Google has added some fun Easter eggs to Hangouts that'll give you a few more ways to procrastinate throughout your day. All of them (except for one) work on the web browser version, the Chrome app, and the mobile apps for Android and iOS, and are activated by sending a specific message.
If you've ever found yourself thinking, "Hangouts is perfectly fine, but it could really use more My Little Pony," then you're in luck—for once in your life.
Send /ponystream in a conversation, and you'll be treated to a never-ending parade of ponies. Type /ponystream again to end the parade.
If that's too many ponies, you can send /ponies instead, to have a single My Little Pony trot across the screen once, and only once.
If My Little Pony isn't your thing, maybe you're more into getting riled up about things. Sending the message /pitchforks will dispatch an angry mob of sprites armed with torches and pitchforks.
You can even set the roving band of destruction loose while the My Little Pony parade goes on. Unfortunately, the angry mob doesn't interact with the ponies—they just pass by each other.
When Google adds Easter eggs, it's always a safe assumption that something will be unlocked by entering the Konami Code.
Using the Konami Code in Hangouts replaces the standard gray or white background with a mountain landscape, which looks like something Bob Ross might've created if he used Adobe Illustrator.
If you don't already know the Konami Code, well, shame on you. The code first appeared on Konami's games for the NES, and you'd activate it by pressing up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start on the title screen. For Hangouts, just have your cursor active on the screen and enter the code using your arrow keys for the directions, and Enter instead of Start.
This Easter egg only appears to work in the browser and Chrome app version of Hangouts.
You can also change the background color without the Konami Code. Send the message /bikeshed and the standard background will be replaced by a random color. If you've already entered the Konami Code, using /bikeshed will change the color of the sky in the image.
Sending the message /shydino prompts this meek little dude to come scurrying onto your screen. He will duck behind a house so that he can keep an eye on you from afar. Type /shydino again and he'll disappear.
It must be wonderful to ring in the new year over and over and over. If you send happy new year, a fox and a duck will appear to help you celebrate, regardless of whether or not it's actually New Year's Eve or Day.
The fox and the duck will also make an appearance if you send the message LMAO!! It seems like you need at least two exclamation points to trigger the animation, but feel free to use more.
Sending happy birthday will activate one of three birthday animations, seemingly at random. You can try playing around with capitalization and exclamation points, but I couldn't find any pattern.
Typing in WOOT!! might bring back our old friends the fox and the duck. It also might activate one of two animations with that little yellow guy from the Happy Birthday Easter egg. I consolidated all three down here for demonstrative purposes, but you'll only see one of these after sending the WOOT!! text. Capitalization and exclamation points seem to have no effect on activating this Easter egg, either.
(Hat tip to Mental Floss for finding some of these.)