For the vast majority of users, Google truly is the main page of the internet. It’s the starting point from which we travel whenever we log on to a browser. No offence to Bing, Yahoo or… AskJeeves (RIP Jeevesy, old boy), but Google really is the only choice when it comes to a search engine. Not only is it a well-designed and easily accessible site, but it’s also full of fun finds, hidden features and secret easter eggs.
Every so often these will appear on social media feeds as a surprise, but we’ve collated some of the best ones we’ve noticed that (at time of writing) are live on the site. We’ve also added a bonus from the Google Chrome browser, and even one from Google Sheets!
Sonic the Hedgehog
Our first fun easter egg happens when you search “Sonic the Hedgehog” (pro-tip: you might have to add “Google” at the end of some of these to get the easter eggs to work). If you see a little info box about the videogame series, there should be a little retro Sonic icon next to his name. He will occasionally move, laying down after you’ve been on the page for a while. Click on him to get him to spin, and click over and over for him to turn into his Super Sonic form!
This one is a textbook Google easter egg. Search the word “askew” to see the Google page in a non-straight or level position. It’s not completely wonky, just a little bit… askew.
Warning: this one’s not for those who suffer from motion sickness. Type in “do a barrel roll” and watch as the Google search page spins around 360 degrees.
Interestingly, it seems from searching around that you used to be able to ask it multiple times, such as “do a barrel roll twice” or “do a barrel roll twenty times”, but this no longer appears to be the case. Honestly, we’re pretty glad – just once had us feeling a bit queasy.
Google Doodles are an iconic part of Google’s legacy. The Google Doodle is the art on the Google homepage and stands in place of the classic Google logo. For as long as we can remember, the doodle changes each day, with a different artist creating the image, or it representing a certain holiday or event (the full Google logo history is accessible here, by the way). Occasionally, these will become interactive, with secret ways to interact with it. The Pacman Google Doodle was one of these, and can still be played today by searching for “Google Pacman”.
The game comes with the same nostalgic music and assets, and all of the iconic ghost villains. The board is shaped into a retro arcade version of the Google logo, and is a fully playable version of the game. What’s your high score?
While pretty simplistic at first, the game has cute chiming sounds when you tap the arrow keys to move your snake across the screen. The real fun happens once you lose, though, and gain full access to the settings menu. You can switch between twenty different kinds of food for the snake to eat (or select the fruit bowl to have a mix!), cycle through crazy different game modes including a board that makes the snake fall through a hole every time it eats, increase the amount of food on the board, change the snake’s colour, speed up or slow down the game, and even have an endless board. They really cater to every kind of Snake player!
Could you be any more excited for this next one? Well, if you’re over how mainstream the TV show Friends has become, then yes. However, for those of us who still unapologetically love this comfort show despite how overhyped and flawed it is, then this is a really fun easter egg you can enjoy.
Search for any of the main six characters on the search engine and you’ll get a special interactive easter egg that relates to them. Searching for Ross Geller will allow you to click the sofa icon which will “PIVOT” the screen. Searching for his sister Monica will allow you to clean her name with a bucket and sponge until it shines. Rachel Green’s cartoon is a wig head wearing the iconic “Rachel” haircut, which links to a Google images page of the ‘do. Chandler Bing has a recliner seat that produces cartoons of his pet chick and duck. A Google search for Joey Tribbiani will bring up a pizza that starts an animation about how “Joey doesn’t share food”, and searching for Phoebe Buffay will cause her legendary Smelly Cat to walk around the screen.
If you couldn’t care less about the show, this paragraph was pretty useless to you. But we think it’s a really nice touch to commemorate the series’ 25th anniversary.
This one’s a really cool one that’ll get you reminiscing about teenage sleepovers and waking up to the DVD player still being on. Simply Google “DVD Screensaver”, wait a few moments, and enjoy. You’re welcome.
Google in 1998
We know that we said the last one was really cool, but this easter egg is also really, really cool. Ever wanted to see what Google looked like in its first iteration? Simply search for “Google in 1998” and it’ll load a special edition version of Google from back in its heyday. The contrast between the two versions is crazy different!
Tic Tac Toe
A simpler game than Snake and Pac-Man, but just as addictive and really fun! Type “Tic Tac Toe” into the search bar in order to play a customisable version of the game, with a difficulty setting and the option to go first or second for some really challenging play against the computer.
Google Birthday Surprise Spinner
This one is an amalgamation of some of Google’s previous easter eggs that otherwise wouldn’t be relevant. A “best of” if you will. Google search the term “Google Birthday Surprise Spinner” to view a wheel that lands on a random game, video or feature from Google’s past (including the aforementioned Tic Tac Toe, a Valentine’s Day easter egg, and more).
If you’re looking for some random zany fun, give this one a click and try out one of the multiple easter eggs that will undoubtedly waste a bucket load of time.
This is another short but sweet one. Enter “define anagram” into the Google search bar and it’ll suggest an anagram of anagram. This one’s more meta than a Facebook rebrand.
Bonus: Dinosaur Game
This one’s for those of us with shoddy internet (we’ve been there – there were some dark days in our old office). If you’re a Google Chrome desktop browser user, next time you lose your internet connection, you’ll have an opportunity to play the Dinosaur Game (also known as the Chrome Dino). When you hit the offline page with an image of the pixelated dinosaur, tap the space bar to start playing the game.
It’s another strangely addictive one, and it should keep you going until your technician has fixed the wifi connection. And if you don’t have the browser, no drama! You can search for it on Google games.
And finally, a wholesome bonus one for those of us who a) believe #loveislove and b) spend their entire working lives on Google Sheets (copywriting hive rise).
Simply type the individual letters “PRIDE” into columns 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D and 1E and watch your spreadsheet turn into a rainbow flag! What’s cool is that you can turn any tab into a colourful rainbow without affecting your edited cells.
Since its inception in the nineties, Google has gone from the biggest name in search engine land to one of the biggest and most powerful companies in the world. It’s hard to believe that the same page we use every day is also behind the way we get our directions, our speakers and our mobile phones.
These are only a few of the hundreds of Google easter eggs that can be found, not only in their search results, but on Chrome, Google Translate, Google Maps and more. Have you found any other easter eggs that aren’t mentioned here? Let us know – we love geeking out over this stuff!
Meanwhile, if you want your brand to be the star of a Google search, DMT can help you with your pay-per-click advertising, as well as paid social, email marketing and more. Get in touch with us – we’re a lovely bunch!