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Function.prototype.call()

The call() method calls the function with a given this value and arguments provided individually.

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Syntax

call()
call(thisArg)
call(thisArg, arg1, /* …, */ argN)

Parameters

thisArg

The value to use as this when calling func. If the function is not in strict mode, null and undefined will be replaced with the global object, and primitive values will be converted to objects.

arg1, …, argN Optional

Arguments for the function.

Return value

The result of calling the function with the specified this value and arguments.

Description

Note: This function is almost identical to apply(), except that call() accepts an argument list, while apply() accepts a single array of arguments — for example, func.apply(this, ['eat', 'bananas']) vs. func.call(this, 'eat', 'bananas').

The call() allows for a function/method belonging to one object to be assigned and called for a different object.

call() provides a new value of this to the function/method. With call(), you can write a method once and then inherit it in another object, without having to rewrite the method for the new object.

Examples

Using call() to chain constructors for an object

You can use call to chain constructors for an object (similar to Java).

In the following example, the constructor for the Product object is defined with two parameters: name and price.

Two other functions, Food and Toy, invoke Product, passing this, name, and price. Product initializes the properties name and price, both specialized functions define the category.

function Product(name, price) {
  this.name = name;
  this.price = price;
}

function Food(name, price) {
  Product.call(this, name, price);
  this.category = 'food';
}

function Toy(name, price) {
  Product.call(this, name, price);
  this.category = 'toy';
}

const cheese = new Food('feta', 5);
const fun = new Toy('robot', 40);

Using call() to invoke an anonymous function

In this example, we create an anonymous function and use call to invoke it on every object in an array.

The main purpose of the anonymous function here is to add a print function to every object, which is able to print the correct index of the object in the array.

Note: Passing the object as this value is not strictly necessary, but is done for explanatory purpose.

const animals = [
  { species: 'Lion', name: 'King' },
  { species: 'Whale', name: 'Fail' }
];

function assignPrintMethod(i) {
  this.print = function () {
    console.log(`#${i}${this.species}: ${this.name}`);
  }
  this.print();
}

for (let i = 0; i < animals.length; i++) {
  assignPrintMethod.call(animals[i], i);
}

Using call() to invoke a function and specifying the context for 'this'

In the example below, when we call greet, the value of this will be bound to object obj.

function greet() {
  const reply = [this.animal, 'typically sleep between', this.sleepDuration].join(' ');
  console.log(reply);
}

const obj = {
  animal: 'cats',
  sleepDuration: '12 and 16 hours',
};

greet.call(obj);  // cats typically sleep between 12 and 16 hours

Using call() to invoke a function and without specifying the first argument

In the example below, we invoke the display function without passing the first argument. If the first argument is not passed, the value of this is bound to the global object.

// var creates a property on the global object
var globProp = 'Wisen';

function display() {
  console.log(`globProp value is ${this.globProp}`);
}

display.call(); // logs "globProp value is Wisen"

In strict mode, the value of this will be undefined.

'use strict';

var globProp = 'Wisen';

function display() {
  console.log(`globProp value is ${this.globProp}`);
}

display.call(); // throws TypeError: Cannot read the property of 'globProp' of undefined

Specifications

Browser compatibility

Desktop Mobile Server
Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari WebView Android Chrome Android Firefox for Android Opera Android Safari on IOS Samsung Internet Deno Node.js
call
1
12
1
5.5
4
1
4.4
18
4
10.1
1
1.0
1.0
0.10.0
When calling this method, thisArg does not default to the global object.

See also

© 2005–2022 MDN contributors.
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Global_Objects/Function/call