WP_Comment::get_children()publicWP 4.4.0

Gets the children of a comment.

Method of the class: WP_Comment{}

No Hooks.


WP_Comment[]. Array of WP_Comment objects.


$WP_Comment = new WP_Comment();
$WP_Comment->get_children( $args );

Array of arguments used to pass to get_comments() and determine format.

Default: array()

  • format(string)
    Return value format. 'tree' for a hierarchical tree, 'flat' for a flattened array.
    Default: 'tree'

  • status(string)
    Comment status to limit results by. Accepts 'hold' (comment_status=0), 'approve' (comment_status=1), 'all', or a custom comment status.
    Default: 'all'

  • hierarchical(string)
    Whether to include comment descendants in the results. 'threaded' returns a tree, with each comment's children stored in a children property on the WP_Comment object. 'flat' returns a flat array of found comments plus their children. Pass false to leave out descendants. The parameter is ignored (forced to false) when $fields is 'ids' or 'counts'. Accepts 'threaded', 'flat', or false.
    Default: 'threaded'

  • orderby(string|array)
    Comment status or array of statuses. To use 'meta_value' or 'meta_value_num', $meta_key must also be defined. To sort by a specific $meta_query clause, use that clause's array key. Accepts 'comment_agent', 'comment_approved', 'comment_author', 'comment_author_email', 'comment_author_IP', 'comment_author_url', 'comment_content', 'comment_date', 'comment_date_gmt', 'comment_ID', 'comment_karma', 'comment_parent', 'comment_post_ID', 'comment_type', 'user_id', 'comment__in', 'meta_value', 'meta_value_num', the value of $meta_key, and the array keys of $meta_query. Also accepts false, an empty array, or 'none' to disable ORDER BY clause.


Since 4.4.0 Introduced.

WP_Comment::get_children() code WP 6.6

public function get_children( $args = array() ) {
	$defaults = array(
		'format'       => 'tree',
		'status'       => 'all',
		'hierarchical' => 'threaded',
		'orderby'      => '',

	$_args           = wp_parse_args( $args, $defaults );
	$_args['parent'] = $this->comment_ID;

	if ( is_null( $this->children ) ) {
		if ( $this->populated_children ) {
			$this->children = array();
		} else {
			$this->children = get_comments( $_args );

	if ( 'flat' === $_args['format'] ) {
		$children = array();
		foreach ( $this->children as $child ) {
			$child_args           = $_args;
			$child_args['format'] = 'flat';
			// get_children() resets this value automatically.
			unset( $child_args['parent'] );

			$children = array_merge( $children, array( $child ), $child->get_children( $child_args ) );
	} else {
		$children = $this->children;

	return $children;