Google’s greatest ever easter eggs

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December 25, 2013
Google's greatest ever easter eggs.

Google's greatest easter eggsMerry Christmas! Everyone here at WebdesignerDepot would like to wish you a very happy holiday season and because it’s Christmas, we thought we’d indulge in a few…Easter eggs…

Google has become well renowned for the easter eggs that it adds to its products and services. Hidden gems that are there to make us laugh, or think; but mostly, keep Google in the news.

Designed to get people talking, get Twitter tweeting and bloggers blogging, Google’s easter eggs are named after the Easter tradition of searching for chocolate, or painted eggs. The intention is to keep us on Google’s sites for longer, and maybe have a little fun along the way.

Today we’re going to look back on some of the best and more memorable examples, check them out and be sure to give them a try yourself.

Atari Breakout

When you search for atari breakout” in google images the results page transforms into a live version of the game, allowing you to play it right there and then.

Atari Breakout


Search for anagram” and Did you mean: nag a ram” will appear at the top of the page. As well as English this also works in French, Swedish, German, Italian, Russian, Hebrew, and Dutch. Likewise, searching for define anagram” shows Did you mean: nerd fame again”.


Do a barrel roll”

Typing do a barrel roll” into the search box will make the page rotate 360 degrees.

Barrel Roll


Searching for tilt” or askew” will make the results page appear slightly off-kilter.


K e r n i n g

One for the type obsessives: searching for kerning” will increase the letter-spacing where as searching for keming” will reduce it.



Searching for binary” changes the number of search results found to binary numbers.


Let it snow

In December 2011, searching for let it snow” would cause the search results page to simulate snowfall. After a while, the screen would frost over, enabling the user to defrost the page by either clicking and dragging the mouse (mimicking the effect of rubbing a frosty window in real life) or clicking the defrost” button.

Let it snow

The death of DOMA

When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Google celebrated by adding a rainbow coloured border around the search box whenever someone entered terms such as lesbian”, gay”, bisexual”, transgender”, queer”, gay marriage”, LGBT”, LGBTQ”, PFLAG”, Stonewall Inn” or GLAAD”.

Death of DOMA

I <3 Streetview

If you were to find the Googleplex (Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California) on Google Street View, you would see the product’s production team standing outside. Similarly, if you look up Google’s offices in both Wrocław, Poland, and Dublin, Ireland, you’ll find Google employees lining the streets.


Peg man” gets a new look

When dragged into LegoLand in Carlsbad, the Peg man” turns into a LEGO figure. When dragged into Sun Valley, Idaho, he becomes a skier. When dragged into the area surrounding the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing Meadows – Corona Park, he becomes a tennis player.

Peg Man

P‑P-P-Pick up a penguin

When dragged onto Half Moon Island, Antarctica, the Peg man” turns into a penguin.


One does not simply walk into Mordor”

When walking directions is selected and The Shire” or Rivendell” is entered as the start point and Mordor” as the destination, the directions appear with the following warning: Use caution – One does not simply walk into Mordor.”


Do the Harlem Shake!

Entering do the harlem shake” into the search box will cause the page to do the Harlem Shake.

Harlem Shake

VHS mode

To mark the 57th anniversary of the VHS, YouTube added a tape mode option to their video player, which when selected would apply a degraded videotape look to the clip. To make the tape mode option available add &vhs=1” at the end of a video URL.

VHS Mode

Stats for nerds

If you right-click on a video a settings menu will appear with options for copying and sharing. Also included is a stats for nerds” option, which when clicked will display some advanced information about the video player.

Stats for nerds

Nyan Cat progress bar

At one point, the standard progress bar on the Nyan Cat video was replaced by a Nyan Cat themed design.

Nyan Cat

Which of these easter eggs is your favourite? Are there any others that you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments.

Sam Jones

Sam Jones is a Freelance Designer whose work spans multiple disciplines such as brand identity, design for print, web design and illustration. As well as being the owner of one man design studio, Sivioco, he’s also an advisor for Mostash. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @Sivioco.

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