The Hidden Easter Eggs All Tesla Drivers Should Know

Full self-driving may not actually be here — or legal — yet, but that doesn't mean Teslas aren't packed with a host of features. Cutting-edge driver assist tools, voice commands, and excellent charging technologies are features you may expect from your high-end electric vehicle, but there are also some hidden features that, though less useful, are still worth a look due to how unique they are. These are Easter eggs, and they often reference events, popular culture, or sometimes just things Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a fan of.

Some of the Easter eggs are quite difficult to activate, while others can simply be found in the Easter Egg Drawer section of the About Your Tesla menu. You can access the menu by tapping the Tesla logo above the touchscreen, and then selecting "About Your Tesla." The Easter egg drawer, which is filled with colored eggs, should pop up shortly afterward. Not all Easter eggs are available on all models, and they do change with software updates. Here are a few of the best current ones that you can try out yourself.

A full orchestral performance is an option

If you're a fan of classical music, then this is the Easter egg for you — however, this one isn't particularly easy to activate and is only available on the Model X. If you manage to unlock it, your Tesla will belt out a performance from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, perform a light show, and even activate its doors in time with the music. To get this one going, you have to press the Tesla logo at the top of your touch screen for five seconds. A water ripple will then play across the screen and the car will prompt you for an access code.

The word "Holiday" or "ModelXMas" will activate the Easter egg. You then need to exit the vehicle and, after ensuring you have at least six feet of space on all sides and above the vehicle, press the lock button. The model X will then begin its display, activating its lights in time with the music and flapping its wings like a big, expensive metal bird. If the activation process seems a bit complicated, you can also start this Easter egg by hitting the Tesla logo above the touchscreen, going into the About Your Tesla menu, accessing the Easter Egg Drawer, and tapping the green Easter egg.

Not all of them are original

While an Easter egg by its nature isn't original — it's a homage to a piece of popular culture — there are some Easter eggs that are more common than others. One of Tesla's pays tribute to a standout moment from the iconic mockumentary "This is Spinal Tap," which followed a fictional '80s metal band as they set off airport metal detectors with cucumbers, complained about bread, and stared at undersized stage decorations. 

The first scene that springs to mind for most fans involves the band's amplifiers and the unique settings they have available. Spinal Tap's amps went "up to 11" when 10 wasn't enough and they needed a little bit more. And Tesla is amongst the carmakers that have adopted this idea, increasing their vehicles' volume options instead of just making 10 longer. If you want to see this Easter egg in the wild, simply ramp the volume up and keep an eye on the screen. It should max out at 11. This Easter egg features on all Tesla models and also crops up on things like the Polaris Slingshot.

Of course there's a Rick and Morty reference

Elon Musk is a pretty big "Rick and Morty" fan, and the creators of the show seem to quite like him, as well. The billionaire was once seen sporting a t-shirt that featured a small robot: the titular character created to pass him butter. He also went on to appear in the show's third season as "Elon Tusk," who is essentially just regular Musk with a pun-based name and some warthog tusks protruding from his mouth. Musk seems to have returned the favor by adding a "Rick and Morty"-based Easter egg to Tesla's vehicles.

While Teslas are pretty advanced, they are still a bit behind Rick's fictional vehicle. Rick's car is capable of space travel, comes with a cutting-edge weapons system, and features an advanced AI that thinks for itself. One of its unique features has trickled down to Tesla's EVs, though. If you ask the car to "Keep Summer Safe" like Rick asked his car to do in "The Ricks Must Be Crazy," an episode from Season 2 of the show, Sentry Mode will activate. The car's display will feature a HAL-9000-looking lens and the car's security system will be engaged. Saying "keep Tesla safe" or "enable sentry mode" will also turn on the security system.

You can make things festive

Christmas might only come once a year, but you can celebrate the festive season any time by saying a few simple words in your Tesla. Saying "Ho Ho Ho" will result in "Run Rudolph Run" by Chuck Berry blasting out from your Tesla's speakers, while Santa Mode is activated. The words "Ho Ho Ho Not Funny" result in a different festive tune: "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." While the songs are both different and last for around a minute, Santa Mode itself remains the same. 

Expect to see some snow around your vehicle on your central display, your turn signal will sound like sleigh bells, and your car will turn into Santa's Sleigh while parked. If you're a bit of a grinch and want all of this to stop, saying "Ho Ho Ho" again will de-activate Santa Mode, but you will have to deal with another dose of Chuck Berry.

Mario Kart meets classic SNL

Fans of "Mario Kart," Blue Oyster Cult, and the long-running sketch show "Saturday Night Live" can all have their needs met with a single Tesla Easter egg. This Easter egg can be accessed on the Model S, 3, X, and Y — provided the vehicle also has autosteer. With autosteer active, the right stalk behind the steering wheel (the one that is used to activate autopilot) has to be pushed four times quite quickly. 

The road on the Tesla's display will then take on a rainbow color, which is a clear reference to the iconic "Mario Kart" level. "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult will also start playing, though it's not the original version of the song. Instead, it's taken from a classic "Saturday Night Live" sketch complete with Christopher Walken (as The Bruce Dickinson) demanding "more cowbell." The music stops after a few lines, but the rainbow road will continue to be displayed until autosteer is disengaged.

Surprisingly, this isn't the only rainbow-themed Easter egg Tesla has coded into its cars. If the onscreen Easter egg isn't enough for you, you can also add some rainbows to your charging port. After plugging in your Tesla Model S, 3, X, or Y, hit the charge port control button 10 times in quick succession. The lights around your charging port should then cycle through all the colors of the rainbow.