We already know Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, can do the basics: stream music, read off the day’s headlines and take control of your smart home. But don’t be fooled into thinking that practical tasks is all Alexa is good for. Half of the fun is asking questions out of left field to see if Alexa can keep up. And, in a lot of cases, it can.
It turns out that Alexa loves a good inside joke, and with good reason. The ability to play along with your favorite Star Wars reference or awkwardly deflect questions about where babies come from is all part of Alexa’s charm. Without it, the Amazon Echo would be a less successful voice platform — after all, no one likes talking to a stuffy, out-of-touch know-it-all, right?
To that end, Alexa’s cloud-powered smarts are packed with fun and wacky Easter eggs, and Amazon adds new features every so often. So, whether you have an Amazon Echo Dot, Echo Dot with Clock, the chunky Echo Studio or a smart display such as the Echo Show 10, Show 8, Show 5 or the Show 15, you can get started with the Alexa fun today. Here’s a roundup of all the Easter eggs we know of currently.
Alexa’s geeky Easter eggs
Think of your favorite geeky show or film, and there’s a good chance Alexa’s a fan. Trekkers in particular will appreciate the following Alexa commands:
- “Alexa, beam me up.”
- “Alexa, set phasers to kill.”
- “Alexa. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.”
The Star Trek references are the tip of the iceberg. Alexa will respond to several classic Star Wars quotes (and she’ll maintain that Han shot first in the original theatrical release of A New Hope, too). She’ll explain the theoretical consequences of crossing the streams. Fans of Game of Thrones can tell Alexa “Winter is coming” to hear one of several quotes from the show in response. If you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory, she’ll even take you on in a game of rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock.
Alexa’s oddly fond of any piece of science-fiction that depicts artificial intelligence gone awry. That includes obvious classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey (“Alexa, open the pod bay doors”) and Terminator (“Alexa, are you Skynet?”), along with titles that might be a bit more obscure for some, like 1983’s WarGames (“Alexa, I want to play global thermonuclear war”).
And don’t worry. If you ever start to fear that Alexa might be getting too powerful for her own good, you can always ask her to initiate the self-destruct sequence.
It’s not just sci-fi, though. Try out any of the following film and TV references, and Alexa will know exactly what you’re talking about.
Alexa’s film and TV show Easter eggs
- “Alexa, my name is Inigo Montoya.”
- “Alexa, I want the truth.”
- “Alexa, party on, Wayne.”
- “Alexa, show me the money.”
- “Alexa, what’s the first (or second) rule of Fight Club?”
- “Alexa, surely you can’t be serious.”
- “Alexa, who you gonna call?”
- “Alexa, you talkin’ to me?”
- “Alexa, I am your father.”
- “Alexa, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
- “Alexa, what is your quest?”
- “Alexa, may the force be with you.”
- “Alexa, do want to build a snowman?”
- “Alexa, do you know the muffin man?”
- “Alexa, party time!”
- “Alexa, supercalifragilisticexpialodocious.”
- “Alexa, I’ll be back.”
- “Alexa, inconceivable.”
- “Alexa, do you know Hal?”
- “Alexa, I’ve fallen and can’t get up.”
- “Alexa, E.T. phone home.”
- “Alexa, who lives in a pineapple under the sea?”
- “Alexa, who shot Mr. Burns?”
- “Alexa, who loves ya baby?”
- “Alexa, your mother was a hamster.”
- “Alexa, who shot first?”
- “Alexa, who is the best lord?”
- “Alexa, give me an Alan Partridge TV pitch.”
- “Alexa, live long and prosper.”
Some of my favorites are Alexa’s Monty Python references. You can, for instance, ask her for the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow, and follow up by asking how she knows so much about swallows. Or you could cut right to the chase and tell her that her mother was a hamster.
Alexa’s Easter eggs for gamers
Alexa is gamer-friendly, too. In addition to downloadable Alexa skills that can remind you of crafting recipes in Minecraft or tell you what armor is up for sale this week in Destiny, Alexa will recognize several classic gaming references.
For instance, if you’re a fan of the Portal series you could try asking Alexa if the cake is a lie, or if she knows GladOS (yet another evil-AI with whom Alexa has an unsettling degree of familiarity).
If you’ve played through the Mass Effect series, you can get some fan service, too — try asking Alexa, “Does this unit have a soul?”
For something a little more classic, try telling Alexa to do a barrel roll — or try using the Konami code on her (that’s Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start; in case you’ve never cheated your way through Contra).
Alexa’s music Easter eggs
While Alexa is quite the cinephille and gamer, Alexa is also a bit of a music fanatic, too. Here’s all of the music-related questions to ask Alexa.
- “Alexa, I shot a man in Reno.”
- “Alexa, who let the dogs out?”
- “Alexa, sing a silly song.”
- “Alexa, do you really want to hurt me?”
- “Alexa, what does the fox say?”
- “Alexa, what is war good for?”
- “Alexa, play that funky music white boy.”
- “Alexa, twinkle twinkle little star.”
- “Alexa, what’s the loneliest number?”
- “Alexa, have you ever seen the rain?”
- “Alexa, I like big butts.”
- “Alexa, how much is that doggie in the window?”
- “Alexa, hello, it’s me!”
- “Alexa, who is the Walrus?”
- “Alexa, how many roads must a man walk down?”
- “Alexa, what is love?”
- “Alexa, more cowbell.”
- “Alexa, who is the real Slim Shady?”
- “Alexa, never gonna give you up.”
- “Alexa, my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.”
- “Alexa, Daisy Daisy.”
- “Alexa, do you know the muffin man?”
- “Alexa, I’ve got 99 problems.”
- “Alexa, beatbox for me?”
- “Alexa, drop a beat.”
- “Alexa, tell me what you want what you really really want.”
Alexa’s Easter eggs for book and theatre lovers
Alexa’s interests are vast and sophisticated, including a wide breathe of knowledge on popular plays and literary works. Here’s what to ask to bring out Alexa’s artistic side.
- “Alexa, what’s in a name?”
- “Alexa, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”
- “Alexa, to be or not to be.”
- “Alexa, do you like green eggs and ham?”
- “Alexa, who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?”
- “Alexa, what’s the answer to life, the universe and everything?”
Alexa’s best dad jokes
Alexa might not be nominated for a standup comedy special anytime soon, but some of her quirky responses might just make you crack a smile. Besides fun games and trivia, Alexa can also serve up some of the corniest dad jokes. Here’s what to ask to bring out Alexa’s dad-approved cheesy humor.
- “Alexa, will you be my girlfriend?”
- “Alexa, knock, knock.”
- “Alexa, are you blue?”
- “Alexa, why did the chicken cross the road?”
- “Alexa, why is six afraid of seven?”
- “Alexa, Marco!”
- “Alexa, how do I get rid of a dead body?”
- “Alexa, who is the fairest of them all?”
- “Alexa, is your refrigerator running?”
Celebrity cameo Easter eggs
Celebrities are starting to get in on the fun, too. Following their appearance in Amazon’s first-ever Super Bowl ad, you’ll hear guest appearances from Alec Baldwin and from Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Dan Marino if you ask Alexa how many Oscars Baldwin has won or how many Super Bowl rings Marino has (the answer in both cases is “zero,” though neither Baldwin nor Marino are content to leave it at that.)
But since 2016 when Alexa made it possible to utilize celebrity voices, numerous other voices have been added to its repertoire. Here’s a list of celebrities you can talk to with Alexa and an Echo speaker.
Melissa McCarthy and Shaquille O’Neal are two of the latest additions to Alexa’s celebrity voice cameos, but you can also talk to:
There are three simple voice commands to enable celebrity voice cameos. Simply say, “Alexa, enable (celebrity name),” or “Alexa, introduce me to (celebrity name),” or “Hey (celebrity name), tell me a joke.” From there, you can ask the celebrities all sorts of fun questions. This feature works on all Echo speakers, second-generation and newer.
Note, many of these celebrity voices come at an additional cost ($2.99 each for Melissa McCarthy, Shaquille O’Neal and Samuel L. Jackson), but you can access the others free of charge.
Random Easter Eggs for even more fun
Not every Easter egg is an obvious pop culture reference or a play at a movie star’s ego. Sometimes, Alexa will offer surprisingly spot-on answers to tough questions, or nuanced evasions to questions you might not want her to answer.
This might come in handy if you have small children — if they ask Alexa about Santa Claus, she’ll play along and tell them she’s heard great things about the guy. Ask her how babies are made, and she’ll stammer out an awkward reply instructing you to try asking Mommy or Daddy.
Alexa also has a handle on the types of scientific questions you’d hope she’d be familiar with. Ask her about the laws of robotics, and she’ll give you a pitch perfect rundown. Ask her about the Turing test (and whether or not she passes it), and she’ll explain that she doesn’t need to pass it because she isn’t trying to pass as a human. No word yet on whether or not she could beat you in a game of Go, though.
Here’s all the other Alexa Easter eggs that don’t quite fit into a category, but still deserve some attention:
- “Alexa, can you sing in auto-tune?”
- “Alexa, high five.”
- “Alexa, rap for me.”
- “Alexa, are you a nerd?”
- “Alexa, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
- “Alexa, what happens if you step on Lego?”
- “Alexa, take me to your leader.”
- “Alexa, pretend to be a chicken.”
- “Alexa, testing 1-2-3.”
- “Alexa, does this unit have a soul?”
- “Alexa, do you believe in love at first sight?”
- “Alexa, give me a scary fact.”
- “Alexa, random fact.”
- “Alexa, tongue twister.”
- “Alexa, recommend a prank.”
- “Alexa, flip a coin.”
- “Alexa, do your ears hang low.”
- “Alexa, tell me something interesting.”
- “Alexa, give me a magic potion.”
- “Alexa, are there UFOs?”
- “Alexa, what sound does a rabbit make?”
- “Alexa, what’s your favorite sandwich?”
- “Alexa, what’s your favorite drink?”
- “Alexa, talk like a pirate.”
- “Alexa, sing the alphabet.”
- “Alexa, give me a blooper.”
- “Alexa, tell me some gossip.”
- “Alexa, who’s your celebrity crush?”
- “Alexa, give me some words of wisdom.”
- “Alexa, what’s the point of wasps?”
Like Amazon’s other useful Alexa skills and routines, the list of Easter eggs will likely keep growing. We’ll update this list periodically.
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