Returning a lambda from a helper method or saving it in a constant is unnecessary; prefer to implement the functional interface method directly and use a method reference instead.


The problem

Prefer method references to constant lambda expressions, or to a helper method that does nothing but return a lambda.

That is, prefer this:

private static Bar getBar(Foo foo) {
  return BarService.lookupBar(foo, defaultCredentials());


return someStream().map(MyClass::getBar)....;

to this:

private static final Function<Foo, Bar> GET_BAR_FUNCTION =
    foo -> BarService.lookupBar(foo, defaultCredentials());


return someStream().map(GET_BAR_FUNCTION)....;

Advantages of using a method include:

Be aware that this change is not purely syntactic: it affects the semantics of your program in some small ways. In particular, evaluating the same method reference twice is not guaranteed to return an identical object.

This means that, first, inlining the reference instead of storing a lambda may cause additional memory allocations - usually this very slight performance cost is worth the improved readability, but use your judgment if the performance matters to you.

Secondly, if the correctness of your program depends on reference equality of your lambda, inlining it may break you. Ideally, you should not depend on reference equality for a lambda, but if you are doing so, consider not making this change.


Suppress false positives by adding the suppression annotation @SuppressWarnings("UnnecessaryLambda") to the enclosing element.