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"You are a stupid, square-headed bald git, aren't you? And you, I'm pointing at you, I'm pointing at you, but I'm not actually addressing you. I'm addressing the one prat in the whole country who's bothered to get hold of this recording, turn it round and actually work out the rubbish that I'm saying. What a poor, sad life he's got!"
—Backmasked message played in Red Dwarf, "Backwards"

Y
The little bits of stuff programmers left behind in the game. They're secrets, intended to tickle the fancy of those who discover them. Programs far too numerous to mention have included Easter eggs -- everything from Microsoft Office to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Sadly, Microsoft has disallowed Easter eggs entirely as part of its Trustworthy Computing Initiative, under the simple rationale that a user should be able to trust that the computer he's using is reliable and reasonably error-free.

Originally, Easter eggs were inserted by programmers for companies whose policy forbid them from receiving individual credit for their work. The earliest Easter eggs were mostly credits pages, possibly to allow the programmers themselves to prove authorship to friends. For security reasons (and concerns about malicious programmers inserting undocumented and destructive code), most companies don't allow Easter eggs to appear in their software anymore, but as individual programmers now receive full credit for their work, it's a moot point. Congratulations! You found an easter egg on this page!

Easter eggs aren't just found in games anymore: the term is also used for a variety of hidden content, such as unadvertised DVD Bonus Content.

An article on why Easter eggs exist (focusing on Magic: The Gathering, but applicable to all games) is available here.

For time-sensitive Easter eggs, see Holiday Mode. Compare Bilingual Bonus, Freeze-Frame Bonus and What the Hell, Player?. For in-story Easter Egg dates that reference original air/release dates, see Significant Reference Date.

Examples of Easter Egg include:


Video Games

  • Ur Example: The Fairchild Channel F console (released in 1976) came with a "Demo Cart", in which a key combination could bring the programmer's name, Michael Glass, up on screen. Both Alien Invasion and Video Whizball (1978) also had a code to display their programmer's last name (Reid-Selth, for Brad Reid-Selth) on the screen.

Action-Adventure

  • Trope Codifier: The most famous early Easter Egg in a video game (to the extent where it's often mistakenly believed to be the first) was Warren Robinett's famous hidden signature room in the Adventure cartridge for the Atari 2600. By finding an item hidden deep in a maze of the same color and bringing it into the right room, one could move though a previously impenetrable barrier, where the text "Created by Warren Robinett" could be found. This was in an era when Atari refused to put the names of game creators on any of its game packaging, and it neatly took up the leftover memory on the 4K ROM comprising the cartridge.
    • An Atari executive coined the term when he compared finding the hidden room to "hunting for Easter eggs". While Atari hired a programmer to find where Robinett's name was in the code, they let it slide; Robinett later asked the programmer what he would have done if told to delete the code, and was told that he would have switched it to "Replaced by (programmer's name)".
  • The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past contains one of the most unusual Easter eggs in gaming history. Nintendo Power magazine held a contest and the winner, Chris Houlihan, had a secret room named in his honor placed in the game. "The Chris Houlihan Room" is filled with Rupees (the monetary unit of the game) and a small plaque identifying it. Many players are still unaware of its existence, due to the difficulty it takes to get there: outside of cheating, it can only be accessed if the game fails to load an area.
    • Because it's contested whether the Chris Houlihan Room is meant to be in the game at all. Evidently, not everyone at Nintendo was on board with the contest, so the room ended up getting added and removed multiple times as the game went back and forth between decisionmakers who thought Chris ought to get his room, and those who thought the contest was bunk and shouldn't be honored. Leaving it in but buried so that it was inaccessible to anyone who wasn't cheating was evidently the compromise they came up with.
  • One of the doors in a hallway on Kamino in Lego Star Wars leads to a room where there is a puzzle to be completed. If you solve the puzzle, the floor becomes a disco and a disco version of the Star Wars theme plays.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum actually had an Easter Egg so well-hidden that it wasn't discovered until the developers threw the fans a bone four months after its release and outright said "There is an Easter Egg nobody has found in this room of the game." It's in Warden Sharp's office, and contains a Sequel Hook for Batman: Arkham City.
  • Grabbed By the Ghoulies contains tons of Easter eggs from the Banjo-Kazooie games, mostly in the form of paintings of the various Banjo characters placed around the mansion. There's also an infamous whiteboard in one room apparently listing part of a(n incomplete) solution for Banjo's "Stop 'n' Swop".
  • In X-Men Origins: Wolverine the video game there's a section of the game where you can see Frostmourne, the Lich King's sword, in a heap of ice rocks. Next to this is a skeleton with an exclamation point above it, referencing the marks for quests in World Of Warcraft.
    • There are two other easter eggs in it that reference Portal and Lost. You get achievements for finding each one.
  • In Assassin's Creed II, pull the lever and stare into the water in one of the Assassin Tomb dungeons long enough and a giant squid swims by. Hang around a little while longer and it attacks you!

Adventure

  • Riven: The Sequel To Myst had a series of "Spyder Eggs" riddles on its website (and those of the associated companies), leading to the discovery of the five Easter Eggs in that game. (By far the best is the one where the actor playing Gehn bursts into song. He's actually quite good.)
    • Myst III: Exile and Myst Online: Uru Live also have Easter eggs. Some re-releases of the original game Myst have Easter eggs as well, but these were added later and are not part of the original game as designed by the creators. A well-known Myst fan named Zardoz is responsible for cracking some of the tougher to find eggs.
  • The Quest for Glory series is one huge collection of Easter Eggs.
  • Back in the days when Lucas Arts still made some of the best adventure games on the planet, they had Steve Purcell's Sam and Max Freelance Police as mascots. Max has appeared in some form or other in every single adventure game they ever made, usually as the design of a room, or as graffiti on a wall. Look for a oval with two rabbit ears on it -- that's Max.
    • Furthermore: Dying counts as an Easter Egg in Lucas Arts games because it is almost impossible to do so. But when it does happen, it frequently happens as Crowning Moment of Funny.
    • There's a number of Easter Eggs to be found in The Curse of Monkey Island too. To list but a few examples:
      • Starting a new game on 25 December or 1 January will display a message upon starting.
      • Talk to Palido (the sunbather guy on Puerto Pollo's beach) and ask him how long he's been there. He'll tell you he's been there since eight months before the current month on your computer calendar. If your computer calendar shows January, he'll wish you a happy new year.
      • On Blood Island, go to the lake and try to pick up the water to make Guybrush remark "I don't really want to go in the ocean." Do it 25 times, and Guybrush will eventually go underwater - and appear in the underwater scene from Secret of Monkey Island, complete with drowned Guybrush sprite (which is labelled as "fish food"). After Guybrush leaves, search the water and you can find an arrow that lets you go down and have a proper look round.
      • In the Goodsoup Family Crypt on Blood Island, examine the hole in the back wall (where the roots are) to find yourself in the forest of Mêlée Island from the first game, complete with original music and HUD. Unlike the water scene, you don't get to have a proper look round, but it is a nice Call Back to the first game, where examining the stump (which Guybrush pops out of in this Easter Egg) reveals that it leads to "a maze of caverns" - presumably the Goodsoup Family Crypt.
      • On Skull Island, when talking to the bandits, ask "What about toys, got any toys?" and Guybrush will be given a LeChuck doll. In the final area of the game, try using the doll on LeChuck.
      • Examine the clock on Puerto Pollo and Guybrush will read out the time, right down to the second. The time is the same as your computer clock. The clock also chimes every half hour.
      • Mess with the lights in the theatre and you can make them form the shape of Max.
      • When looking into Mort's room in the Goodsoup Family Crypt, you can find a book called Zombies Ate My Neighbors, the name of another Lucas Arts game.
      • In Blondebeard's restaurant there's a single table visible with an undead pirate sitting there, wearing a hat that's obscuring his face. If you prompt Guybrush to touch the guy, he shoves him to get his attention, causing him to collapse onto the table and his hat to fall off. The pirate is actually Manny Calavera. As a bonus, a button falls off his jacket onto the table that reads "Ask Me About Grim Fandango".
    • The early Lucasarts games contained several references to (usually) their immediate predecessor - Zak Mckracken had references to slimy meteors, an unuseable gas tank and the protagonist having dated the Distressed Damsel from Maniac Mansion, while Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade had the yellow shard and crayon map in the school and the book "Everything you wanted to know about Caponians and Skolarians" in the Venice library. Secret of Monkey Island had numerous references to Loom, including a pirate making a lengthy advertising shill on demand.
  • In Telltale Games' Sam and Max Freelance Police game Abraham Lincoln Must Die!, Max becomes President and has the power to change the date. Try changing it to Easter and checking the golf hole. You find a nice Lampshade Hanging and an achievement for the 360 version.
  • A lesser known Sierra game, Shivers, involves the player traversing a deserted museum to capture elemental monsters that killed three people in the past. As the museum is dedicated to the "strange and unusual", and the player is constantly afraid of bumping into these monsters, it's surprising that the Easter eggs are the scariest parts of the game. There are funny eggs, but also disembodied shadows and glowing red eyes in cramped, dark spaces. Their appearances are randomised, and all the more pants-wetting.
  • Other Sierra games contained numerous eggs as well. One in King's Quest II was actually an advertisment for the then-new Space Quest series.
    • Another involved a note pinned to the back of a tree where you wouldn't be expected to go to read a note. A third involved the Batmobile occasionally coming out of Hagatha's cave instead of Hagatha. If you type in "LOOK BATMAN" the message responding to you will say, "He looks lost. I don't think he belongs in this game." And there are easter eggs galore in the other KQ games. I believe sierraplanet.com has pretty complete lists.
    • And then some depend on the player doing silly stuff. (see 1:42 into the video)
  • Uru has a secret egg quest which starts out in a room with a giant Easter egg floating in the center of it, and ends with you being allowed to drive a Zamboni around outside the starting area.
  • This trope is a staple of the Nancy Drew video game series, sometimes allowing the player to add actual Easter eggs to Nancy's inventory. Perhaps the most memorable is a phone number which, if dialed in-game during White Wolf of Icicle Creek, gets Nancy harranged by a phone-in psychic who references every previous game in the series.
    • One Easter Egg in Legend of the Crystal Skull can only be accessed by visiting the out-of-game website of a character from a previous game.
  • The first Discworld game has a somewhat infamous one detailed here. Eric Idle had jokingly recorded the line "I want to be the first person in a game to say fuck," and they had to put it somewhere, didn't they?
  • The Doctor Who adventure game, "The Gunpowder Plot", has these innocuous facts about the level... But after reading them, you can hear a sinister clicking noise, and when you turn back, you can see one of the Silents. Looking at the fact again will result in the Silent talking about the history of whatever you looked at, and then just disappear.

Eastern RPG

  • Persona 3 has some unusual Easter Eggs found when using a Game Shark or other devices. Most notably, it has Mitsuru or Fuuka scolding you for cheating -- using several differently lines, and fully voiced, to boot.
    • That happens if you use a cheat device to enable usage of the Universe Arcana Persona in normal gameplay specifically. Other Easter Eggs also exist - once you have all characters, try making a party of all girls (barring the MC, of course), a party of all guys (Junpei, Akihiko and Ken or Akihiko, Shinjiro and Ken are the only combinations that work), all second year students (Yukari, Junpei and Aigis), or the original SEES members (Mitsuru, Akihiko and Shinjiro) and talk to one of them in Tartarus - the members will say something about the party. Another one happens if you equip Mara as your Persona and enter the Velvet Room.
  • The first four .hack games came with DVDs detailing what happened in the real world during the events of the game. Watching these with the subtitles on would reveal area keywords for the game where you could find rare items.
    • On a related note are the DVD cases of .hack//SIGN. The back covers of the boxes had several random words highlighted. These were keywords leading to special areas in the .hack games that dealt with a character or event covered in SIGN. Not only that, but when the DVDs are stacked in order, they spell "LOGOUT". The .hack series was one where avid fans learned very quickly that NOTHING was insignificant...
  • The first-generation Pokémon games have a truck in the game which isn't even seen during normal gameplay. The truck is only accessible if you have the Surf HM which is not available until much later in the game, and the area from where you can get to the truck is closed off after its role in the story is complete. The only way to get to the truck is to be defeated by a trainer and get instantly transported back to Vermilion from the S.S. Anne, so that you can leave the ship without triggering the cutscene where it sails away (which would render the area inaccessible) at the same time. Then, after getting Surf, you can get to the truck. The secrecy of this truck made it infamous, with many rumors circulating that Mew was under the truck, that there was a sidequest involving a set of keys the player can notice left at the Game Corner, etc. This truck is still present in the remake, and is just as hard to get to. However, examining the truck this time gives you a Lava Cookie. The hard-to-get-to truck with no purpose now gives you an item. By giving it some significance, the developers are acknowledging the billion rumors surrounding the truck all those years ago.
  • Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete has a Warlords-like mini-game hidden on its "Making Of..." disc, accessible via a hidden code.

Edutainment Game

  • In many of the Living Books games, there would be at least one Easter Egg in each title.

Fighting Game

  • The now freeware DOS fighter Xenophage: Alien Bloodsport allows you to beat up Barney and Friends if you fiddle around with the config files. And yes, the game does mock you if you lose to him (which is pretty much impossible to do involuntarily.).
  • The King of Fighters is not above secret special moves and such (in fact, in SNK’s earliest fighting game offerings, all super moves initially went unpublished, and to this day they sometimes keep a tiny number of them initially secret), but on occasion they put in some just for fun. As Bao in ’99-2001, for instance, if you hold down and the opponent does nothing, he starts drawing stuff on the ground... then sits down looking bored, then sort of nods off. Aww.
    • K' also drops his usual fighting stance, starts blinking his eyes slower and slower and falls asleep if you stand still long enough.
  • In Super Smash Bros Brawl, try listening to Peach's final smash in slow motion. it's a speed up version of the Sky Heaven theme in Super Mario Bros 3.

First Person Shooter

  • Duke Nukem 3D map makers also loved to sign their names, often creating whole rooms that could only be seen by entering the "show map" cheat. However, a few were signed in-game along with messages asking the player how they got to the location? ironic, considering that two of the messages were easy to find with no cheats at all!
    • The Duke Nukem 3D Plutonium Pak CD, which patches Registered v1.3D to v1.4 and adds a fourth episode, contains a CD audio track of the finished version of "Grab Bag", the game's title music. A little-known fact about the tune is that the MIDI version included in Duke Nukem 3D is actually incomplete.
  • The Halo games have lots of these, most notably the skulls in Halo 2, which had effects in-game.
    • There's the secret "Siege of Madrigal" music from Myth, which is heard as a "Source Music" in hard-to-reach locations, and also appears as a stinger on the soundtrack CD, at the end of the last track.
    • A developer left a surprise for his girlfriend in the room the Unkillable Marines came from. It was her name, Megg, written in human blood. I believe they broke up.
    • The giant soccer ball in "Metropolis".
    • Several of the music pieces have backmasked speech that sounds like the Gravemind.
    • Halo: Reach has the Club Errera (named after Claude Errera) in New Alexandria where, by hitting a switch on another building, you can hear "Never Surrender" from the Halo2 OST while the city is burning, as well as a techno remix of "Siege of Madrigal" after hitting the switch on the roof of the building.
  • Many of the older Counter-Strike maps featured credit sections or rooms. Notable examples are rooms in Aztec and Italy, and a breakable section of wall in Office. These have since been removed.
  • The final boss of Doom 2 was an Easter Egg. You were forced to shoot rockets into the exposed brain of a demon's head which takes up most of the wall. If you cheat through, you can see that the demon's brain is designer John Romero's head on a pike. And the demonic-sounding sound file at the beginning is just the phrase "To win the game you must kill me, John Romero" played backwards.
  • Chex Quest, a non-violent Doom clone, had a secret room in the third stage accessible only by jumping from a rising elevator platform. Inside the room were framed pictures of the programmers and the BFG.
  • In a women's locker room in Geist there are a few lockers that can be opened to reveal a Gamecube and Samus' suit.
  • The Marathon series is infamous for hiding terminals in out of the way places, but they sometimes used them to hide "credit terminals" towards the end of the game. Marathon Infinity takes this one step further, hiding an entire multiplayer map (that was used to make screenshots for terminal pictures that showed up elsewhere in the game), in hex format, in two terminals: one in the first level, and one in the final level. The trick was, turning this hex code into plain text. From there, a couple runs of the text (in a text file) though Stuffit Expander would result in the final, usable level. Full details can be found here.
  • Played straight in the co-op mode of Resistance 2, there is a broken bridge in Chicago's Garfield Park that when you stand on the edge of it and look down, you see a nice blue and purple easter egg.
  • In one of Day of Defeat maps Axis can get with some risk hidden FG-42 (a paratrooper weapon unavailable on normal maps).
  • Pathways into Darkness has an actual easter egg hidden behind a fake wall on the level "Happy Happy, Carnage Carnage"(I think).
  • The Quake games had Easter eggs hidden in certain levels. Quake and Quake II had the Dopefish in hidden areas. Quake II also had a rubber ducky in a secret level (which appeared on a wall after riding a cycling elevator a certain number of times), a hidden area in the enemy base level where you could find and get John Carmack's head, and in the final level a hidden credits section along with a rather raunchy scene involving a few of the enemy units. Finally Quake III Arena had the Dust Puppy underneath one of the maps (i.e. you had to fall off it to see it).
  • In Medal of Honor: Frontline, as you are boarding Sturmgeist's train, a UFO flies overhead.
  • In FEAR: Perseus Mandate you can jump off from an elevator with godmode enabled and see the message "I suck at making maps" written on the wall at the bottom of the pit.
  • Apogee's Rise of the Triad had a very silly egg added to a certain bug in the game. If a pushwall isn't properly defined, and escapes the boundaries of the map, the game will crash - and display an sketch of the wall smiling as it flees into space. This can be activated intentionally on a hidden level, appropriately named "This Level Causes A Bug".
  • One of the many, many achievement farming maps in Team Fortress 2 has several of these, down, but not limited to:
    • A Pyro performing a Jump Scare in an airvent.
    • Being able to get out of the area you're fighting in.
    • Finding Painis Cupcake himself.

Interactive Fiction

  • Easter Eggs in a (more recent) work of Interactive Fiction are often hinted at by the author after the game ends. The recent Interactive Fiction offerings (created by the fandom) often have some kind of response to the command XYZZY available in the original Adventure game.
    • Not just in recent interactive fiction, either -- "xyzzy" has been a secret command or veiled reference in hundreds of programs (games and otherwise) over the decades since Colossal Cave first appeared.
  • Trying to scream or cry in Anchorhead will yield different results depending on which stage of the plot you're in.

MMORPG

  • The redesign of the Faultline zone in Issue 8 of City of Heroes included a well-hidden "lounge room"; entering earns you the "Egg Hunter" exploration badge.
    • Of course the problem with that is that unlike the Warhammer example below it's fairly easy to find, so about 5 seconds after the first hunter found it, everyone knew about it.
  • Warhammer Online has an Easter egg zone -- a player in the Inevitable City who manages to successfully navigate a battle-filled arena and do some careful jumping across a series of floating rock islands can find a Chaos gateway. Jumping thought it lands one in an area identified by the loading screen as the Winds of Chaos, which consists of a random location filled with eye-candy. Possibilities include an icy crater filled with frozen daemons and one very cold high elf, a beautiful elven beach, a bird's nest on a mountain next to fleets of ships hanging in the sky, the moon, and the starting village from Mythic's Dark Age Of Camelot. Sadly, you only remain in these areas for a few seconds before being teleported back to the Chaos capital, allowing only brief exploration.

Platform Game

  • In Super Mario World, when you stay on the map of the "special" zone (on "Star Road") for a couple of minutes, it starts playing a steeldrum version of the classic Super Mario Bros.. theme.
    • A more disturbing Easter egg can be found in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Go to the Shiverburn galaxy, from the start go to the left, enter first person, and look up. You will see three shadowy figures with big eyes (?) looking at you from the cliff. And if you move to the next part of the galaxy, they will still be in front of you.
    • In the first Paper Mario, if you left the controller idle on the Chapter start screen (e.g. the ones that displayed the Chapter's title), the original version of the Super Mario Bros. (World 1-1) theme would play.
  • Sonic CD has a secret passage in the Past and Bad Future versions of Wacky Workbench Act 1. In the Past, a green statue of an angel will be waiting for you and gives you a good amount of rings. However in the Bad Future, a gold statue of Eggman will appear instead. You can destroy it, but bombs will rain on you seconds later.
  • Metroid Fusion is more linear than most games in the series, but it still rewards would-be sequence breakers with an Easter egg -- a short cutscene which hints at the game's big Reveal and ends with one character musing "I wonder how many players will see this message??" The answer is very few -- legitimately, anyway. The sequence break is incredibly difficult and accomplishing it is a badge of honour among Metroid fans.
  • Pitfall II: Lost Caverns for the Atari 8-bit and 5200 had an entirely new level after you beat the game that was longer than the actual game itself. This may be the largest relative Easter egg in any game.
  • Later games in the Jak and Daxter series scattered (coincidentally egg-shaped) Precursor Orbs around the levels for players to find, which could be spent on various cheats and Easter eggs (found under Cheats in the pause menu), ranging from game breakers such as infinite ammunition and invulnerability to more trivial stuff like mirroring the game world and toggling the protagonist's goatee on and off. The in-world explanation is that since the game takes place in the future, the formerly abundant Orbs have now become increasingly rare, and extremely valuable in the process.
  • If you managed to get your hands on a copy of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, you could put it into a CD player and set it to track 2 to get a cool remix of one of the games main themes. Topping it off were the opening moments of it, when Alucard says "As you can see, this is a Play Station black disk. Cut number one contains computer data, so please, don't play it. But you probably won't listen to me anyway, will you?" He was being honest; nothing is there to listen to.
    • The Turbo Grafx 16 version of Rondo of Blood had two classic Easter eggs. The first one, like the above, requires you to play it in the CD player, which started up something like a miniature Drama CD track explaining that you can't play the game in a CD player, ending with Richter exclaiming "By the way, turn the volume down," which was shortly followed by massive screeching as the CD player tries to play the game's data and programming tracks. The second shows up if you play the game with a version 1 system card instead of the required version 2 card; you play a game that is an absolute mockery of a game, with horrifyingly cutesy renditions of Richter and Maria. The name of the level is "Stage X -- The System Card 1 Level."
      • The cool thing about PC-Engine discs in general was that they also served as soundtrack discs, due to how the PC-Engine handled music data. Any standard CD player can handle PCE music tracks. You have to watch out for when the non-music data cues up, though!
    • Symphony of the Night in general has shitloads of easter eggs. Like the fountain in Olrox's quarters, which turns red for no reason, the birds nesting in one room, the random little upside down things in the first castle, the rare alternate form when Alucard gets turned to stone...
  • In the DOS platformer Stix World, Bottomless Pits are usually marked with a "Danger!" sign. However, if you fall past a certain one that says, "Banger!" instead of "Danger!" while possessing a blue key, you can find a room with a giant actual easter egg. Collecting this egg causes a message to pop up informing you to "check in the game directory." Doing so reveals a rather bizarre easter egg: a text file containing the entirety of Alice in Wonderland!
  • The Insomniac Museum of Ratchet and Clank fame. It's an easter egg level full of stuff that didn't make it into the game in the style of the actual Insomniac Games office layout, and various Insomniac staff members have commentary on each item. The Museum appears in only three of the games, and is located on 'Planet Burbank' (in reference to where the company is located), or on 'Dantopia'. Getting into it usually happens by chance, since the rather out-of-the-way telepads that send you there only work when your Play Station 2 internal clock is set to the top a specific hour. In Going Commando, there's second way to get in that doesn't require setting your clock, but is much more difficult to discover, since you have to do a series of very specific things most people would never consider doing otherwise.
  • The secret stars in Braid.
  • In the Updated Rerelease of Jinsei Owata no Daibouken, if you take the left path, you end up in the world of I Wanna Be the Guy, and the Final Boss is the Kid.
  • If you hold B while selecting Shade Man's stage in Mega Man 7, the intro fanfare and BGM change to that of Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts' first stage.
  • The 128K version of the ZX Spectrum game Zub had the hidden game Lightfarce, supposedly by Fast-As-You-Like Software (a parody of FTL's Lightforce) as an easter egg. It later saw release as a separate game (Zarjas).

Real-Time Strategy

  • Blizzard Entertainment's games are rife with various Easter eggs. In the RTS games, clicking on a unit often enough results into them uttering various funny lines (or, if it's a critter, they explode), and exploring the map in great detail may result in finding Easter egg units. For instance, zerglings, hydralisks and marines from Starcraft can be found in Warcraft III. And let's not get started on World of Warcraft...
    • In addition, with the exception of the first Warcraft, every Blizzard RTS (Usually the expansion packs) to date has had a hidden music track. Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal had 'I'm a Medieval Man' earned by typing disco or putting the game disc into a CD player, Typing Medieval Man in Warcraft II (Battle.net Edition) also yielded this music, Starcraft: Brood War had Radio Free Zerg, a semi-subliminal Stupid Statement Dance Mix featuring the Overmind, earned of course by typing Radio Free Zerg while playing Zerg, and finally Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne has 'Power of the Horde' by either typing in Tenth Level Tauren Chieftain or by beating the campaign (Which accompanied the song with a nice ingame engine music video).
    • Starcraft II has the usual crossovers between Blizzard games (Tauren and Murloc marines for example), but in the Wings of Liberty secret mission, there is a Metroid in a holding tank.
  • Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds has several Easter egg characters hidden in the corners of maps, such as Mara Jade. There are also cheats that will give you absurdly overpowered joke super-units such as the Death Star, a Star Destroyer, and Simon the Killer Ewok.
    • The Star Destroyers were interestingly left out of the game entirely, despite being featured prominently in briefings. Eventually, the expansion introduced Air Cruisers that were pretty much the same as the Easter Egg Star Destroyer, but even with the lack of scale, they were visibly designed to look smaller.
  • In Europa Universalis 3, Aragon has the mission to become King of Gonder, a province in Ethiopia.
    • And to defeat Saruhan, a Turkish state that can sometimes appear as a revolter.

Simulation

  • Naming sims in The Sims after Greek gods or old Hollywood stars sometimes gives special benefits and gifts to those characters.
    • Ditto with Rollercoaster Tycoon.
    • Zoo Tycoon too. Naming guests "Mr. Blue" or "Mr. Pink" after Reservoir Dogs will change the colour of all the guests' clothes.
    • And Theme Park World. Naming customers after certain production team members causes them to stay longer or spend more money.
    • Sim Copter has one of the most famous Easter Eggs of all. In the finale, you are greeted by a throng of adoring citizens. Allegedly, the producer told one of the artists to include a bunch of bikini babes in the scene, without knowing that the artist was homosexual. Annoyed at the request, the artist included several speedo-wearing men, some of whom were kissing. Maxis fired him and was forced to recall early editions of the game.
    • Also should note that in Sim City 3000 and Sim City 4, many of the office buildings were named after a person who helped develop the game (like Wren Insurance). And let's not forget the biggest Easter Egg of them all; The California Plaza, where the Maxis studios is located, is a landmark players can build in their cities (actually quite snazzy looking too).
    • Every game in The Sims including its two sequels all contain easter eggs.
  • Drakengard has an Easter egg to obtain after seeing all of the game's Multiple Endings. It involves doing a free mission in Tokyo and shooting down three or five jets of the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, which is much harder than it sounds. After you accomplish this, you can choose to fly either your dragon or an SU-47 in free missions. This is a Shout-Out to Cavia Inc., who develop the Ace Combat series of games and developed the Flight Sim half of the game. Did I mention that the protagonist is still mounted on the outside of the jet?
  • In the third level of Battle Tanx 2: Global Assault there are many cars scattered around the level, many outside the game 'area'. They can be destroyed with careful blasting or a remote controlled rocked. One of these, upon destruction, will cue a whole series of messages from various employees who worked on the game. The theme is 'We want to work hard on making a good game'.
  • Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter has literal Easter Eggs hidden in the Mount Merakan level.
  • The Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series had several Easter Eggs, such as a hidden level in the first game that let you play as an AT-ST, all three games have a code that turns one of the ships into a flying Buick (yes, the car), and best of all the first game had a code that unlocked the Naboo Starfighter and the code wasn't discovered until six months after the game came out (Which was also when the movie came out in theaters) when Lucas Arts unveiled it. Some of the people who worked on the game didn't even know about it.
  • Creatures had many, but the most famous was a Bustr.txt, a file which read: Hunting scuba cows (A Poem) / Pebbles are not edible. It is fruitless to try eating them. / I have not eaten a sandwhich in many days. / Despair not for Wednesdays. / Salmon unite. / Boo hoo. / Bye. / Thankyou.
  • Star Wars: Starfighter had a force-field cube with silly pictures in picture frames accessible by turning around at the beginning of the first level. Also, one mission features a missile frigate that launches two "Chris Corrpedoes", named for lead programmer Chris Corry.
  • In Wing Commander IV, typing "animal" when the shipboard computer terminal text is scrolling, before it gets to the prompt for a callsign, results in a text based "20 questions" type game called "Animal Gump". Replacing "animal" with "chicken" gives an alternate version of the credits, with strange comments.
  • If you play X Wing when your system clock says it is December 25, a tiny Santa Claus is visible in the background on the menu screen.
    • On December 25th, Beyond Dark Castle has a Christmas tree on the backside of the revolving door to the castle.
  • F/A 18 Hornet has a literal giant easter egg floating over an airbase near Lake Bahr-al-Mith in Iraq.
  • The Hollywood Hacking sim Uplink combines this with Genius Bonus in a very interesting and thematically appropriate way. There are supposedly encrypted easter eggs hidden in the game's code. If you want to see them, find the right segments and crack the encryption keys.
  • Star Wars Rebel Assault II has several that are activated by holding down certain keys during a cutscene. One is a falling stormtrooper doing a Wile E. Coyote impression, another is a squad of dancing stormtroopers.
  • In Silent Hunter 4, you can find a Ghost Ship (the Flying Dutchman)? as well as...well.

Sports

Stealth

  • Metal Gear. The whole series. The early ones had a few, but the Solid games contain more than you could possibly ever find -- to the point where it's almost closer to The Dev Team Thinks of Everything. They vary from bonus conversations, to lewd posters and jokes, to Konami Easter Island heads, to Running Gags, to strange bonus items and scenes. You can get so much Video Game Cruelty Punishment it's unreal, get enough Fan Service to last you the night, and even make the main character shave off his beard for the finale of the second game, if you decide you don't like it.
  • The Gold edition of Thief: The Dark Project features a hidden joke stage, accessible by altering the configuration file, that intentionally exposed things the players weren't supposed to see, such as bugs that were killed before final release and the placeholder texture, along with notes giving insights into the design process and some out-and-out gags.
    • Then there's an Easter Egg basketball court (which doubles as a Developer Room thanks to a scroll with the devs' quotes). It's hidden in the training mission, but you can access it only if you select Expert difficulty.
    • Thief 2 has a rather unusual one. In the level where you break into the City Watch HQ, if you throw a Scouting Orb over the wall immediately to your left when the level begins you can see a couple of zombies dancing.

Turn-Based Strategy

  • Shining Force has two items which, when held by the appropriate (female) character, change that character's field sprites to ones with a little more Fan Service. In the English-language release, their names have been romanized, but not translated.
  • Eschalon: Book 1 contains three items called Easter Eggs. If all three are found they can be traded in to make the character advance a level.
  • You have to be incredibly lucky or very persistent to see it, but in Phantom Brave, you can generate anthropomorphic owl Player Mooks. One of the possible names assigned to them is Orly.
  • In the Special Edition version of Lords of Magic, there are 4 official quests (Fire,Earth,Death, and Order) you can choose from. There's also a hidden 5th quest(based on the story of Siegfried, and complete with German accents) that can be accessed by clicking on the center of the quest selection room

Visual Novel

  • In the mirror moon translation of Fate/stay night, go to Caster's Info screen and go to her first skill page. A little Neko-Arc from Tsukihime is in the corner of the text box.

Western RPG

  • Fallout has many examples. This link lists some
    • In an example of this perhaps being taken too far, the Expansion Pack Mothership Zeta for Fallout 3 is based entirely around one particular easter egg.
    • The "Wild Wasteland" perk in New Vegas essentially places a bunch of Easter Eggs on the map that also double as Shout Outs to other media.
  • In Ultima V on the Commodore, yelling FLIPFLOP would flip the screen upside down.
  • The Gothic series has the Mighty Alien Dwarf, who leaves signed messages to the player, either in areas of the game that can't be reached without cheating or in places that there's no real reason to explore. One message not from the Dwarf was a rusted-out old car hidden deep in an uninhabited corner of the map, with a note from the game developer saying, "Well, I always wanted to make a game with cars, you know."
  • One of Neverwinter Nights bookshelf models has a book on top, titled "BioWare corp" on the cover and "This is a Book" on the spine.
  • In Baldur's Gate, there's a character called "Peter of the North." It's clearly a joke on Peter North, the porn star. He talks about being a "master woodsman" and his console code is "coksmth." Not sure if that's exactly an Easter Egg; maybe a programmer was really into porn... inconceivable!
    • Fairly early in the game you can run into a ranger named "Bub Snikt", who claims that he's the best at what he does, and what he does ain't pretty. If asked to join your group, he claims he works alone.
    • At another point you can meet "Lord Foreshadow", who makes oblique comments about trouble brewing down in Amn, and that he recently visited Neverwinter.
  • The voice actors for Hawke in Dragon Age II must have had a lot of fun the day they recorded their combat lines; the source audio file archive includes such menacing battle cries as "There's a donkey in the spoon drawer!" and "This fish isn't working!"

Wide Open Sandbox

  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, if you get to the top of one of the towers on the Gant Bridge in San Fierro, you will see a sign that says "There are no Easter Eggs here. Go away." The Grand Theft Auto series is as a whole rife with Easter Eggs.
    • Furthermore, if you go to the Bridge's tourist gift shop, you will see a section of the bridge itself, and a plaque that tells you how much bits of data was needed for the developers of the game to make and design it.
    • Grand Theft Auto Vice City Lampshades this with a chocolate egg and a "Happy Easter" sign in a secret room.
  • Saints Row 2 has an actual Easter Bunny that rises from the water.
  • Endless Ocean has a lot of these, but they're either very small, unobtrusive, and possibly not intentional (the holes in the rock at Comb Reef, the various findable items, the out-of-season fish) or huge enough to stretch the definition of "egg" (the Ship's Rest area, some of the aforementioned items). The only true Easter Egg is the secret cutscene unlockable by sitting on the deckchair at sunset.
    • There are a few other ones that are almost definitely intentional. Kat can be spoken to on deck, and usually provides information as to what you should do next. However, once story mode has been completed, she says random, sometimes navel-contemplative, sometimes funny things. There's also another secret cutscene unlocked by achieving One Hundred Percent Completion.
  • The Elder Scrolls Morrowind and Oblivion are full of Easter eggs.
  • In Vette, driving off the far end of the Bay Bridge would lead you to Alameda, home of Spectrum Holobyte, the developers.
  • Scarface the World Is Yours has this in dialogue trees. Unique conversations give performance bonuses. Talk to everyone (sometimes twice). That old lady in the hat? Tony Montana will try to pick her up. The masked wrestler really likes candy. And fried chicken. Tony even tries family counseling on a teenager wandering Miami Beach.

Misc

  • On the QWERTY type key arrangement, the word "Typewriter" is contained in the top row. Whether or not this is coincidence is debatable.
    • According to Cracked, this was so salesmen could easily type the word to impress potential buyers.
    • "Secretary" can, intentionally or not, be typed entirely with the left hand. Hmm.
  • If you're playing the Macintosh version of any shareware game made by Ambrosia Software, press 'X' on that game's title screen for an Easter Egg.
  • A particularly common form of Easter egg is a "programmers' room". Well-known examples are found in Chrono Trigger.
  • Nintendo composer Kazumi Totaka is notorious for hiding a short, 19-note melody in most of the games he's worked on? sometimes so well-hidden that fans are still trying to find it in various games, years after their release. The usual method seems to involve pausing the game at some certain place and then waiting a few minutes.
    • The Legend of Zelda Links Awakening even contains three distinct versions: wait in Prince Richard's house for 2 minutes and 30 seconds for one version, enter とたけけ (Totakeke) as your name in the Japanese version and MOYSE in the German version (ZELDA in the US version plays a remixed Zelda overworld theme instead) for a second version, and a third version that exists in the game code but can't be accessed in-game (or at least no one knows how), while the German translation is the only international release known to have the second one accessible in-game (with Moyse being the last name of the German translation's writer, Claude Moyse).
  • Somewhat of a visual version of the Totaka tune is the Dopefish, first found in Commander Keen 4 and afterwards spread to countless games.
  • All Dreamcast game discs have an audio track stating that the disc is for Dreamcast. Sometimes, this track was generic; other times, it was performed in character ("We can't save the world from a CD player, so just? put us back in a Dreamcast, so we can do our jobs!").
    • Obscure Dreamcast game Seventh Cross: Evolution had a truly unique twist on this practice; the audio from what could only have been cutscenes removed from the game proper.
    • Shenmue spanned three discs; each disk's audio track was performed by a different character.
    • Panic Bomber for the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 also had such a track, featuring Shirobon (White Bomber) and Kurobon (Black Bomber).
  • Often mistaken for an Easter Egg: Hold down the Start and Select buttons as you start up a Game Boy Advance; the Nintendo logo under the Game Boy Advance logo will disappear with a four note jingle reminiscent of some sound effects in Mario games. The A button will make the logo reappear and make the game continue booting. In fact, it's actually just a method of overriding the cartridge slot so that downloads through the Link Cable (e.g. for single-cart multiplayer games, from a Game Cube) will work without you having to pull out the game that's already in there. Believing that this is an Easter Egg shows that someone didn't Read the Freaking Manual.
  • Similarly, try holding down the Z button as you start up a Game Cube. Now try holding down the Z buttons on all four controllers at once as you start it up.
    • This also works for holding Z on the first two controllers, but not the first three, sadly.
  • While examining a painting of Flora in Professor Layton and the Curious Village, if you try to touch her breast when you're supposed to find the mark of the Golden Apple, the Professor will say "Now Luke, be a gentleman."
  • In the special edition of Bioshock 2, you have several posters advertising Rapture. On each one of them is Rapturian graffiti in UV-sensitive ink that is only visible under a blacklight. This is hinted at NOWHERE on the poster.
  • It was recently discovered that the Game Cube system menu's ambient background music is actually a version of the Famicom Disk System startup music slowed down to about 1/25th of the original speed.
  • The hidden object game Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove contains an Easter Egg that can only be solved if you complete the game twice: once to view the clues that appear in the closing credits, and a second time to solve them and access the egg.
  • Wario Ware: D.I.Y. has an interesting one that made a lot of Mario Paint fans giddy. If you enter the Game MakerMatic and name your game "Mario Paint", you'll hear one of its BGMs as you draw. (If you change the name to something else, though, the music goes away.)
  • In the Solar System installment of the Magic School Bus educational CD-ROM games had a video camera sitting on a desk in the classroom. It normally did nothing. When you flick the lightswitch in the room to make everything pitch black, and then clicked the video camera, it made a screen appear on the blackboard of the classroom. You could then watch things such as the credits, more information about the Solar System, or a video about how if a person comes into your school dressed as Miss Frizzle, you should "start packing" (you can't travel through the Solar System in one day!).
  • In FreeCell entering game number -1 or -2 results in an unwinnable deal, while (in the newest version) entering -3 or -4 yields a deal that can be instantly won.
  • Vectron for the Intellivision would display a message from the programmer if the player did an incredibly difficult series of maneuvers for seven levels. As with Atari's Adventure, this Easter Egg was hidden because Mattel had a policy against crediting programmers.


Computer Software

  • There are two pages of Easter eggs for the Apple Newton handheld computer, including Finder's ability to predict Elvis sightings...
  • Microsoft Excel 97 had a hidden Flight Simulator mode that could be triggered by inputting a specific set of commands while in a brand new spreadsheet.
    • Similarly, users of Microsoft Excel 95 could reach a Doom-style "Hall of Tortured Souls".
      • Finally, Excel 2000 featured a Spy Hunter style driving game dubbed "Dev Hunter" by its fans.
    • In Windows 3.1, a certain sequence of keys would replace the Windows logo in the "About Windows" dialogue with a portrait of Bill Gates or (depending on what code was entered), a polar bear.
    • Windows 95 had a feature whereas, in Explorer, you created a folder on the desktop named "and now, the moment you've all been waiting for" then renamed it "we proudly present for your viewing pleaure" then finally renamed it "The Microsoft Windows 95 Product Team!" the directory window would show a video (complete with music) of all the people involved in creating Windows 95.
    • Older versions of the 3D Text screensaver, upon having "volcano" input as the text, would display the names of random volcanoes.
    • The "Pipes" screensaver would sometimes manifest a teapot at one of the angles in the pipes it drew.
    • There is the Internet Explorer 4 credits. The series of manoeuvres that unlocks them is as fun to do as the credits, which feature silly "intermissions" between sets of names, are to watch.
    • In some versions of Microsoft Word, typing in "zzzz" and running the spellchecker will cause it to provide the alternative spelling "sex".
  • In Mac OS 7.5, making a text clipping of the words "secret about box" and double-clicking it would reward you with a game of Breakout, with developers' names printed on the blocks.
  • Most versions of Borland Delphi will display information about and photos of its development team in its About box if you hold down the Alt key and type in words like "TEAM" or "DEVELOPERS".
  • The Mozilla and Firefox browsers have a special response to typing "about:mozilla" in the URL input. Doing this in some versions of Internet Explorer, meanwhile, gets you a (false) Blue Screen of Death.
    • Firefox 3 includes additional about: pages, including about:robots.
      • The above works in the latest version of Firefox. Click the button twice, you lose the button. At least in this version, the last line referring to robots having "shiny metal posteriors" that "should not be bitten" is a reference to Futurama, in which Bender frequently proclaims "Bite my shiny metal ass!" In other words, Firefox says not to do as he says (Perhaps Mozilla learned a lesson from the episode "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television"?).
    • The original Seamonkey contains "about:kitchensink", due to reports that Mozilla had everything but the kitchen sink. An actual bug was created to remedy the situation.
    • Also, if, for some reason, Firefox fails to restore your last browser session, it'll deliver a less-than-serious apology.
    • Bug #700000: Buy Firefox developers some beer. (This may be a reference to the software licensing term "beerware", which is a very lax license that allows users to do whatever they want with the software if they buy the author a beer should the user meet him or her, or at least drink a beer in the author's honor. However, Mozilla's software is not beerware, being licensed under the Mozilla Public License.)
  • The Windows-only version of Google Chrome, 1.0, takes the URL "about:internets" and displays Windows's 3D Pipes screensaver; a Shout-Out to the infamous "it's a series of tubes" Hammerhead Snark / Memetic Mutation.
  • Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing has a pinball game hidden within it.
  • When asked for a certain set of directions, Google Maps advises you to "swim across the Atlantic Ocean." This is a reference to Benoît Lecomte.
    • Another insists at step 46 that you need to cross the Pacific in a kayak.
      • And then takes 27 toll roads in a row going through Japan. And then it makes you kayak across the Pacific again.
      • And let's you walk down Kamehameha road.
      • It's even more fun if you walk instead of drive.
      • And if you do the math, it gets even better. Given the distance traveled vs. time spent, it's actually assuming you go at a very reasonable speed in a kayak...for 15 days straight...without sleeping...and no equipment or supplies to weigh you down... It sounds like they expect you to do the oceanic trips with only a fishing rod, a fillet knife, and a plastic jug with a water filter.
      • If your path crosses through the East China Sea, the directions insist that you jet ski rather than kayak.
      • Ask Google Maps for walking directions from "the Shire" to "Mordor" and the resulting page tells you to use caution as one does not simply walk into Mordor.
    • Then there's the one with about nine hundred U-turns.
    • Google Moon used to turn the map into cheese on the closest zoom-in.
  • Try to find a version of Flash that does not have goodies hidden behind a tiny button in the about window.
  • Matlab, despite being a serious program for mathematics has quite a few Easter Eggs, see the full list.
  • Using the Konami Code (up up down down left right left right B A) in Google Reader will give the sidebar a ninja theme.
  • In Python v.3 or later, you can type import antigravity. It brings up that comic in your browser.
  • In Win RAR's "About Win RAR" window, clicking on the Win RAR icon will cause it to be affected by gravity (i.e. fall then bounce when it reaches the bottom of the window).


DVDs

  • The DVD of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me contains a secret menu, accessed if you wait around long enough on the special features menu for Dr. Evil's spaceship to fly into frame, and select the logo on it. The menu has several bonus features about, well, evil, if I remember correctly.
  • The DVD set of Broken Saints contains several, the crown jewel of which is a hilarious alternate commentary track on Chapter 19, Act 1, which is practically a Gag Dub of the chapter.
  • Most of the DVDs from the ADV Films release of Noir contain Easter Eggs, including four anime music videos on disk 7, and a live-action mini-film featuring sock puppet versions of the main characters on disk 6 (called "Noir: The Unsoled Story").
  • The English subtitled version of Urusei Yatsura has Easter eggs in the subtitle text. Lum's mother only speaks an untranslated alien language. The subtitle, to show that even in the original language the dialog is unintelligible, is written in the "Symbol" font (The Greek letter font). By matching the characters to a regular font yields hidden messages. One message was "the star wars parody was pretty cool", which is not what she would be saying, but instead referred to an earlier bit in that episode.
  • Doctor Who actually uses them as a plot point; in "Blink", the Doctor hides a message for the future in Easter Eggs in 17 unrelated DVDs. Appropriately, the message became a real-life Easter Egg on the Series 3 boxset.
    • On a side note, it is worth noting that DVDs of classic Doctor Who stories are stocked with Easter Eggs whereas the only Egg on releases of the new series so far is the "Blink" message. Hmmm...
    • The Blink speech wasn't the only one. The series 1 and 2 DVD set have the "Do you want to come with me?" promotion as an Easter Egg.
  • The DVD version of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers contains a hidden video clip of Gollum accepting a MTV award for Best Animated Character.
  • Not unlike the Noir example above, Madlax also has a sock puppet short on Volume 6.
  • And so does The Incredibles on the second disc of the DVD release.
  • On the DVD of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, when the standard FBI warning changes to the ELE screen, there is an intercut shot of three actual eggs, representative of the DVD's three hidden Easter eggs. Watching the first scene with the subtitle language set to "Wiccan" gives a coded hint to finding them.
  • The DVD of Memento has an Easter Egg on the main menu that lets you watch the film in chronological order.
  • The Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy DVD has a rather odd Easter Egg when you use the Infinite Improbability Drive. It shows a rather... strange cartoon.
    • In fact, it's the same cartoon that Deep Thought is watching within the movie.
    • The DVD of the 1980s TV series has a similar feature, which turns up totally at random when you push any button on the menu, and basically shows whatever it was you wanted, but in a weird messed up way with an apology for the effects of the Infinite Improbability Drive. Interestingly, the TV series DVD predates the films release by at least a year.
  • The DVD's of Fullmetal Alchemist feature some Easter eggs, usually by going to the extras menu and using some button/key presses to highlight a special symbol (or a letter in the logo). The majority of these Easter eggs are gag dubs of the next episode previews with the Japanese cast acting out of character (For example, the gag dub preview of one of the episodes has Winry's VA singing an alternate version of 'Tobira No Mukoe E' with lyrics that basically make fun of Ed), other Easter eggs include things like adverts. Sadly most of these bonus features were absent on the UK releases (With one DVD having a functionless egg)
  • The DVD of The Ring has a secret option on the main screen, if you scroll down through all the normal options, the cursor will disappear. Hit enter, and the DVD will play a (slightly extended) version of the cursed video, followed up by returning to the main screen with a phone ringing in the background. Once it starts playing, it cannot be stopped, paused, scrolled through, or in any way halted short of turning off your player.
  • The Matrix Revisited DVD had a secret list of about 64 songs that could be accessed by clicking on a phone booth in the background. This being The Matrix, I'm sure there's others in Animatrix, Reloaded, and Revisited.
  • Press up when the cursor is on the "play" button on the DVD of Madagascar. There's a video depicting the development of the movie's animation, with added Crowning Music of Awesome.
  • The fourth disc of season one of Life On Mars has a cell phone next to the ash tray that leads to an Easter Egg when you click it.
  • The DVD release of Duran Duran's Greatest video collection contains a number of Easter eggs which the viewer can get to either through a series of convoluted steps, or by going directly to the "track number" in each DVD. The Easter eggs include archival footage of the band playing at the Rum Runner nightclub (where they were the house band) while the New Romantic clubgoers dance around, soundtracked to "Planet Earth"; scenes from a 1984 British TV interview with the band featuring little sound clips of the slowed-down version of their instrumental "Faith in this Colour"; and a lengthy 1990 interview of the band talking about the creative process and the way their then-current album Liberty came to be.
  • Spider-Man 2 has a couple of memorable Easter Eggs found by moving the cursor off the list of items in a couple of the DVD menus. One has Sam Raimi claim that he's brought in an expert to show Alfred Molina how he wants a scene to be done. The camera pans over to show Willem Dafoe acting out one of Octavius' scenes, and Molina breaks down laughing. Another starts with Molina as Doc Ock snarling at the camera...before breaking out into "If I Were a Rich Man", with the puppeteers making Ock's tentacles dance along.
  • The Babylon 5 DVD collections contain bloopers and outtakes from the season you're currently watching. All one has to do is find the hidden "5" symbol in the extras menu on the 6th disc of each season.
  • Several DVDs of the Star Wars films contain Easter Eggs, including bloopers and the like, and are often revealed by inputting "1138". In the DVD for Attack of the Clones, select a poster behind Dex in his diner and you'll access a slideshow of rough, hand-drawn student posters: one has C-3PO advertising a Spanish language class.
  • You have to decipher some codes and do some lucky guessing on the National Treasure DVD to get your Easter Egg.
  • One of the DVDs in the Firefly set features Adam Baldwin singing "The Ballad of Jayne"
  • On one of the discs in the Wacky Races DVD set, one of the menu screens has two hot spots that lead to pre-commercial bumpers.
  • The first DVD of the 3rd Tenchi Muyo! OVA series has a hidden subtitle track in the first episode which contains the actual translation of Washu's "magic fingers" incident.
  • On Rush's R30 DVD, there's a documentary about their titular tour, and if you press one on your remote at a certain moment, a cartoon plays depicting Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson as dogs(and Neil Peart as their owner), then depicting them all as fighting robots, set to their classic song "By-tor And The Snow Dog".
  • All of the DVD's for Red Dwarf have easter eggs in the menus. Sometimes obvious (hit the 'go' button on the Holly Hop drive), sometimes not (When the video pauses in the airlock, hit the green button. You have about three seconds). They generally lead to interviews and videos of the cast goofing around. A list can be found on eeggs.com, here.
  • Sorceror Stabber Orphen, at least in the English release, has some hidden content. You'll probably need to run this on the computer, because some of these will likely be missed just with a menu cursor. These have mainly character outtakes, or private humor.


Literature

  • There are possibly hundreds of Easter Eggs in House of Leaves, mostly because of the use of ciphers to hide words or messages in certain phrases throughout the book. A good rule of thumb for finding them is to pay attention to oddly-worded or seemingly nonsensical sentences, take the first letter of each word, and see what you get. One letter of Pelafina's is written entirely in this cipher. There are also phrases that make no sense unless you say their sound-equivalent in a different language (usually Latin, as indicated in another of Pelafina's letters).
  • In most of the Artemis Fowl books, there is a code running along the bottoms of the pages. Ostensibly the message is in Gnommish, the fairy language of the books, but is actually a simple substitution cypher. If you translate them, they are funny or quirky messages that are loosely related to the plot of the series as a whole. Usually, the message is too short to run for the span of the entire book, so when it reaches the end, it repeats until the book is over.


Music

  • In the liner notes in Taylor Swift's albums, the lyrics are all lowercase except for a few seemingly random capital letters. When read top to bottom, the capital letters spell out a message (for instance, "Can't tell me nothin'" is the hidden message in the lyrics to "Tim McGraw").
  • On Within Temptation's Mother Earth Tour DVD, the song "Gothic Christmas" is included as an Easter egg.
  • Homestar Runner's album Strong Bad Sings and Other Type Hits contains a track with two songs, the first song being played normally, and the second song (aptly named "Secret Song") being played after about three minutes of silence.
  • The concept of the "hidden track" on CDs, which there are far to many to list.
  • The liner notes to all of David Crowder Band's album releases since Can You Hear Us? conclude with the band thanking the reader for being so patient and loving of the written word, and as a way of saying thanks they include a link to a special "Goodreader" page.
  • Radiohead's Ok Computer has some text hidden behind the spine of the cd case. It reads "I like you. I like you. You are a wonderful person. I'm full of enthusiasm. I'm going places. I'll be happy to help you. I am an important person, would you like to come home with me". Also, early pressings of Kid A included a booklet full of artwork and text (some of which later turned out to be Amnesiac lyrics) hidden underneath the cd tray.
  • The booklet to Weezer's The Green Album folds out into a poster-sized crowd photo of one of their live performances: In the right hand corner there's the silhouettes of Mike Nelson, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot, just barely visible because they blend into the shadows of the audience members. It's given away just a little bit because the liner notes include a copyright notice from Best Brains. Also, hidden behind the spine of the cd case of the same album is the word "No". Some fans claim it's an answer to the above Ok Computer easter egg, since both are hidden in the same place, but there's no confirmation of this from the band - the only official explanation (from the band's webmaster, Karl Koch) has been "no means no".
  • Dream Theater's former drummer, Mike Portnoy, always liked to say "Eat my ass and balls" during live shows. Said phrase appears in Morse code in one of the band's songs, "In the Name of God".
  • Mike Doughty's Haughty Melodic includes a hidden message that can be read by putting the cd in your computer, provided your computer uses Gracenote CDDB to identify track names: The song "Grey Ghost" is listed as "Grey Ghost (Here's the hidden message. Eat your greens. Read 'Everything and Nothing' by Borges. Thanks for listening. Mike)"
  • Take a look at the first letter of tracks 4-9 on the soundtrack to Batman Begins. It spells "Batman"!
  • Reggie And The Full Effect's Under The Tray sort of made the CD itself an easter egg: When you open the packaging up, it appears at first that you were accidentally sold an empty case. However, if you take the album title to heart and pull out the empty CD tray, you'll find the disc underneath it, along with a picture of a smiling James Dewees and the text "You found it!". Of course, many listeners didn't take the album title as a hint and complained to retailers about being ripped off.
  • There is a section in Pink Floyd's song "Empty Spaces" (on TheWall's first CD) of what sounds like someone talking in some foreign language. By playing the song backwards, it becomes a hidden message from Roger, basically amounting to "Congratulations, you've found the hidden message!"


Film

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show has several actual Easter eggs hidden in the scenery
    • It's rumored Rocky Horror actually started the concept of Easter Eggs. And did so by having an Easter egg hunt on the set, and some of those that weren't found made their way into the film, such as the one depicted above. How much truth there is to this rumor is debatable.
  • The soundtrack to Inception is je ne regrette rien, just slowed down.
    • Wasn't this a plot point of sorts? Don't know if that counts as an Easter Egg or not...


Magazines

  • Games magazine occasionally (most often in the April issue) runs hidden contests, in which instructions for an item to send in are somehow hidden in the magazine.


Tabletop Games

  • Many cards in Magic: The Gathering have Easter Eggs in the name, "flavor text", or art. This is especially prevalent in gag sets like Unglued and Unhinged, and in improved versions of older cards, like the "timeshifted" sets from Time Spiral and Planar Chaos. This article reveals some of the tiniest.
  • Page 333 of the second edition Unknown Armies corebook. The page's top heading and page number are printed backwards while "333" is in the background of the main page.
  • In the 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons sourcebook, the Expanded Psionics Handbook, the power Deja Vu (which makes someone repeat their last action) is printed twice, on opposite sides of the same page.
  • The Dresden Files RPG has PDF versions of the sourcebooks available if you buy them online; in several places where Harry scratched out part of the text with Sharpie, you can copy the text into another program and read what was underneath. But it usually turns out to be something like "by the way, if you're reading this, we sure bet you feel clever!"
    • That's only part of it; the Sharpie'd out segments are in a larger article about the Christian God and his abilities, with the implication being that Harry Dresden himself blacked out the stuff because he didn't think the Heavenly Host would appreciate having that kind of information spread about them. Performing the above-mentioned trick reveals that the text says (paraphrased) Their powers are unknown, but presumably have something to do with Jim Butcher's writing. It'll all be revealed in due time, so just be patient, okay?
    • The first gamebook's section on worldbuilding, the author remarks on having significant pieces of architecture in one's city, saying "Perhaps the St. Louis Arch is a gateway to something deep in the Nevernever. Maybe the Pyramids at Giza are nowhere near as bad as Chichen Itza." This serves as Foreshadowing to the novel Changes, not yet released when the game books came out, where Harry and crew go to Chichen Itza and destroy the Red Court of Vampires at the cost of Harry's lover Susan.


Television

  • The page quote comes from Red Dwarf. This was because, in the day when the show was made, it would have taken a lot of time, effort and specialised equipment to actually create the reversed sound-track to hear the easter egg. The show itself admitted it wasn't a very good Easter Egg, and included a live frontwards playback of it in their "Smegups" tape.
  • In the Heroes episode "The Fix", a quick glimpse at Kaito Nakamura's license plate shows that it reads "NCC-1701". George Takei, the actor who portrayed Kaito, also played Sulu in Star Trek -- and of course, the Enterprise's registry number is NCC-1701.
  • On The Simpsons, if you enable closed captioning on 'In the Name of the Grandfather', you see that it doesn't display what they are speaking, namely:

 Grampa: I had a nightmare. That I was back with your mother!

Homer (laughing): I miss her so much.

But…

Grampa: I had a nightmare. That I was back in England!

Homer (laughing): I hate them so much.

    • And if you pause the list of “corrections” Rock Bottom wished to make in "Homer Badman", you find out you have no life.
    • This is incredibly common, not just in The Simpsons but in other shows as well. It's not rare for dialog to be changed in post-production after the scripts have already been submitted to the captioners.
  • In the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica Reimagined, the audience can sometimes see ships in the shots of the Fleet that are Shout Outs to either the original Battlestar or other sci-fi shows. Other than numerous ships who were modeled after the original series, the show contained shots of the Enterprise, Serenity, various ships from Babylon 5 and, of all things, the Kodiak from Tiberian Sun.
    • And a weapons locker in Season 4 was numbered "1701", another reference to Star Trek.
    • The show also at times made no attempt at hiding recognizable company logos on buildings in Caprica, and one early episode features a crystal clear closeup of the spines of a few of the books in Adama's cabin - revealing them to be Reader's Digest Condensed Books volumes! Eagle-eyed viewers will also see recognizable street signs and traffic lights in the Caprica scenes as well. Given the fact the series is predicated on Caprican civilization parallelling Earth's, these are more likely to be Easter eggs than accidental anachronisms.
  • In one of the episodes of the German crime series 'Mord mit aussicht' you have the male policeman running through the hospital and looking awkwardly to a doctor: a doctor that also appears in another famous series: 'Lindenstrasse'
  • In Season 2 of Castle, the episode "Vampire Weekend" has a few Shout Outs to Firefly, the television series that made Nathan Fillion famous.
  • The Allspark Almanacs, the guides to the Transformers Animated universe, are basically a gigantic easter egg hunt. They're littered not only with a million Shout Outs to other parts of the Transformers mythos, but to real life (one of the unnamed drag racers, seen in exactly one scene and never named is given the name of a voice actor's daughter) and every tangentially geeky thing from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Animorphs. The stellar map in Allspark Almanac II is a particularly egregious offender, featuring hundreds of individual worlds that are all named after geek references.
  • In "Brown Betty" on Fringe, several things allude to upcoming episodes: Walter sings "Candy man" linking to the episode "The Abducted"; the killer is removing hearts, similar to ep "Marionette".
    • The glyphs (six-fingered hand, seahorse, frog, butterfly, etc.) also appear in the background of several episodes, usually in places of significance to Olivia and Peter.
  • On the Nicktoon Invader Zim, series creator Jhonen Vasquez secretly inserted images of GIR covered in blood in a few episodes, without Nickelodeon knowing.
  • Sealab 2021 frequently featured the Big Green Phone, which is surrounded by random graffiti. In one episode, it appeared twice, the second time with the phrase "This graffiti is not different stop pausing" added.
  • NCIS occasionally pokes fun at co-star David McCallum's long career. In one early episode a publicity photograph of McCallum from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is shown as representing Ducky as a young man, and in another episode, when a character asks Gibbs what Ducky looked like as a young man, Gibbs replies "Ilya Kuryakin".
  • Hill Street Blues was a very low rated show in its first season, but won a large number of Emmy Awards due to its quality. In the second season opener, one of the statues is sitting on a file cabinet in the station, and Lt Henry Goldblume picks it up and carries it off without any comment as he walks through the scene.
  • Lampshaded and used as a rather important plot point in the Doctor Who episode Blink, in which the Doctor places Easter eggs on each DVD owned by Sally Sparrow in order to warn her about the Weeping Angels.

Theatre

  • Cyrano De Bergerac: At Act II Scene VII, Count De Guiche mentions the famous scene of the windmills that appear at Don Quixote, and Cyrano mentions it’s in chapter XIII. But that scene is at chapter VIII. Any character could make a mistake… except Cyrano, who is a Broken Ace. Chapter XIII (In wich is ended the story of the shpeherdess Marcela, with other incidents) narrates the tragic tale of the love between Grisóstomo and Marcela, two shepherds, and is the deconstruction of the Romance Novel, the genre Roxane is obsessed with. The protagonists of Cyrano De Bergerac, Cyrano, Le Bret and Roxane are Expies of Grisóstomo, Ambrosio and Marcela, the shepherds Don Quixote meets at that chapter.

 De Guiche: (who has controlled himself—smiling):Have you read 'Don Quixote'?

Cyrano:I have!

And doff my hat at th' mad knight-errant's name.

De Guiche: I counsel you to study. . .

A Porter (appearing at back):My lord's chair!

De Guiche: The windmill chapter!

Cyrano: (bowing): Chapter the Thirteenth.

Theme Parks

  • This is done to such an extent at Disney Theme Parks that entire books have been written on the subject of finding them all. The so-called Hidden Mickeys are inconspicuous images of Mickey Mouse or his silhouette placed in various unexpected locations around the parks. It is also very common, when one attraction is closed and replaced with another, for the Imagineers to include an unobtrusive tribute to the old attraction in the new one.
    • Hidden Mickeys aren't just limited to the parks; they appear throughout the movies as well.


Web Sites / Web Originals

  • Homestar Runner is well known for including Easter Eggs in cartoons on the site. In an inversion of this fact, Macromedia Central has an exclusive Homestar Runner toon hidden inside.
  • The Web Comic Narbonic has an entirely separate text story, written in two-word segments, hidden in the filenames of each strip (of all places). The story continues into the Directors Cut version.
  • Referenced in this Cinema Bums strip, released on Easter Monday. The comic's title also serves as a reference to another story where Easter Eggs play an important role.
  • The webcomic Bitmap World has a number of Easter Eggs hidden around the site, which can be discovered by searching for images of one of the characters, Mike.
  • Google "Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything". Just do it.
    • This also works on WolframAlpha.
      • Also on Wolfram Alpha, if you input "Easter Egg" it returns "Interpretation: What are your easter eggs?" "Seek diligently and ye shall find. (In fact, you just did.)"
        • Also also on Wolfram Alpha, if you input "do they speak English in What" it returns "Interpretation: "What" ain't no country I've ever heard of. They speak English in What?" "What? (English, [expletive deleted], do you speak it? (According to Jules, as played by Samuel L. Jackson, in his one-sided conversation with Brett in the 1994 film Pulp Fiction))".
        • Someone working Wolfram Alpha really likes Pulp Fiction, because if you search "Does he look like a bitch" you get "No!" as the response, which is part of the Jules/Brett conversation.
        • In addition, search "Open the pod bay doors" (with or without HAL) and it returns "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
        • Asking "How can entropy be reversed?" returns "THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER".
    • Likewise, there was a time when you googled "failure" and got George W. Bush's biography. (Although to be fair that was less a case of an Easter Egg and more a result of Google bombing. Google may be one of the few pieces of software that allows its users to embed -- however temporarily -- their own Easter eggs in its output.)
    • Very few of them work any more, but there were a number of great "I'm Feeling Lucky" Google hits involving fake 404s or search result pages, including "French military victories" which led to "Do you mean 'French military defeats'?" and a misspelling of "Weapons of Mass Destruction" which led to a fake 404 for said weapons?
    • Not to mention the Chuck Norris page?
    • Behold 55 Fun Things To Do With Google. A great many of these are classic Easter Eggs (some already mentioned here).
    • Google Maps has several of these as well. Inputting driving directions between specific locations in the US and Europe will instruct the user to canoe or swim across the Atlantic Ocean. Additionally, Google Street view has several unintentional ones just as the result of people not being aware of their camera vans driving around.
      • The twenty-eighth step of the Google Maps directions for 'America to China', which generally reads like normal directions -- 'turn right at the NE Northlake Way', etc. -- is 'Kayak across the Pacific Ocean.'
    • The default language of Google can be set to one of several unusual choices, including Elmer Fudd, Pirate, Bork Bork Bork!, Klingon, and Hacker.
    • Googling "recursion" prompts Google to ask if you meant recursion.
      • Along similar lines, Googling "anagram" prompts Google to ask if you meant "nag a ram".
    • Google "do a barrel roll" or "Z or R twice" (They both give the same result). Just do it.
      • On the same line of thought, google "tilt" or "askew".
    • The amount of search results given will be appropirately changed when googling for "binary", "hexadecimal" or "octal".
    • In Google Translate, translating "Haruhi" from English to Japanese yields not "ハルヒ" ("Haruhi") but "涼宮ハルヒ" ("Suzumiya Haruhi"). Surely, someone at Google must be a Haruhiist to skewer the translation result like that?
    • Google "Zerg Rush". We won't spoil its effect for you, so go on.
  • In Linkara's Atop the Fourth Wall video of New Guardians #2, he plays a clip of Adolf Hitler giving a speech (It Makes Sense in Context). Towards the end, there is a message that is onscreen for only a frame or two which says: "Yeah, I can see why Germany would want to follow this shouting, drug-crazed lunatic. ZOMG Easter Egg! Hi TV Tropes!"
  • Sister Claire: Known for its hidden Easter Eggs and homages, Sister Claire is definitely a Shout-Out Web-comic.
  • When composing a new mail in Yahoo! Mail. Pressing the text "Subject:" at the top will yield any number of random phrases that refer to either internet memes, TV catchphrases, and assorted inane statements.
  • This Name Generator contains ones for those who like flower names.
    • As well as gemstones.
  • In the Potter Puppet Pals video "Trouble at Hogwarts", if the viewer freeze-frames the Avada Kedavra lightning and clicks on it when it forms a pentagram, they are taken to another short video featuring Ron and Hermione in a "follow the butterflies" skit.
  • When a YouTube video is loading, a circle of dots will appear. Holding the up and left buttons unlocks a game of Snake.
  • Trickster Mode in Homestuck. Basically, go into any flash update where a controller icon is in the top right corner and press Ctrl+T. Something will always happen.
    • Pay attention to the corners at the end of flash episodes. On occasion, you'll see an icon flash that leads to another flash, as in [S Rose: Fast forward to now][1], in [[S[[[A 6 I 1]]] Karkat: Mental breakdown]][2], and [S Frigglish: Fast forward to Jaspersprite][3].


Comic Books


Other



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Notes

  1. Links to Rose's version of [S Ride]
  2. Links to [S Cage: Reveal plan]
  3. Links to Roxy's version of [S Ride]
  4. Created by the tropers.
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