Easter egg: Google does a barrel roll

By on November 4, 2011, 3:00 PM

This recently discovered Easter egg in Google's search engine produces both an amusing and surprising result. If you have not seen it for yourself yet, go to Google and type "do a barrel roll" (without the quotes, it will not work with them).

Google, not being without a quirky sense of humor, has planted a number of easter eggs in not only their search engine, but in some of their other products as well. While the results tend to be more subtle than "do a barrel roll", some past (and still present) Easter eggs include:

  • Anagram: Searching for anagram causes Google to suggest "nag a ram"
  • Recursion: Searching for recursion causes Google to suggest "recursion" once again, for good measure
  • Alternative languages: Google doesn't discriminate. They kindly provide search services in such important languages at Klingon, Pirate and more.
  • The Loneliest number: It's 1, of course
  • The answer to the universe: Most geeks know the answer to this one already.
  • ASCII: Type in ascii art and Google will change its look to match your search criteria.
  • Askew: Type in tilt or askew and Google will slant your search results in an interesting way.
  • Gravity: Type Google Gravity and hit "I'm feeling lucky" to observe Google collapse before your very eyes.

It is probably safe to assume Google's "do a barrel roll" Easter egg originates from Nintendo's Starfox franchise. Those familiar with the series might recognize the significance of the phrase. Of course, seasoned console gamers will also be amused to see that typing "z or r twice" in Google will produce a barrel roll as well -- a pretty solid give away.

If you are particularly uninclined to check it out for yourself, you can watch the Easter egg in action below. It may also be useful for those of you running old browsers that can't handle the effect.

Update: I was not able to get the Easter Egg to work in Internet Explorer 9 or 8. It would be logical to assume older versions do not work either. It works for sure under Chrome and Firefox 7.

User Comments: 25

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Guest said:

Very awesome.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Doesnt work now. Didnt see it. Tried opera and ie9.

Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Works on my end (latest version of Chrome and Firefox).

MilwaukeeMike said:

I'm not sure it's Starfox... I think it's a fun phrase. When i was a kid I read every Calvin and Hobbes cartoon Bill Watterson every wrote. There's one where Calvin writes out on his lawn 'Hey Pilots, Do a Barrel Roll!' and it disapointed when the passenger jets don't comply. That's where the phrase came from for me...

And 2 seconds on google... [link]

Mizzou Mizzou said:

Works in Chrome, no go in IE9 ... cool

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I just did me a Barrel Roll.

natefalk natefalk said:

posted on reddit yesterday... spreads to the rest of the internet today...

Guest said:

It was an aileron roll, not a barrel roll.

Felix, Sanibel

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You can also do "tilt"

chaboi390 said:

That was enjoyably satisfying... i shall keep doing it !

Captain828 Captain828 said:

ASCII doesn't work

PinothyJ said:

Technochicken said:

You can also do "tilt"

Oh, great! There goes my pinball game!


spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Easter eggs are fun. And holey.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Doesnt work now. Didnt see it. Tried opera and ie9.

Concur, I only tried Opera 11.whateverisnewest

Guest said:

Works on firefox 8.0 but it closes all your open tabs except google

Guest said:

It was an aileron roll and not a barrel roll. I must be the only pilot who is also a nerd. Dual ranking, I'll ask for a promotion.



SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Concur, I only tried Opera 11.whateverisnewest

Tilt or askew works in Opera 11.52 though.

Mongofongo said:

That's cool and it worked on my end on latest Google Chrome browser.

Guest said:

barrel roll ftw

Guest said:

Nice just tried it here in Firefox 7.01, that was cool.

Guest said:

Cool..! Works without a problem on Firefox 6. No tabs closed.

Guest said:

this uses webgl.. so you need a browser that supports webgl

firefox 4+ or chrome 9+

ie including ie9 and future version doesn't and will not support webgl

hedoriko said:

You can also type in;

How to find chuck norris

Then his "im feeling lucky" and it will pull up a page saying it can't find chuck norris. You can then proceed to search the web from Chuck's beard.

Daxis Daxis said:

Only works on Google-sponsored browsers... IE 11 supports CSS3/HTML5, and so does the newest Opera, and neither seem to do it.

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