Javascript call and apply

For a long time javascript call and apply have been really confusing me. I neither know when to use it nor what are the differences between these two.

Basically call and apply invoke the function and switch the function context with the first argument. The main difference between these two is with call the rest arguments are passed to the calling function and those arguments have to be listed explicitly. However with apply the amount of arguments don’t have to be predefined. we can pass in an array.

function fn( arg1, arg2,... ){
  // do something

fn( arg1, arg2,... ); context, arg1, arg2,... );

fn.apply( context, [ arg1, arg2,... ]);

It’s not necessary to have the second argument

A real world use case

Ajax is a good example to use call and apply.

function Album( id, title, owner_id ){       = id;     = title;
  this.owner_id = owner_id;

Album.prototype.get_owner = function( callback ){
  var self = this;

  $.get( '/owners/' + this.owner_id , function( data ){
    callback && self, );

var album = new Album( 1, 'node.js conf', 2 );

album.get_owner( function( owner ){
  alert( 'The album' + + ' belongs to ' + owner );


Function invoke with call is slightly faster than with apply. But don’t worry, you really can’t tell the difference, use whatever suits you.

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