I have an entity reference inside node. How can I retrieve the parent node?

I tried with the following code, where $node is my entity reference, but it doesn't work.

$entity_ids = $query
    ->condition('type', 'user')
    ->condition('status', 1)
    ->condition('field_product_document', $node->getTitle(),'CONTAINS');

What is wrong in the code? What code should I use?

  • Are you sure you need to use $node->getTitle()? I would guess the reference is using the node ID. not the title.
    – apaderno
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 16:11
  • No, Im not sure, I'm trying with id() now
    – monkeyUser
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 16:16

3 Answers 3


An entity reference field is implemented from the \Drupal\Core\Field\Plugin\Field\FieldType\EntityReferenceItem class. If you look at the code for EntityReferenceItem::preSave(), you will notice it is setting its target_id property to $this->entity->id().

public function preSave() {
  if ($this->hasNewEntity()) {
    // Save the entity if it has not already been saved by some other code.
    if ($this->entity->isNew()) {
    // Make sure the parent knows we are updating this property so it can
    // react properly.
    $this->target_id = $this->entity->id();
  if (!$this->isEmpty() && $this->target_id === NULL) {
    $this->target_id = $this->entity->id();

I take your code should be changed to the following one.

$entity_ids = $query
    ->condition('type', 'user')
    ->condition('status', 1)
    ->condition('field_product_document', $node->id());

The change makes also sense: A node title cannot be used to uniquely identify a node, since there could be more nodes with the same title; the node ID uniquely identify a node on a Drupal site.


Here is how to do it with entityTypeManager:

$parent_node_results = \Drupal::entityTypeManager()
    'type' => $bundle,
    'status' => 1,
    'field_child_nodes' => $node->id(), //the reference field on the parent

if($parent_node_results) {
  // $parent_node_results is an associative array of parent_id=>parent_entity.
  $parent_node_id = key($parent_node_results);
  $parent_node = $parent_node_results[$parent_node_id];

You should be able to get the referenced entity using

$parent = $node->field_product_document->entity;
  • 2
    That's the child, not the parent. A query with the node id is the right way, see the comment of kiamlaluno.
    – 4uk4
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 21:28

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