout Easter Egg on Google

This one is a two-step Easter egg. You can find a secret game by first searching for the phrase "Atari Breakout" and then clicking on the Google Images link in the search results. You'll get an image breakout game complete with sound effects.   

Do a Barrel Roll

Screenshot of Google Barrel Roll Easter Egg
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Google the phrase "do a barrel roll" and the whole screen will roll. You can also google the phrase "Z or R twice" to get the same result. This is also a trick to use on desktop searches. 

This trick won't work if you start from a search results page. It's only good if you do it from the Google search homepage. 

Tilt With Google

Askew Google Easter Egg
Google

Google the word "askew" and when the search results are returned, the whole screen will tilt. It's a great demonstration of the definition of the word. This is a trick that will also work from desktop searches. 

Bletchley Park

Search for "bletchley park," and the Google Place name will show up with an animated simulation of a code being deciphered. This is because, as explained on the result, "Bletchley Park, in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, was the central site of the United Kingdom's Government Code and Cypher School." 

Zerg Rush

Screenshot of Google Zerg Rush Easter Egg

Google "zerg rush," and you'll see the "o" letters from Google start raining down the screen and destroying the search results.

This is also a game, and you can click on the falling o's multiple times to stop them. Each time you click an "o" the lifeline above it will get shorter. It takes about three clicks to destroy the letter. Eventually, there will be too many, and they will eat all the search results anyway.

Once you're defeated, the o's will form a giant "GG" in the empty search results, for "good game." 

To keep the game going longer, try playing on a touch-screen device where you can tap faster than you can click with a mouse.

Anagram

Screenshot of Google's Anagram/Nag a Ram Easter egg

If you search for "anagram," Google will ask if you meant "nag a ram." 

Your first reaction might be "Seriously? Do that many people search for "nag a ram"? And why in the world would you nag a ram, anyway?" But, don't be so quick to judge. "Nag a ram," is an anagram for anagram. Say that three times fast! 

Recursion

Screenshot of Google's Recursion Easter egg

If you search for "recursion," Google will ask if you meant recursion. If you didn't get it, this is a joke because a recursive definition is a definition that contains the item being defined as part of the definition.  

An Easter Egg as an Easter Egg

Screenshot of Google's mathematical Easter egg

Google this:

It doesn't have to be Easter, but you do need a modern web browser. Internet Explorer will probably disappoint you. Well, that's just generally true. 

What you're seeing here is the awesome power of Google's hidden calculator

A Festivus for the Rest of Us

Google Festivus Easter Egg

Festivus is a holiday that started out as a joke in a well known episode of the Seinfeld TV show, but that didn't stop it from outliving the show that created it and becoming a real holiday. One of the hallmarks of the Festivus holiday is an aluminum pole, as a replacement for a Christmas tree.

Search Google for Festivus, and you'll see it's trademark pole spanning down the left side of your screen, alongside your search results.

Pacman

Google Pacman Easter Egg

Google likes including classic games in their search engine, so why not Pacman. Search for the arcade classic, and you'll find an image of a Pacman style Google logo with the option to Click to Play.

Clicking the link will launch a mini Pacman game around the Google logo. You can play as much as you like and slack off in an entertaining way.

The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything

Google 42 Easter Egg

Google also loves their nerd culture, and there are few novels as ingrained in it than The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. One of the most famous jokes in the novel comes when the protagonists discover that the meaning of life, the universe, and everything is the number 42.

Adams stated that there's no meaning behind it, and it really is just a joke, but that hasn't stopped it from being recited over and again, including when you search for "the meaning of life the universe and everything" on Google.

Tic-Tac-Toe

Google Tic-Tac-Toe Easter Egg

There are even more games to be found on Google. Search for "Tic-Tac-Toe," and you'll be given an interactive board that you can play to your heart's content. It's simple, sure, but it's definitely an entertaining way to kill some time in your day.