‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away’: The best Easter Eggs from Google

Turn your screen upside down, play a range of games – all with a few magic search terms

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 26 September 2019 22:55
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Most of the time, Google is a helpful and uninteresting place for finding information. But enter a few magic words, and everything changes.

Google has a range of Easter eggs that just need to be typed into the browser to make strange and unexpected things happen. Most are references, but some are just little jokes.

You may have stumbled across some yourself. But here’s our pick of the best, if you don’t want to wait.

Friends

There are almost as many Friends Easter eggs as there are Friends jokes – and they’re all lying in wait, ready to be found in Google. They were added for another anniversary, to mark the sitcom’s 25th birthday.

A big list of the possible Easter eggs can be found here. But if you’d prefer to find them yourself, try searching for your favourite character’s name.

Play some games

There are fully functioning versions of a wide variety of games in Google – less Easter eggs, more entire arcades.

Try searching for “Atari breakout”, “Pacman”, “play solitaire”, or “tic-tac-toe”.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

This was the Easter egg that revived the idea of Google Easter eggs, as well as being a big part of the huge array of little nuggets that the company added to celebrate the imminent release of the new Star Wars film.

Searching for this will turn your entire screen into the opening crawl from the Star Wars films, and all of the results will be rendered in the creeping yellow on black text that comes at the start.

‘Do a barrel roll’ or ‘z or r twice’

This one is fairly self-explanatory: it makes the entire screen showing the results spin around in a 360.

The wording is a reference to Star Fox, the video game. On that you’d be instructed to “do a barrel roll” – and that was done by pressing the Z or R button twice.

Super Mario Bros

When you search for this phrase, a little information box comes up – as it does with many Google results. But inside of that is a little box, like from the games.

Pressing the button sends a coin up, and plays the nostalgia-inducing sound. And repeatedly clicking will lead to other things happening, too.

Askew

Typing this sends the results slightly tilted, or askew – as you might expect.

Zerg rush

Zerg rush originates from StarCraft, where it describes a huge onslaught from a race that could populate extra-quickly, called Zergs.

When you Google this phrase, a huge swarm of Os will arrive, which you need to click to destroy before they eat up all of the search results.

Once in a blue moon

This isn’t so much fun and pernickety – searching for this phrase tells you exactly how often once in a blue moon is.

(It’s 1.16699016 × 10-8 hertz, in case you’re interested.)

Recursion

Searching this will recommend you click a link to the Google results for recursion. Clicking that will take you to a page that recommends you click a link to the Google results for recursion.

And so it goes, recursively.

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