How To Fix The Unexpected End of Input Error in JS

By James LePage
Last updated on July 26th, 2022

Code formatting. Tabs or spaces, semi-colons or no semi-colons. It is a pretty controversial subject to many but it is quite important in some instances. If you are on a team, having a cohesive code format helps code readability among your peers. Even if you work alone, one big benefit of having a good sense of code formatting is to avoid syntactical errors.

JavaScript is pretty open when it comes to code format. There is a wide range of different ways to format your codebase in this language. What can happen if you don’t do it? Well, an example of a simple error that is often caused by code formatting issues is the Unexpected end of input error. How does it work?

The Problem

When JavaScript code is run it uses just in time compilation (JIT) to turn your code into something the computer can do. When this happens your code is read and certain things are expected about the code, for example having matching parentheses. If you received the Unexpected end of input error, odds are you are missing a closing curly brace } so the error is basically saying “you opened the curly brace but the code ended before it was closed”.

Here’s an example:

const writeHelloWorld = () => {
  console.log('hello world')

writeHelloWorld();Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

As you can see, the code is clearly missing a ending curly brace at the end of the arrow function which causes the error. So how does the code formatting mentioned earlier fit into this? Let’s look at a more real-world example:

const items = ['one', 'two', 'three'];

function parseItems() {
  for (let i = 0; i < items.length; i++) {
    if (items[i]) {

parseItems();Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

In this example, it is a little less clear where the error is. The indentation is not very consistent so you might not notice that the if statement is actually missing a curly brace after which causes the error.

The Solution

Fortunately this is pretty simple to fix — you can just add your missing curly brace. In the above example:

const items = ["one", "two", "three"];

function parseItems() {
  for (let i = 0; i < items.length; i++) {
    if (items[i]) {
      console.log(items[i]); // indented this line over
    } // added this curly brace

parseItems();Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

It can definitely be challenging to find a missing curly brace. Depending on your code editor of choice, you may be able to configure different colors for each pair of curly brace so it is easier to see which ones match and which ones don’t.

Another approach is to try and avoid these errors from the start. Using formatting tools such as Prettier or linting tools like ESLint can help a lot, at least in my experience.

Unexpected end of JSON input

There’s a chance that you received a similarly named but slightly different error: Unexpected end of JSON input. Rather than simply a missing curly brace, this error often occurs when you are trying to parse a JSON string that is itself missing a curly brace. Here’s an example:

const parseJson = (input) => JSON.parse(input);

const validJson = JSON.stringify({ hello: "world" });

const invalidJson = "{";

console.log(parseJson(validJson)); // prints out a valid object
console.log(parseJson(invalidJson)); // throws an errorCode language: JavaScript (javascript)

This can be simply fixed by ensuring the string you are parsing is valid JSON if you have control over that string. If you don’t, you can wrap the whole thing in a try / catch to be safe. Using the previous example:

const parseJson = (input) => {
  try {
    return JSON.parse(input);
  } catch (error) {
    return "error parsing input";
};Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

If you add this to the parseJson function, you can now handle invalid JSON strings rather than getting an unexpected runtime error.


Hopefully this helps you see how useful good code formatting can be in your code, whether you work with a team or alone. Let us know if you have any other reasons why formatting can be so useful or how you do it in your own code setup. Thanks for reading!

The Isotropic Codex is a collection of code snippets and education for WordPress, web and WooCommerce developers.
Subscribe & Share
If you liked this content, subscribe for our monthly roundup of WordPress news, website inspiration, exclusive deals and interesting articles.
Unsubscribe at any time. We do not spam and will never sell or share your email.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Article By
James LePage
James LePage is the founder of Isotropic, a WordPress education company and digital agency. He is also the founder of, a venture backed startup bringing AI to WordPress creators.
We're looking for new authors. Explore Isotropic Jobs.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram