Dealing with Python ‘builtin_function_or_method’ Object Errors

Dealing with Python ‘builtin_function_or_method’ Object Subscriptability Errors can be a bit tricky if you’re new to programming or just getting to grips with Python. But don’t worry, it’s simpler than it seems. When you encounter this error, it means you’re trying to access an element of a function as if it were a list or a dictionary when it’s not. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to resolve this common issue so you can get back to coding without any hiccups.

Step by Step Tutorial: Dealing with Python ‘builtin_function_or_method’ Object Subscriptability Errors

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re dealing with here. The ‘builtin_function_or_method’ object subscriptability error occurs when you mistakenly treat a function or method – which is not subscriptable – as an object that supports subscripting, like a list or a dictionary does.

Step 1: Identify the function causing the error

Look for the line of code where the error is occurring.

When you receive an error message pointing to a ‘builtin_function_or_method’ object subscriptability issue, the first step is to pinpoint where in your code the mistake is made. This will typically be highlighted in the error message itself.

Step 2: Understand why the error is occurring

Determine if you are mistakenly treating a function or method as a list or dictionary.

After identifying the problematic code, analyze what you’re trying to achieve. Are you trying to get an item from a list or a key-value pair from a dictionary, but using a function or method instead?

Step 3: Refactor your code

Make the necessary changes to your code to treat the function or method correctly.

Once you’ve understood the root of the problem, it’s time to tweak your code. If you meant to use a list or a dictionary, replace the function or method with the correct object type.

After completing these steps, your code should be free from the ‘builtin_function_or_method’ object subscriptability error, and you can run it once again to ensure everything works as expected.

Tips for Dealing with Python ‘builtin_function_or_method’ Object Subscriptability Errors

  • Always double-check the type of object you’re working with when subscripting.
  • Remember that functions and methods are not subscriptable – you cannot access them using indices like lists or keys like dictionaries.
  • Read error messages carefully; they often provide valuable insights into what’s causing the issue.
  • Keep in mind that lists and dictionaries are enclosed in square brackets and curly brackets, respectively, while functions and methods typically end with parentheses.
  • If in doubt, use the type() function to determine the object type you’re dealing with.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does ‘object is not subscriptable’ mean in Python?

It means that you are trying to access an element of an object that does not support this kind of operation – like a function or a method.

How can I check if an object is subscriptable in Python?

You can check if an object has the __getitem__ attribute which allows for subscripting. Use the built-in hasattr() function for this check.

Can I make a non-subscriptable object subscriptable?

Yes, but it requires defining or modifying the __getitem__ method within the object’s class definition.

Why do functions and methods not support subscripting?

Functions and methods are designed to be called, not to store items like lists or dictionaries do. Their purpose is fundamentally different.

What are some common objects that are subscriptable in Python?

Lists, dictionaries, strings, and tuples are some of the common subscriptable objects in Python.


  1. Identify the function causing the error
  2. Understand why the error is occurring
  3. Refactor your code


In conclusion, dealing with a ‘builtin_function_or_method’ object subscriptability error in Python might seem intimidating at first. However, once you understand the concept of subscriptability and the object types that support this feature, resolving such errors becomes much more manageable. Remember, functions and methods are not meant to be accessed with indices or keys, unlike lists or dictionaries. By following the steps outlined in this article and keeping the provided tips in mind, you should be able to tackle these errors with confidence. Also, don’t forget to make use of the frequently asked questions section as a quick reference for common queries related to this topic. Happy coding, and may your path be free of subscriptability errors!