Whether you’re an API newbie just learning the ropes, or an experienced developer looking for new ways to procrastinate, we think we have the perfect pastime for you. In fact, we have eight of them…

That’s right. In this article, we’re counting down on eight of the web’s fun, random, and useless APIs that you can start tinkering with today. If you’re looking to expand your skillset or explain a tough concept to non-API folks, you’ll find that these hand-picked APIs are less intimidating than anything you’ve ever dealt with before. And if you’re just along for the ride, we think you’ll love this list anyway.

1. Jeannie

To kick things off, let’s look at one of the more impressive APIs on this list: Jeannie. Jeannie is a virtual assistant, very much like Siri (or Google, if you’re an Android user). To quote, “the objective of this service is to provide you and your robot with the smartest response to any natural language question.”

Jeannie is particularly good at interpreting and answering trivia questions. For the query how big is the eiffel tower?, we got this response:

An answer and a source for it! Pretty cool, right?

2. Love Calculator

Next up on the list is something a little more mundane: the Love Calculator. Simply enter your name and the name of your potential lover, and the Love Calculator will return your compatibility as a percentage. Oh, it’ll also include a snarky comment, like Can choose someone better.

Yep, that’s it.

3. SWAPI

Ah, SWAPI. What list of fun APIs would be complete without mention of this Star Wars-inspired API? Drawing from a huge database that describes practically the entire Star Wars universe, SWAPI will give you data for all your favorite planets, people, species, and more.

Here’s a sample response with the data for everyone’s favorite robot character:

4. Bacon Ipsum

Do you ever get bored of seeing lorem ipsum placeholder text around the web? We have the solution for you: Bacon Ipsum. As with a handful of lorem ipsum alternative text generators, Bacon Ipsum is the REST API you need to spice up your placeholder text. Or perhaps a more appropriate phrase is to “beef up” your placeholder text, since Bacon Ipsum only generates meat-themed responses.

Et jerky excepteur shankle, anyone?

5. XKCD

Recently featured in one of our speaker interviews was the XKCD API, which allows you to fetch various XKCD comics and their metadata. The URL https://xkcd.com/info.0.json, for example, gives you access to their latest comic’s data in JSON format — complete with a “safe title”, image URL, and alt-text.

6. Yoda Speak

Created by the same team as the Yoda Speak Text Generator, we have the Yoda Speak API! Simply send over your plain, English text, and the Yoda Speak API will stylize your language to match that of Master Yoda!

Try it, you must. Herh herh herh.

7. kanye.rest

If you’re looking for another fun API that will return plaintext, you needn’t look any further. kanye.rest is the free JSON API that will return a random Kanye West quote at will!

"quote" : "I feel like I'm too busy writing history to read it."

8. AnAPIOfIceAndFire

SWAPI isn’t the web’s only fantasy API. In fact, it has a pretty serious competitor… AnAPIOfIceAndFire is the API that returns structured data about characters, houses, and books about the popular HBO series Game of Thrones. If that wasn’t enough on its own, AnAPIOfIceAndFire comes with comprehensive documentation — more complete than some of the documentation we’ve seen for “serious” APIs.

Here’s a sample response:

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Eight of the world’s fun, random, and useless APIs that we think you’ll love tinkering with. From generating placeholder text to sourcing information about your favorite fantasy worlds, these APIs are some of the most light-hearted demonstrations of the power of APIs.

What to Use These APIs for

Contrary to what some might think, these APIs definitely have their uses in the real world. One use is to introduce API behavior to beginners or potential consumers, allowing business folk to experiment with consuming APIs in new environments.

If you want to build your own Game of Thrones-inspired video game (consult a legal adviser first), see how an interface will react when populated with text, or program your own Alexa spin-off, we’re sure you’ll find plenty more uses for these fun APIs!

Thomas Bush

About Thomas Bush

Thomas Bush is an enthusiastic freelance writer from the United Kingdom, who loves breaking down tough topics into bite-sized articles. Covering everything from cryptocurrencies to medicine, and now APIs, you can find out more about Thomas on LinkedIn or on his website at http://thomasbush.co.