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This is the first paragraph of the documentation of the function wp nav menu:

Given a theme_location parameter, the function displays the menu assigned to that location, or nothing if no such location exists or no menu is assigned to it.

However, I am providing a theme_location that I have not registered, and in spite of that a menu item appears.

Here's my functions.php:

<?php
function register_my_menu() {
    register_nav_menu('header-menu',__( 'Header Menu' ));
}
add_action( 'init', 'register_my_menu' ); ?>

And here's how I call the menu:

<?php wp_nav_menu($args = array('theme_location' => 'nonsense')); ?>

On my page, a menu with the default item "Sample page" appears. According to the documentation I cite, nothing should be displayed, because the location "nonsense" should not exist.

Is the documentation wrong, or am I making some mistake?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

The documentation was wrong and inconsistent. There is the additional parameter fallback_cb which determines what happens if the menu_location does not exist. By default, it calls wp_page_menu which displays some default menu.

I have corrected the documentation, so this question has been settled.

Thanks to s_ha_dum for pointing me into the right direction!

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The documentation is wrong. Check the source. There are two telling comments. First there is:

// Get the nav menu based on the theme_location

And after which there is another comment that reads:

// get the first menu that has items if we still can't find a menu

Following that last comment the code runs wp_get_nav_menus and loops through every menu on the site hoping to find one that has associated items. In other words, wp_nav_menu tries desperately to create a menu and will use the first one it finds. I don't understand the logic behind that code. I get the concept of fallbacks, but this strikes me as fallback overkill.

You will need to wrap your code in has_nav_menu to prevent this behavior.

if (has_nav_menu('nonsense')) {
  wp_nav_menu(array('theme_location' => 'nonsense'));
}
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2  
In case you want to head/desk a bit more: If no location is defined, you'll get back all nav menu item/WP_Post objects no matter what. And yes, it's callback behind callback, senseless amount of func_get_args() aligning normal arguments in the method heads, etc. Oh ... and all nicely wrapped up in PHP 4 code. facepalm ... Did I mention that the nav menu is WooThemes creation (a.k.a.: fault)? –  kaiser Jan 25 at 20:07
1  
@kaiser: I didn't know that about Wootheme, but a lot of things make more sense now –  s_ha_dum Jan 25 at 20:31

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