Occasionally when using javascript you’ll find that you want to intercept a function call, usually to run some code before invoking functions belonging to a third-party codebase. Essentially, this is achieved by saving a reference to the original function and then replacing it with a new function which, at the end, calls the original. Something like:

(function () {
    var originalFunction = Object.getPrototypeOf(someObject).someFunction;
    Object.getPrototypeOf(someObject).someFunction = function () {
        // intercept code here

Likewise, interception is possible if a property has a getter or a setter:

(function() {
    var propDesc = Object.getOwnPropertyDescriptor(Object.getPrototypeOf(someObject), "someProperty"),
        originalGetter = propDesc.get,
        originalSetter = propDesc.set;

    propDesc.set = function(val) {
        // getter intercept code here
        return originalSetter.call(this, val);

    propDesc.get = function() {
        // setter intercept code here
        return originalGetter.call(this);

    Object.defineProperty(Object.getPrototypeOf(someObject), "someProperty", propDesc);

As you can see this is basically the same; the only real difference is that you need to use Object.getOwnPropertyDescriptor / Object.defineProperty rather than being able to set it directly using regular assignment. This is because var getter = someObject.someProperty will return the result of the getter function, and someObject.someProperty = "something" will invoke the setter function.

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5 thoughts on “Intercepting Properties with Getters/Setters

  1. Thanks for the great article!

    Was stuck with intercepting accesses for prototypes and your article just saved my life. Really smart to store the getter & setters and invoke them with “this.”

    I wonder if it’s possible to intercept calls when the property doesn’t have a getter or setter.

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