Python List pop()

The pop() method removes the item at the given index from the list and returns the removed item.

The syntax of the pop() method is:

list.pop(index)

pop() parameters

  • The pop() method takes a single argument (index).
  • The argument passed to the method is optional. If not passed, the default index -1 is passed as an argument (index of the last item).
  • If the index passed to the method is not in range, it throws IndexError: pop index out of range exception.

Return Value from pop()

The pop() method returns the item present at the given index. This item is also removed from the list.


Example 1: Pop item at the given index from the list

# programming languages list
languages = ['Python', 'Java', 'C++', 'French', 'C']

# remove and return the 4th item
return_value = languages.pop(3)
print('Return Value:', return_value)

# Updated List
print('Updated List:', languages)

Output

Return Value: French
Updated List: ['Python', 'Java', 'C++', 'C']

Note: Index in Python starts from 0, not 1.

If you need to pop the 4th element, you need to pass 3 to the pop() method.


Example 2: pop() without an index, and for negative indices

# programming languages list
languages = ['Python', 'Java', 'C++', 'Ruby', 'C']

# remove and return the last item
print('When index is not passed:') 
print('Return Value:', languages.pop())
print('Updated List:', languages)

# remove and return the last item
print('\nWhen -1 is passed:') 
print('Return Value:', languages.pop(-1))
print('Updated List:', languages)

# remove and return the third last item
print('\nWhen -3 is passed:') 
print('Return Value:', languages.pop(-3))
print('Updated List:', languages)

Output

When index is not passed:
Return Value: C
Updated List: ['Python', 'Java', 'C++', 'Ruby']

When -1 is passed:
Return Value: Ruby
Updated List: ['Python', 'Java', 'C++']

When -3 is passed:
Return Value: Python
Updated List: ['Java', 'C++']

If you need to remove the given item from the list, you can to use the remove() method.

And, you can use the del statement to remove an item or slices from the list.