Happy Birthday, Google! The 30 Most Epic Google Doodles of All Time

It has been 15 years since two Stanford students turned a research project into the multi-billion dollar enterprise it has become. That’s right, today we celebrate the birthday of the one and only Google! Looking back, we can pinpoint countless contributions Google has made to the world of technology. It has revolutionized pretty much everything there is to revolutionize: email, search engines, web browsers, advertising, etc. But on this most important day, let’s take a moment to remember the company’s greatest legacy — the Google Doodle.

Google has become even more famous for using these bright and colorful logos to celebrate not only their own birthdays, but also important anniversaries and events from around the world. I know I have learned more about history from clicking on Doodles than I’d care to admit. Not only that, but I have also spent a significant amount of time playing with the interactive Doodles that are posted periodically. Remember that UFO game that went up back in July? It commemorated the anniversary of the extraterrestrial incidents at Roswell, and it definitely used up a big chunk of my morning.

Google has created over 1000 Doodles to date, and each one is incredible in its own right. But to celebrate the company’s 15th birthday, let’s take this time to pay tribute to some of the most legendary logo adaptations. From simple illustrations to interactive games, here’s a sample of the most epic Google Doodles of all time!

The 30 Most Epic Google Doodles of All Time:

  • Happy Birthday, Google! 1 of 31

    In honor of Google's birthday, let's take this time to celebrate the company's greatest legacy. Check out our 30 favorite Google Doodles of all time!

  • Les Paul (June 9, 2011) 2 of 31

    Not only did Les Paul innovate the electric guitar and rock music as a whole, but his 96th birthday also brought us one of the single greatest Doodles EVER. The interactive logo let people create and record their own guitar ditties, and folks went completely nuts. In just 48 hours, people recorded 40 million songs — that's 5.1 years worth of music!

  • First Day of Summer (June 21, 2013) 3 of 31

    I find this Doodle to be particularly adorable, especially how the swim caps subtly spell out the logo. Google posted this design to celebrate the first day of summer, at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere... 

  • First Day of Winter (June 21, 2013) 4 of 31

    While we were busy celebrating the summer solstice, folks in the Southern Hemisphere were celebrating the first day of winter ... and Google was celebrating BOTH. They released these two Doodles on the same day; the one you saw depended on your geographic location. This duo of Doodles just goes to show what a completely global force Google has become.

  • Freddie Mercury (September 5, 2011) 5 of 31

    Freddie Mercury's 65th birthday was honored with this animated Doodle, easily one of the most epic designs Google has ever churned out. The clip is only 90 seconds long, but it took 4 months and an entire team of animators and engineers to create the final product.

  • MC Escher (June 16, 2003) 6 of 31

    It's animation-free and relatively simple, but this 2003 Doodle is hands down (pun intended) one of my all-time favorites. It pays tribute to MC Escher on his 105th birthday, incorporating his famous Drawing Hands lithograph into the Google logo. Perfection.

  • Charlie Chaplin (April 16, 2011) 7 of 31

    For Charlie Chaplin's 122nd birthday, Google's celebratory Doodle really took things to the next level. It's the first logo to feature live action video, and it's practically its own short film. In order to incorporate the brand, the clip features Chaplin's iconic Tramp character reading a Google newspaper, leaning on a Google logo, and even trying to draw his own Doodle!

  • Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (February 22, 2012) 8 of 31

    Google posted this hypnotic GIF in celebration of the 155th birthday of Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, the physicist who proved the existence of electromagnetic waves. This particular Doodle proves how iconic Google's signature color pattern has become. The waves verrrry subtly mimic the shapes of the letters (it took me a while to spot them), but the blue-red-yellow-green palette still undeniably makes this a Google logo.

  • Gideon Sundback (April 24, 2012) 9 of 31

    Where would the world be without the zipper? More importantly, where would the world be without this zipper Doodle? In honor of inventor Gideon Sundback's 132nd birthday, Google released an interactive logo that zips open to reveal the search page. It's nothing too fancy, but it's certainly sleek and clever — just like the zipper itself!

  • PAC-MAN (May 21, 2010) 10 of 31

    This doodle, honoring PAC-MAN's 30th birthday, was Google's first-ever interactive/playable logo. The design allowed people to steer Ms. PAC-MAN around a maze just like in the actual arcade game, and productivity promptly went out the window. According to RescueTime's calculations, people spent a total of 4.8 million hours playing with this now legendary Doodle.

  • Jules Verne (February 8, 2011) 11 of 31

    Google released this gorgeous Doodle to celebrate the birthday of science fiction author Jules Verne. The logo resembles submarine portholes looking out onto the ocean, and the lever on the right lets you navigate all twenty thousand leagues of the sea.

  • John Lennon (October 8, 2010) 12 of 31

    Not only does this design honor John Lennon's birthday, but it also happens to be Google's first animated Doodle. The short animation shows flowing images of flowers and butterflies while "Imagine" plays in the background. It's definitely a touching tribute and an important Doodle milestone. (Watch the full version here.)

  • Eadweard J. Muybridge (April 9, 2012) 13 of 31

    Eadweard Muybridge set the stage for video recording and projecting with his 1878 photo series of a galloping horse. Google recreated his groundbreaking animation in this nifty Doodle, which went up for Muybridge's 182nd birthday.

  • Claude Debussy (August 22, 2013) 14 of 31

    For Claude Debussy's 157th birthday, Google released one of its most beautiful doodles to date. The animation takes us through a moonlit cityscape to the tune of "Clair de Lune." Read more about this awesome doodle here!

  • Little Nemo in Slumberland (October 15, 2012) 15 of 31

    Google honored the 107th anniversary of Little Nemo in Slumberland, the early 20th century surrealist comic strip by Windsor McCay, with one of the coolest Doodles of all time. By clicking arrows under each panel, you can get a total of 6 adventures that end up looking like a gorgeous, full-page newspaper comic. (See the complete interactive version here!)

  • The Brothers Grimm (December 20, 2012) 16 of 31

    While the Brothers Grimm penned a countless number of tales, Google chose to focus on Red Riding Hood for the 200th anniversary of the Grimm fairy tales. The creative Doodle lets viewers click through slides — 22 in total — for a visually stunning rendition of the classic story.

  • Halloween (October 31, 2012) 17 of 31

    Google almost always changes up its logo for holidays — they celebrated Halloween in 2012 with an especially cute interactive Doodle. The image depicts a spooky street where you have to "knock" on various doors in true trick-or-treating fashion. The end result is a collection of monsters cleverly spelling out Google's logo.

  • Lunar Eclipse (June 15, 2011) 18 of 31

    One of the most anticipated events during the summer of 2011 was the rare 100-minute total lunar eclipse, but not everyone could easily view the phenomenon from their homes. Enter Google to save the day! They teamed up with the Slooh Space Camera to cover the entire event using real images in real time. The results were, of course, breathtaking — a total eclipse of the art (ha).

  • Sesame Street (November 4, 2009) 19 of 31

    Sesame Street rightfully earned its place in the Google hall of fame back in 2009, when the show celebrated its 40th anniversary. Google released a dozen Doodles featuring different characters, including the genius Cookie Monster and Big Bird designs shown above. 

  • Jackson Pollock (January 28, 2009) 20 of 31

    I can't imagine many other companies would render their logos unrecognizable, but that's exactly what Google did to honor Jackson Pollock's 97th birthday. You can just barely make out the company's name in the Doodle — it's definitely more about paying tribute to Pollock and his drippy, trippy style.  If any company can afford to do something like this with their logo, you know it's Google.

  • Robert Bunsen (March 31, 2011) 21 of 31

    Google released this Doodle to celebrate the 200th birthday of Robert Bunsen, inventor of the — surprise, surprise — Bunsen burner. The animated logo bubbles and boils as you move your mouse over it, reminding us all of bygone high school chemistry lessons. At least there's no risk of explosions with the digital version.

  • Star Trek (September 8, 2012) 22 of 31

    Can we all agree that this is the greatest thing ever? LOOK AT THE SPOCK EARS ON THE G! To commemorate the 46th anniversary of Star Trek's first broadcast, Google posted a Doodle that boldly goes where no Doodle has gone before. The interactive logo is full of little gems, including the chance to journey to the transporter and battle in the outside world with Kirk.

  • Douglas Adams (March 11, 2013) 23 of 31

    Hitchhiker's Guide fans rejoiced when Google released a Doodle for the late Douglas Adams' 61st birthday. The incredible interactive Doodle is full of surprises for those willing to click and explore, including a Marvin the Paranoid Android cameo and (my personal favorite) a computer screen revealing the famous answer to the ultimate question of life.

  • Maurice Sendak (June 10, 2013) 24 of 31

    Maurice Sendak was all about imaginative storytelling, which is precisely the theme of this Doodle honoring the author's 85th birthday. The animated tribute features 16 of Sendak's characters parading through a variety of colorful backgrounds, ending with them all gathered around a birthday cake. Make sure you watch the full version — it's quite impressive.

  • Mark Twain (November 30, 2011) 25 of 31

    To celebrate Mark Twain's 176th birthday, Google wisely picked the fence painting scene from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as the basis for their tribute logo. The Doodle riffs on the famous sequence by having the two boys paint over the Google logo on the fence. See the Doodle in all its panoramic glory here.

  • X-Rays (November 8, 2010) 26 of 31

    Google jumped on the chance to remember the 115th anniversary of Wilhelm Röntgen's discovery of x-rays with this awesome Doodle. The logo is animated with a pulsing radioactive glow, and the letters themselves are composed of bones and other miscellaneous items, like a random rubber duck.

  • Roswell Incident (July 8, 2013) 27 of 31

    As I already mentioned, I was one of the many people obsessed with Google's homage to the 66th anniversary of the Roswell UFO incident. The interactive Doodle has players look for tools around a ranch to help an alien repair his spaceship. It sounds simple, but it's actually fairly tricky ... and entirely addicting.

  • Saul Bass (May 8, 2013) 28 of 31

    For his 93rd birthday, Google paid tribute to legendary movie title designer Saul Bass with an incredible Doodle. Bass is famous for designing some of the most famous opening credits in film history, including Psycho, Vertigo, and West Side Story. The Doodle references all of these film and more with amazing animation.

  • Women’s Day (March 8, 2013) 29 of 31

     To celebrate Women's Day 2013, the Google designers went through several drafts to make sure the Doodle fairly represented all of womankind in one single illustration. The end result is a collage of women's faces from around the world with the Google logo shown in the negative space (as you can see in the image above). They definitely hit the mark with this one.

  • Jim Henson (September 24, 2011) 30 of 31

    It's only appropriate that the Doodle celebrating Jim Henson's 75 birthday be as playful and whimsical as possible. The interactive tribute features six original Muppet characters representing the Google logo, and as you move your mouse over them, they respond as if you were their actual puppeteer. People absolutely adored this Doodle, and there are tons of videos of hilarious animations created by Google users. If you want to instantly improve your day, check out this Muppets version of "Rolling in the Deep." 

  • Burning Man (August 30, 1998) 31 of 31

    For nostalgia's sake, we MUST include Google's very first Doodle. This design was created on August 30, 1998, before the company was even incorporated. Google's two founders decided to change up their logo when they attended the Burning Man festival; the stick figure behind the second "o" was their "out of office" memo to the world. The rest, as we all know, is history.

Photo credit: courtesy of Google


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Article Posted 5 years Ago

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