How to delete a key and return the value from a PHP array?


When using PHP, I find myself writing code like this a lot:

return $target;

In Python, there is a dict.pop method that would let me do something similar in one statement, without a temporary variable:

return session.pop(AFTER_LOGIN_TARGET)

Is there a similar function or trick in PHP?

I don't see a built-in function for this, but you can easily create your own.

 * Removes an item from the array and returns its value.
 * @param array $arr The input array
 * @param $key The key pointing to the desired value
 * @return The value mapped to $key or null if none
function array_remove(array &$arr, $key) {
    if (array_key_exists($key, $arr)) {
        $val = $arr[$key];

        return $val;

    return null;

You can use it with any array, e.g. $_SESSION:

return array_remove($_SESSION, 'AFTER_LOGIN_TARGET');