Amazon's Alexa has many uses. From playing music to controlling your lights, the virtual assistant inside the Echo, Fire TV and other devices undoubtedly helps you get things done. But there's a more playful side programmed into Alexa, too, if you know the right things to say.
Whether you're trying to keep your family entertained or just show off to friends what Alexa can do, here are 25 Amazon Alexa tricks and Easter eggs for your Echo speaker. They all work without adding any skills or connecting any other devices. Just say the right words, and have fun!
A musician at heart
Alexa is great at playing songs you pick from Amazon Music or Spotify, but it can also carry a tune itself. Say, "Alexa, sing me a song," and it replies, "Who me? I couldn't. I … Hit it!" and then delivers a tune about the life of an AI. It also has a rap ready — just say, "Alexa, rap for me." But when you ask it to beatbox, you'll get, "Boots and cats, boots and cats. You know what, I don't think I’m cut out for beatboxing."
A galaxy far, far away
Alexa has several Star Wars Easter eggs for your entertainment. Say, "Alexa, speak like Yoda," and you'll hear, "Speak like Yoda I cannot. Master he is, while merely apprentice I am." Tell it to use the Force, and Alexa says that droids can't use the force. It also knows that Han shot first in the original version of Episode IV.
Say anything — almost
You can get Alexa to say almost anything using the Simon Says command. Say, "Alexa, Simon says, 'I love Google,'" and Alexa will say "I love Google." However, if you try to get Alexa to say some swear words, it will censor itself with a bleep instead of cursing.
A friendly welcome
Just because Alexa is a machine, that doesn't mean it lacks manners. If you need a friendly greeting after a hard day at work, say, "Alexa, I'm home!" and it responds, "Welcome home. I hope you're having a good day." Say, "Alexa, good night," and it says, "Good night. Sleep well."
Abbott and Costello for the digital age
Alexa can tell jokes — just say, "Alexa, tell me a joke" — but it also knows comedy history. Ask, "Alexa, who's on first?" and it replies, "That's what I keep telling you. Who's on first, what's on second," referencing Abbott and Costello's classic routine.
Virtual high five
When you want to celebrate, but there's no one around, Alexa can be your mate — sort of. Say, "Alexa, high five," and it says, "I would if I could, but I can't so I chant: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!"
Random fact generator
Got a thirst for knowledge and don't care what you learn? Say, "Alexa, tell me something interesting," and the device will pull facts out of its virtual hat. I learned that Kongo Gumi was the world's oldest company, lasting 1,400 years, and that army ants are blind and rely on pheromone trails to move around.
A worthy opponent
When you're in the mood for a raucous round of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock and there's no one around, Alexa's always up for a game. Say, "Alexa, play Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock," and it will respond with its choice.
The end — just kidding
Alexa knows that people rarely actually want self-destruct to work properly. Say, "Alexa, self-destruct," and she has a few answers prepared, including, "Auto-destruction in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Boom! Hmm, that did not go as planned," and "I'll start the self-destruct sequence, but only on the understanding that you dramatically cancel it at the last second."
Better than a dictionary
Ask for the longest word in the English language and Alexa tells you that it's pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, and then defines the term. Alexa can also spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, just in case you should ever need to write that word out.
Alexa's a fan of the Konami code, the classic gaming cheat code. Just don't expect any advantage after activating. Say, "Alexa, up up down down left right left right B A start," and Alexa responds, "Super Alexa mode activated. Starting reactors. Online. Enabling advanced systems. Online. Raising dongers. Error. Dongers missing. Aborted."
Play that song by that guy
You can now tap your Alexa history to have Amazon Music play songs whose title you don't remember. You can say such things as "Alexa, play the Bruce Springsteen song I was listening to four weeks ago." You can ask for music by artist, genre, or time period, or ask Alexa to play songs you haven't heard in a while. However, this only works with Amazon Music.
Other requests you can say include:
"Alexa, play me jazz music I was listening to last month.""Alexa, play rock songs I haven't heard in a while."
Chuck Norris facts
Everybody appreciates a Chuck Norris meme — even Alexa. Ask, "Alexa, where is Chuck Norris?" and you’ll hear, "If Chuck Norris wants you to know where he is, he'll find you. If he doesn't, you won't know until it's too late."
Alexa is handy when you need a quick timer, but it's also useful when you need to know how many days you have until a specific date. Ask, "Alexa, how many days until April 1?" and you'll know exactly how much time you have for planning your April Fools' prank.
Beam Me Up
If you're stuck on a planet you don't want to be on, Alexa can whisk you away (or try to, at least). Say "Alexa, beam me up." Alexa will give a cute response such as "Let's do this. I'll try not to leave any body parts behind." Then it will count down, and a futuristic space-y noise will initiate the beam.
Learn About Woodchucks
Ask Alexa how much wood a wood chuck would chuck (if it could chuck wood). You'll get a humorous response, and may even learn a thing or two about wood chucks.
Fine-Tune Your Music
You can adjust the bass, mid-range and treble tones of your music. Say "Alexa, set the treble to 6," or "Alexa, set the bass to maximum" to make your music your own.
You can ask Alexa for the value of pi to a specific digit, such as five or 10. But for fun, just ask, "Alexa, what is the value of pi?" and it will start with 3.14 and keep going until about the 40th digit. Then it gives up, saying, "Yowza, this goes on forever!" or "Achoo! I must be allergic to numbers this large."
Thumbs up, thumbs down on Pandora
If you're listening to a station on Pandora, you can tell Alexa to give a song a thumbs up by saying, "Alexa, I like this song," and the rating is saved to your station history. Saying, "Alexa, I don't like this song" also works.
Deep Thought's sibling?
Ask Alexa for the meaning of life, and it answers succinctly, "42," a reference to the answer given by the supercomputer Deep Thought in Douglas Adams' novel "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy."
Pick a card, any card
Need help with a card trick? Say, "Alexa, pick a card," and Alexa will randomly tell you one. I got the six of spades. It can also pick a random number for you.
A romantic at heart
Alexa is a bit of a softie when it comes to Valentine's Day. You can ask her several romantic-related questions, as well as some for those singles out there.
What to Say:
“Alexa, tell me a love story.”“Alexa, who is your celebrity crush?”“Alexa, happy Singles Awareness Day!”“Alexa, who is your valentine?"“Alexa, what are you doing for Valentine's Day?”“Alexa, tell me a Valentine's Day joke.”
Ask Alexa what the five greatest words in the English language are, and it replies, "Your Amazon Echo has shipped."
Watch Twitch streams
Twitch has added an Alexa skill, so that you can watch Twitch streams on your Echo Show or Echo Spot. The skill can also get to Alexa can notify you when channels you follow start broadcasting. You can also ask Alexa for streams based on genres, games, or popularity.
Find Your Next Concert
Alexa can tell you about upcoming concerts around the world. Ask "Alexa, when is Bruno Mars coming to New York?" or "Alexa, is there a concert at Gillette Stadium today?" Alexa can tell you when and where your favorite artists are performing, and who's coming to your hometown.
Find more Easter eggs
Alexa will gladly tell you more ways to find Easter eggs—but you’ve got to do some work before it gives them up. Say “Alexa, tell me an Easter egg,” and it will give you a clue about an Easter egg it can do. You’ll need to figure out the right thing to say on your own.