Jump to Categories

call, apply & bind

Use .bind() when you want that function to later be called with a certain context, useful in events. Use .call() or .apply() when you want to invoke the function immediately, with modification of the context.


var bankInterest = {
  interestRate: 1,
  total: function(balance) {
    return (this.interestRate / 100) * balance;


Call allows you change the context of the function on the fly, eg in this case changing the interest rate

bankInterest.total.call(context, function arguments)

bankInterest.total.call({interestRate: 50}, 300)


Apply is exactly the same, but function arguments are passed as an array

bankInterest.total.apply({interestRate: 50}, [300])

Call or apply?

Use apply if you don't know the number of arguments you will be passing, or if they are already in an array or array-like object (like the arguments object to forward your own arguments. Use call otherwise, since there's no need to wrap the arguments in an array. Matthew Crumley


Bind attaches a brand new this to a given function. In bind’s case, the function is not executed instantly like Call or Apply.

// binding - but NOT immediatly calling - the interest rate
var something = bankInterest.total.bind({interestRate: 50});

// Later on...

Bind allows us to inject a new context and call it whenever we like after. This is especailly useful as we can change the values of this to be whatever we like, eg changing interest rates for different customers

var paul = bankInterest.total.bind({interestRate: 50});
var john = bankInterest.total.bind({interestRate: 51});