This feature is obsolete. Although it may still work in some browsers, its use is discouraged since it could be removed at any time. Try to avoid using it.

The __noSuchMethod__ property used to reference a function to be executed when a non-existent method is called on an object, but this function is no longer available.

While __noSuchMethod__ has been dropped, the ECMAScript 2015 (ES6) specification has the Proxy object, with which you can achieve the below (and more).


<var>obj</var>.__noSuchMethod__ = <var>fun</var>


A function that takes the form
function (<var>id</var>, <var>args</var>) { . . . }
The name of the non-existent method that was called
An array of the arguments passed to the method


By default, an attempt to call a method that doesn't exist on an object results in a TypeError being thrown. This behavior can be circumvented by defining a function at that object's __noSuchMethod__ member. The function takes two arguments, the first is the name of the method attempted and the second is an array of the arguments that were passed in the method call. The second argument is an actual array (that is, it inherits through the Array.prototype chain) and not the array-like arguments object.

If this method cannot be called, either as if undefined by default, if deleted, or if manually set to a non-function, the JavaScript engine will revert to throwing TypeErrors.


Simple test of __noSuchMethod__

var o = {
  __noSuchMethod__: function(id, args) { 
                      console.log(id, '(' + args.join(', ') + ')'); 

o.foo(1, 2, 3);
o.bar(4, 5);

// Output
// foo (1, 2, 3)
// bar (4, 5)
// baz ()

Using __noSuchMethod__ to simulate multiple inheritance

An example of code that implements a primitive form of multiple inheritance is shown below.

// Doesn't work with multiple inheritance objects as parents
function noMethod(name, args) {
  var parents = this.__parents_;

  // Go through all parents
  for (var i = 0; i < parents.length; i++) {
    // If we find a function on the parent, we call it
    if (typeof parents[i][name] == "function") {
      return parents[i][name].apply(this, args);

  // If we get here, the method hasn't been found
  throw new TypeError;

// Used to add a parent for multiple inheritance
function addParent(obj, parent) {
  // If the object isn't initialized, initialize it
  if (!obj.__parents_) {
    obj.__parents_ = [];
    obj.__noSuchMethod__ = noMethod;

  // Add the parent

An example of using this idea is shown below.

// Example base class 1
function NamedThing(name){

NamedThing.prototype = {
  getName: function() { return this.name; },
  setName: function(newName) { this.name = newName; }

// Example base class 2
function AgedThing(age) {
  this.age = age;

AgedThing.prototype = {
  getAge: function() { return this.age; },
  setAge: function(age) { this.age = age; }

// Child class. inherits from NamedThing and AgedThing
// as well as defining address
function Person(name, age, address){
  addParent(this, NamedThing.prototype);
  NamedThing.call(this, name);
  addParent(this, AgedThing.prototype);
  AgedThing.call(this, age);
  this.address = address;

Person.prototype = {
  getAddr: function() { return this.address; },
  setAddr: function(addr) { this.address = addr; }

var bob = new Person("bob", 25, "New York");

console.log("getAge is " + (("getAge" in bob) ? "in" : "not in") + " bob");
// getAge is not in bob

console.log("bob's age is: " + bob.getAge());
// bob's age is: 25

console.log("getName is " + (("getName" in bob) ? "in" : "not in") + " bob");
// getName is not in bob

console.log("bob's name is: " + bob.getName());
// bob's name is: bob

console.log("getAddr is " + (("getAddr" in bob) ? "in" : "not in") + " bob");
// getAddr is in bob

console.log("bob's address is: " + bob.getAddr());
// bob's address is: New York


Not part of any specifications. This feature has been removed, see bug 683218.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support No support No support [1] No support No support No support
Feature Android Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support No support No support No support [1] No support No support No support

[1] This feature was implemented until version 43.


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Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.

JavaScript Object Obsolete Property Prototype