The recent update iMessage on iOS causes certain words to trigger screen effects. Also, there is a way to long-press on the send button, and bring up an interface for adding these effects.

I've found the following associations between screen effects, and the messgaes that trigger them:

  • confetti: "congratulations", "happy birthday"
  • fireworks: "happy new year"

What is the list of these?

  • I’m going to assume you want a wiki style list of X and convert this to wiki. We should have a discussion on Ask Different Meta if it gets closed or this gets edited to not be a listing exercise.
    – bmike
    Oct 25, 2019 at 10:23
  • @bmike seconded. That's what I thought too when I wrote the answers(now one)
    – anki
    Oct 25, 2019 at 10:25
  • Newest needs defining unless the intent is to delete all answers each week when a new word gets added in some localization.
    – bmike
    Oct 25, 2019 at 10:28

4 Answers 4

  • Happy Birthday: Balloons
  • Congratulations: Confetti
  • Happy New Years: Fireworks
  • Happy Chinese New Years: Celebration
  • Pew pew: Light/Laser Show

Also if you hold down the send button you can access a set of effects you can add to your message like a (Slam/Loud/Gentle/Invisible Ink). Now if you hold down the send button, not only do you get those set of effects, but the effects above with the SHORT list of trigger words are accessible at the top of the screen.


Just add to the list if you find some triggers. No need to remove the obsolete, as in some OS, they might still be working.

  • Congratulations! coloured ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​paper cuttings

  • Happy Chinese new year! ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ works in other countries too.

  • Happy new year! different from above.

  • Happy Birthday! balloons.

  • Pew Pew lights in different colours

  • Eid Mubarak Shooting Star


For iOS 10.2, the messages in the question are the only ones I could find that trigger a full screen effect, no others have been confirmed in the sources I looked at (Apple, iMore, iGeeksBlog).

So our list is:

  • "Congratulations" or "Happy Birthday": Confetti
  • "Happy New Year": Fireworks
  • "Pew pew": Light/Laser Show
  • „Eid Mubarak“: shooting star

Given that I can't find evidence of any other "trigger messages", I think it's safe to say that these are the only ones.


The words...

  • Best wishes shows 2 hands giving some stuff out.
  • XOXO shows some hearts
  • 1
    If you don't mind - want to edit these in to the best answer that has all the list of these maintained?
    – bmike
    Oct 29, 2019 at 23:08
  • Doesn't work as of iOS 13.4
    – davr
    Apr 21, 2020 at 16:56

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