Why Object and Array constructor don’t need to be prefixed with new for constructing an object?

Consider the following snippet :-

function Custom(){}

// prints {}
// prints []
// prints undefined
// prints {}
console.log(new Custom());

I know that the Custom function constructor needs a new keyword prefixed to bind this. Why isn’t that necessary for Array and Object constructors ?


The array constructor says:

also creates and initializes a new Array object when called as a function rather than as a constructor. Thus the function call Array(…) is equivalent to the object creation expression new Array(…) with the same arguments.

The object constructor says:

  1. If NewTarget is neither undefined nor the active function, then a. Return ? OrdinaryCreateFromConstructor(NewTarget, “%Object.prototype%”).
  2. If value is undefined or null, return ! OrdinaryObjectCreate(%Object.prototype%).
  3. Return ! ToObject(value).

So it’s explicitly noted that new isn’t required for either of those.

(though, you should probably never be using either Object or Array as constructors, whether with or without new – better to use object and array literals)

It’ll be trivial to implement this sort of thing yourself in Custom, if you want – check if the function was called with new, and if not, explicitly return something:

function Custom(){
  if (!new.target) {
    return new Custom();
console.log(new Custom());