[Solved] Pandas TypeError: ‘DataFrame’ object is not callable

Updated: February 21, 2024 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment

The Problem

Encountering a TypeError: 'DataFrame' object is not callable error in Pandas can be a frustrating experience, particularly for those new to using the library. This error typically occurs when a user mistakenly treats a DataFrame object as if it were a function, attempting to invoke it with parentheses. Understanding how to properly manipulate DataFrames is essential for effective data analysis in Python. In this guide, we will explore various reasons behind this error and provide actionable solutions to resolve it.

Solution 1: Avoid Function Call Syntax

The most common cause of this error is attempting to access DataFrame rows or columns using function call syntax (i.e., parentheses) instead of the correct syntax.

  1. Identify where the error is occurring. Look for lines where a DataFrame object is used like a function.
  2. Replace the erroneous parentheses with square brackets or the appropriate Pandas method.
  3. Verify the changes have resolved the error by rerunning your code.


# Incorrect usage that raises the error

# Corrected code
result = df['column_name']

Notes: This correction is straightforward and fixes the issue instantly. It requires minimal adjustments but is crucial for beginners to grasp.

Solution 2: Use .loc for Label-based Indexing

Instead of incorrect syntax, utilize Pandas’.loc’ method for label-based indexing, which allows for a clear distinction between accessing and calling.

  1. Identify the DataFrame operation intending to access specific rows or columns.
  2. Use .loc[] with the appropriate labels to reference the desired sections of the DataFrame.
  3. Test the operation to ensure the error has been addressed.


# Incorrect call leading to the error
result = df('row_label', 'column_label')

# Correct approach with .loc
result = df.loc['row_label', 'column_label']

Notes: Although using .loc is slightly more verbose, it provides greater clarity and avoids the TypeError. It is well-suited for accessing subsets of DataFrames based on label information.

Solution 3: Check for Overwritten DataFrame

Another potential cause is accidentally overwriting a DataFrame with a function, leading to confusion when attempting to access the DataFrame later.

  1. Review your code to identify if the DataFrame has been overwritten by a function definition.
  2. If found, rename the function or the DataFrame to avoid naming conflicts.
  3. Rerun your code to confirm the issue is resolved.


# Possible cause of the error
def df():
    return 'Some Function'

# After renaming the function
def example_function():
    return 'Different Function'

# Accessing DataFrame as intended
result = df['column_name']

Notes: This solution requires careful code review to identify naming conflicts. While renaming can resolve the issue, it’s essential to adopt consistent and clear naming conventions to prevent such errors.


The TypeError: 'DataFrame' object is not callable is often the result of a simple misunderstanding of how to access data within Pandas DataFrames. By attentively reviewing the code for syntax errors, using .loc for precise indexing, or identifying naming conflicts, this common error can be quickly resolved. Understanding and implementing these solutions not only fixes the immediate problem but also enhances overall data manipulation skills in Pandas.