Mocking magic methods with PHPUnit

If you want to test a method of an object which is supplied using the magic method __call(), you can’t simply mock the desired method. You have to go the longer way via __call(). So e.g. if your magic method you want to mock is called “myMagicFunction”, you could be tempted to write

$mock
    ->expects($this->once())
    ->method('myMagicMethod')
    ->with('123')
    ->willReturn('myResult');

since, after all, it is a mock, right? So why wasting time? Obviously PHPUnit (Version 4.5.0 at the time of writing) is doing some sort of internal checks, preventing our laziness and forcing us to mock the __call() method instead. I can only guess the reason here, any comments with more insight on this topic are highly appreciated!

Of course, mocking the __call() method instead is not much more work

$mock
    ->expects($this->once())
    ->method('__call')
   // Be sure to pass the method argument(s)
   // as array, even if you only have one 
   // argument!
   ->with(
      $this->equalTo('myMagicFunction'),
      $this->equalTo(['123'])
   )
   ->willReturn('myResult');

However PHPUnit will not throw any Exceptions if you use the first approach, instead it will only return NULL instead the expected ‘myResult’. This can be a bit frustrating 🙂