WP_Comment::get_children( array $args = array() ): WP_Comment[]

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Gets the children of a comment.


Array of arguments used to pass to get_comments() and determine format.
  • 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.
More Arguments from get_comments( … $args )Array or string of arguments. See WP_Comment_Query::__construct() for information on accepted arguments.



WP_Comment[] Array of WP_Comment objects.


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;



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