Sep 24 2013

24 Endearing Easter Eggs for Your Inspiration

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Easter eggs are more than just a fun way to procrastinate (for you and your users). Like an inside joke with friends, they’re relationship builders with your audience–and for companies like Google, they generate a considerable amount of press.

Your website or program can go beyond a pleasant, seamless series of predictable interactions and include a chuckle-inducing easter egg (or two). While a good easter egg (or a whole dozen of them) is a pleasant surprise, an excellent easter egg resonates with your audience’s humor, interests, and experiences, creating a deeper connection through a fun microinteraction.

Because easter eggs are such fun to dip, dye, and hide, it’s little wonder that there’s quite a selection to inspire you–two dozen, in fact. Enjoy the colorful roundup!

24 Endearing Easter Eggs

1. Resizing “Responsive Web Design” by Ethan Marcotte

A List Apart GIF where window resizes

Click and drag the corner of your browser, and you’ll see the illustration respond to the size constraints and illustrate RWD in an entertaining way.

2. Clicking Enso’s Lightbulb

Enso GIF where lightbulb turns off

If you’re desiring a different color palette (or are just curious), you can simply switch the site’s colors to suit you. Depending on the time of day where you’re browsing from, the site arrives with the bulb on or off. Try it out on mobile, too!

3. Yanking Photojojo’s “DO NOT PULL” Lever

Photojojo GIF where lever brings you down page

How can you not click something you’re not supposed to? Go ahead, and get a little push down the page.

4. Throwing MINI’s Site in Reverse

Mini GIF has website flip over

After you type “reverse” (no quote marks) into MINI’s search box, check out the stick on the bottom left of the slider, and follow the instructions to get an animated and flipped screen. (Thanks, PC Mag!)

5. Waiting Too Long at Herrlich Media

Herrlich Media's GIF where the site tells you to move on

After 30 seconds you’re asked to go check out the page, and wait a few more for an additional “Still there? See to it (:” message.

6. Entering Konami Code at GameSpot

GameSpot GIF shows Konami code taking you to another page

CNET’s roundup shares the arrow pattern plus B A & the enter key (↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A + ENTER) code that brings you to the code’s original game’s page (Contra). For more Konami/Contra code sites, enter the Konami code to access the comprehensive list.

7. Hovering over Wikipedia’s Easter Egg Hedgehog

Wikipedia GIF shows a hedgehog with a basket of easter eggs under it once you click

The main image on the “Easter Egg (media)” article gives you a textual hint when you hover over the hedgehog (that looks like a turtle) . . . then give him a click!

8. Expanding Sparkbox’s Footer

Sparkbox footer keeps expanding, then has a link to a SNL skit

After clicking once to make it a bit bigger, click a second time, then enjoy the switch from “Still Not Impressed?” to clicking the link within “Bruce Dickinson Says: I’ve got a feva’ and the only prescription is more footer.”

9. Zooming into OS X’s TextEdit Icon

TextEdit GIF shows zooming in and reading note

To read the famed “Here’s to the crazy ones” letter, go to the applications list and hit the spacebar to get a better look.

10. Visiting the Book of Mozilla

Mozilla GIF shows the Book of Mozilla

Going to “about:Mozilla” while in a Mozilla browser will show you the crowning document of the browser, which is chock full of strange verses and symbolism for Mozilla’s evolution.

11. Finding Amazon’s Secret Button

Amazon GIF shows how to find the secret button to see a hidden thank you note

Scroll to the very bottom of the full store directory page, then hover your mouse under the copyright info until your cursor becomes a hand, then click. CNET shows how you’ll get to see a thank you letter from Jeff Bezos to former VP and critical player in the Amazon takeover, David Risher.

A Google (Baker’s) Dozen

12. Hovering on Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky”

Google GIF shows how hovering on the button gives each a surprising result

Invest a bit of time to leave your mouse on the button, and you’ll get a slot machine effect with each option you land on (e.g., “I’m Feeling Artistic) bringing you to a related website if you click it.

13. Typing “Do a Barrel Roll” into Google Search

Google GIF shows the page spin to do a barrel roll

Like Siri’s response (and Google’s too!) to the Hitchhiker’s Guide meaning of life inquiry, Google resonates with user humor by referencing Star Fox.

14. Requesting a Celeb’s Bacon Number in Google Search

Google GIF shows how to search for a celebrity's bacon number

Dying to know Cee Lo Green or Clint Eastwood’s degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon? Simply type “bacon number [insert celeb/actor/actress name]” into your search to find out!

15. Entering “Conway’s Game of Life” into Google Search

Google GIF shows Conway's game of life with pixels spreading

To prompt a pixel proliferation, this roundup suggests typing “Conway’s game of life” in your search.

16. Asking about Anagrams in Google Search

Google GIF shows anagram in search results

Whether you type in “anagram” or “define anagram,” you’ll get a clever “Did you mean . . .” result.

17. Typing “askew” into Google Search

Google GIF shows how screen tilts and goes askew

Not sure how to define askew? Need a synonym? Well, no matter how you get to searching the word “askew,” you’ll get a clear visualization of it.

18. Trying out Languages in Google Search

Google GIF shows selecting different languages

CNET explains how you can access Loony Toons, Esperanto, and Muppet Chef (Bork, bork, bork!) . . . not to mention a secret hacker language in leetspeak.

19. Playing “Zerg Rush” in Google Search

Google GIF shows how to play Zerg Rush in your browser

The Wikipedia article on Google surprises includes this game to play (click the O’s three times to eliminate them), which pays homage to the Starcraft game. Enter the words “zerg rush” into the search bar.

20. Searching for “Atari Breakout” in a Google Images Search

Google GIF shows how to play Atari Breakout in Google Images Search

When it comes to easter eggs, the seemingly neglected Images Search (v. Google Web Search) shows it stuff with a fun diversion, shared by Cracked’s roundup.

21. Typing “the Loneliest Number” in Google Search

Google GIF shows how calculator appears when typing in the loneliest number

As detailed by this list of Google easter eggs, typing the song reference into the search bar brings up Google Calculator–and gives you the correct answer (per Harry Nilsson).

22. Discovering the Inside of Dr. Who’s Tardis in Google Maps

Google GIF shows how to use Google Maps to see Dr. Who's Tardis

This TechCrunch article shows how Google gets subculture humor with this easter egg, where you click on a double arrow on the street to enter the Tardis.

23. Seeing the Google Street View Team in Google Maps

Google GIF that shows the Street View team outside of Google headquarters

Move down the street a little to the team (complete with “I <3 Street View” banner) that gives us street view, at Google HQ in Mountain View.

24. Using the Konami Code in a Google Doc

Google GIF shows a Google Doc flipping after entering the Konami Code

To get an animated flipping of your doc and the resulting mirror image of it, type the Konami code, using your arrow keys plus the letters b, a, and enter (like in the GameSpot example above: ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A + ENTER).

More Than Two Cartons Worth?

I’m sure there are some easter eggs that are missing from the roundup. Which would you add? Share your favorites below!

About the Author:

Julia Larson is a freelance copywriter & copyeditor at digital-telepathy. When not on a quadrilateral device, she’s on her yoga mat, a hike, or a cooking spree. Connect with her on Google+ and Twitter.

Leave a Response

7 Responses

  1. Sep 24 2013
    Jessica Moon

    Wow, I’ve looked at that A List Apart article a dozen times and have never noticed that easter egg in the illustration. Very cool! Thanks for sharing this awesome list :)

    • Sep 24 2013
      Shawn Leslie

      Came here to say the exact same thing!

  2. Sep 26 2013
    Yansong Pang

    Very cool stuff! Thanks for sharing!