JavaScript Chain of Responsibility

The Chain of Responsibility pattern provides a chain of loosely coupled objects one of which can satisfy a request. This pattern is essentially a linear search for an object that can handle a particular request.

JavaScript Patterns

Using Chain of Responsibility

An example of a chain-of-responsibility is event-bubbling in which an event propagates through a series of nested controls one of which may choose to handle the event.

The Chain of Responsiblity patterns is related to the Chaining Pattern which is frequently used in JavaScript (jQuery makes extensive use of this pattern).

To learn more about the Chaining patterns and its benefits see our Dofactory JS product.


Diagram JavaScript Chain of Responsibility Design Pattern


The objects participating in this pattern are:

  • Client -- In example code: Request
    • initiates the request to a chain of handler objects
  • Handler -- In example code: Request.get() method
    • defines an interface for handling the requests
    • implements the successor link (returning 'this')


This example differs slightly from the classic Chain of Responsibility pattern in that not one, but all handlers participate in handling the request.

The code demonstrates an elegant solution to a money dispensing machine problem. Say, a customer requires $247 from an ATM machine. What is the combination of bank notes ($100, $50, $20, $10, $5, $1) that satisfies that request?

A Request is created with the amount requested. Next, a series of get calls are chained together, each one handling a particular denomination. Each handler determines the number of bank notes dispensed and substracts this amount from the remaining amount. The request object is passed through the chain by returning this in the get method.

var Request = function (amount) {
    this.amount = amount;
    console.log("Requested: $" + amount + "\n");

Request.prototype = {
    get: function (bill) {
        var count = Math.floor(this.amount / bill);
        this.amount -= count * bill;
        console.log("Dispense " + count + " $" + bill + " bills");
        return this;
function run() {
    var request = new Request(378);


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