Google Easter eggs 2021: best secret tricks from Barrel roll to Askew and Zerg Rush - and how to do them

The search engine has plenty of surprises to entertain you for hours online

While Google is considered a helpful and informative search engine, it’s actually packed full of fun hidden tricks that many users aren’t aware of.

From pop culture references to games and animations, these are the best hidden Easter eggs scattered around Google, and how to find them.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

Friends characters

Did you know about all of these secret tricks? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Each of the six main characters from the TV show Friends has their own special animation if you search for them on Google.

Type in Ross Gellar and click on the couch icon - you’ll hear him shout “Pivot!” and the results page will tilt side to side. After three clicks, the couch will break in half.

If you search for Monica Gellar and click the bucket of soap and water, a sponge will appear and clean her name.

Search for Chandler Bing and you’ll see the famous lazy boy chair. Click on the chair and the chick and the duck will dump out and walk around the bottom of your screen.

Search for Rachel Green and click on the hair, and you’ll be redirected to Google images of the iconic “Rachel cut” hairstyle.

If you type Phoebe Buffay and click the guitar, a smelly cat will jump out and walk around.

Finally, search for Joey Tribbiani and click on the pizza - a bunch of foods will appear on your search and then Joey’s arm will come and scoop them all up.

Cha-Cha Slide

Everyone knows the Cha-Cha Slide by DJ Casper - but not everyone knows what happens when you Google the iconic song.

Simply search for the Cha-Cha Slide in Google and the first result will be that of the music video for the song. Next to the song however, you should see a blue arrow - if you click on that, you’ll hear the chorus of the song and the Google results page dancing along.

So for example, when the song says “to the right now”, the page will snap to the right. You’ll see a number of different icons as it walks you through the dance moves.

Text adventure

While many of Google’s fun Easter eggs appear with a simple search, this one will require a bit more digging on the parts of curious users.

First, Google “text adventure” and then on the screen, right click the results page and select “inspect”. From there, the right hand side of the screen will display various codes. At the top of the screen, next to “elements”, select the “console” tab.

From there, you’ll be asked if you want to play a game - type yes.

Your quest from there is to unite the letters of the Google logo.

3D animals

Google has a pretty interesting augmented reality (AR) feature that allows you to see animals in real size in your own home using your phone.

If you Google ‘giant panda’, for example, just underneath the image search results and the Wikipedia description of the animal, you’ll see a box that says “Meet a life-sized giant panda up close.”

Next to that box will be a CGI panda moving around, and underneath will be the option to “view in 3D”. Click “view in 3D” and then click “view in your space.”

You’ll need to give Google access to your camera for it to be able to insert the panda into your surroundings.

Some examples of animals you can search for include pandas, wolves, tigers, hedgehogs, sharks and more.

Sonic the Hedgehog

If you search for the words “Sonic the Hedgehog game”, you’ll see a small animated icon of Sonic lying down. If you click on him, he turns into the famous blue ball and then stands up.

If you keep clicking on him continuously, Sonic will then transform into Super Sonic.

If you simply Google “Sonic the Hedgehog” you’ll get results for the 2020 film and won’t be able to find the animation.

Thanos’ hand

Unfortunately this hidden trick is no longer available as of 2020 - but you used to be able to search for Thanos, or infinity gauntlet, and you would see an icon of the famous glove from Avengers: Infinity War.

If you clicked on it, the glove would snap its fingers and half of the search results on the page would disappear as well as counting down the number of results to half. This is in reference to the fact that Thanos destroys half of all life in the universe using the gauntlet in the film.

Alex Trebek

If you search for game show host Alex Trebek, you’ll get a message that reads “Did you mean: who is Alex Trebek?”.

This is in reference to the fact that Trebek hosted the popular game show Jeopardy in which the rules of the game required players to answer questions using a “who is”/”what is” format.

Do a barrel roll

Searching the phrase “do a barrel roll” will cause the search results page to do a complete 360 degree turn.

Similarly If you search the word “askew” the search results page will also be askew.

Google games

There are loads of games that you can play for free simply by searching for them on Google.

For example, if you search “play snake”, the top result will be an animated blue snake with a button that says “play”. Click play and by either using the arrows on your computer, or by swiping on your phone screen, you can play the classic game snake.

This works for a few other games, including Solitaire, Tic Tac Toe and Pac Man.

Zerg rush

If you type in Zerg Rush into Google but opt for the “I’m feeling lucky” option, your screen will be taken over by pesky little ‘O’s that are determined to disintegrate your search results.

You need to click on the falling ‘O’s with your mouse, or else all of your search results will disappear.

The answer to life

If you search for “The answer to life the universe and everything”, the first result that pops up is Google calculator with the number 42.

This is in reference to the science fiction novel, and film, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, wherein a supercomputer named Deep Thought says that the answer to the “ultimate question of life, the universe and everything” is the number 42.