__return_empty_array()WP 3.0.0

Simply returns an empty array: array(). Helper function of WordPress.

Useful for returning an empty array to filters easily.

All such helper functions:
__return_false() — returns false.
__return_true() — returns true.
__return_empty_array() — returns an empty: array().
__return_zero() — returns the number 0.
__return_null() — returns NULL.
__return_empty_string() — returns an empty string: ''.

This is an internal function for using it by WP core itself. It's not recommended to use this function in your code.

1 time — 0.000001 sec (speed of light) | 50000 times — 0.01 sec (speed of light) | PHP 7.1.11, WP 4.9.7

No Hooks.


Array. Empty array.


__return_empty_array() // phpcs:ignore WordPress.NamingConventions.ValidFunctionName.FunctionDoubleUnderscore,PHPCompatibility.FunctionNameRestrictions.ReservedFunctionNames.FunctionDoubleUnderscore;



#1 Demonstrate the use of

Suppose that in the filter 'my_filter' we need to always return an empty array():

add_filter( 'my_filter', '__return_empty_array' );

The same can be written so:

// example of anonymous function
add_filter( 'my_filter', create_function('','return array();') );

// or so for php 5.3+
add_filter( 'my_filter', function(){ return array(); } );

// or so, with the registration function
add_filter( 'my_filter', 'my_return_function' );
function my_return_function(){
	return array();


Since 3.0.0 Introduced.

Code of __return_empty_array() WP 5.9.3

function __return_empty_array() { // phpcs:ignore WordPress.NamingConventions.ValidFunctionName.FunctionDoubleUnderscore,PHPCompatibility.FunctionNameRestrictions.ReservedFunctionNames.FunctionDoubleUnderscore
	return array();