Today marks the official 15th birthday of everyone's favorite startup search engine turned tech giant turned Big Brother. And even though many have had their gripes, it's hard not to look back at our Google-fueled time online with a sense of fondness. Because no matter where you might find yourself in life, you know that Google will always be there with a delightful little doodle to commemorate every possible occasion they can find an excuse for‚ÄĒspecial or otherwise.

Advertisement

Because 15 years of Google Doodle's is a lot of Google Doodles‚ÄĒespecially when there's no rhyme or reason to what's deemed worthy. They were judicious with the honor in the beginning, and in fact, the only reason the whole thing got started was a matter of practicality. Larry Page and Sergey Brin wanted to let everyone know they were out of the office, so they stuck the Burning Man symbol on the page and left to go trip in the dessert‚ÄĒthe rest is history. These days, though, Doodles are less about "utility" and more about "why the hell not." It's Juraj J√°noŇ°√≠k's 325th birthday? Let's get him on the page, then. Who's Juraj J√°noŇ°√≠k? Who cares! Look at the pretty picture.

So thanks to its liberal Doodle guidelines, Google has offered up some pretty incredible takes on its classic logo throughout the years. Here are our favorite ones from every year they've been servicing the interwebs. Don't agree? Take a look at the collection and let us know your picks down below.


August 30, 1998 - The grandaddy of all Google Doodles, the Burning Man Festival symbol took the very first honors.

Advertisement


November 30, 1999 - This Uncle Sam Doodle took you to the Google search page for the United States Government.

Advertisement


May 5, 2000 - Every single planet was briefly almost perfectly aligned with the sun.

Advertisement

2000


April 22, 2001 - This Earth Day was the first time Google had really made creative use of its two "o"s.

Advertisement


August 6, 2002 - Andy Warhol's 74th birthday gave us the most altered Doodle logo yet.

Advertisement


April 24, 2003 - DNA celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Advertisement


Feb 2, 2003 - In honor of French mathematician Gaston Julia's 111th birthday, Google gave us some beautifully complex fractals to look at.

Advertisement


January 1, 2005 - If you weren't looking for the nod to the new year in this subtle New Year's Day Doodle, you'd probably miss it.

Advertisement


January 4, 2006 - The first total departure from the English alphabet came on Louis Braille's 107th birthday.

Advertisement


December 22, 2007 - Not a great year as far as creative Doodles go, but this bit of holiday humor was a welcome addition.

Advertisement


January 28, 2008 - Around this time, the Google Doodle team really started refining their craft, like with this fantastic celebration of the Lego brick's 50th anniversary.

Advertisement


October 7, 2009 - Though quite as beautiful, Google's celebration of the invention of the barcode was certainly functional. And what happens if you scan it? You can probably guess.

Advertisement


October 8, 2010 - While this isn't a Doodle in the traditional sense, we can understand why John Lennon's 70th birthday warranted a little something special.


June 9, 2011 - Nearly everyone remembers the day Google celebrated Les Paul's 96th birthday with an awesomely functional, recordable guitar. At least, our bosses certainly do‚ÄĒit ended up costing workers about $270 million in productivity.

Advertisement


June 23, 2012 - Alan Turing's 100th birthday gave us another great time waster‚ÄĒa live action Turing Machine with twelve interactive programming puzzles in all.

Advertisement


May 8, 2013 - Because 2013 isn't quite over yet, consider this homage to Saul Bass a bonus. And anyway, this one's going to be hard to top.

Advertisement