A while back I wrote about mocking successive calls to the same method which returns a sequence of objects. Read that post for more context.

In that post, I had written up an implementation, but quickly was won over by a better extension method implementation from Fredrik Kalseth.

public static class MoqExtensions
  public static void ReturnsInOrder<T, TResult>(this ISetup<T, TResult> setup, 
    params TResult[] results) where T : class  {
    setup.Returns(new Queue<TResult>(results).Dequeue);

As good as this extension method is, I was able to improve on it today during a coding session. I was writing some code where I needed the second call to the same method to throw an exception and realized this extension wouldn’t allow for that.

However, it wasn’t hard to write an overload that allows for that.

public static void ReturnsInOrder<T, TResult>(this ISetup<T, TResult> setup,
    params object[] results) where T : class {
  var queue = new Queue(results);
    setup.Returns(() => {
        var result = queue.Dequeue();
        if (result is Exception) {
            throw result as Exception;
        return (TResult)result;

So rather than taking a parameter array of TResult, this overload accepts an array of object instances.

Within the method, we create a non generic Queue and then create a lambda that captures that queue in a closure. The lambda is passed to the Returns method so that it’s called every time the mocked method is called, returning the next item in the queue.

Here’s an example of the method in action:

var mock = new Mock<ISomeInterface>();
mock.Setup(r => r.GetNext())
    .ReturnsInOrder(1, 2, new InvalidOperationException());

Console.WriteLine(mock.Object.GetNext()); // Throws InvalidOperationException

In this sample code, I mock an interface so that when its GetNext method is called a third time, it will throw an InvalidOperationException.

I’ve found this to be a helpful and useful extension to Moq and hope you find some use for it if you’re using Moq.

NOTE: As Richard Reeves pointed out to me in an email, do be careful if you mock a property using this approach. If you evaluate the property while within a debugger, you will dequeue the element potentially causing maddening debugging difficulty.