The Ballad Of Little Joe is the twentieth episode in the VeggieTales series. It was released on August 5, 2003. It's lesson is facing hardships.


In the opening countertop segment, Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber argue about how best to convey "a lesson in facing hardship". Bob insists that a Bible story would be best while Larry stands by a promise that the Veggies do a Western. A compromise is reached: the resulting story, "The Ballad of Little Joe", is a Western-style Bible story.

The story follows the Biblical account of Joseph and his multi-colored coat from the book of Genesis. As the story begins we are introduced to the brothers (played by the French Peas) and then to Little Joe who is very different indeed. Among his unique skills are the abilities to solve problems, organize resources, and interpret dreams. We soon learn that it is Joe's birthday, and the brothers' father (Pa Grape) lavishes attention and gifts upon him.

When Joe foretells a time when his brothers will bow down before him, their jealousy turns to spite, and they decide to sell him into slavery. He ends up working at a saloon for Mr. McPotipher at Dodgeball City, and his unique skills quickly make him an invaluable employee. Also working at the saloon is Miss Kitty (Madame Blueberry) who entertains the patrons from the stage. She also becomes jealous of Joe when he is named Employee of the Month in her place. She frames him and he is imprisoned for the theft of gold, a crime he did not commit.

Joe keeps a positive attitude in jail and is able to help two inmates who have been haunted by dreams. His predictions come true: one is released, and the other is sent to work on a chain gang. When his reputation comes to the attention of the Mayor (Mr. Nezzer), Joe is summoned to interpret a particularly disturbing dream of the latter, in which seven fat cows are devoured by seven scrawny cows. Joe understands immediately and warns the Mayor: there will be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine; fill the storehouses now so you'll be prepared.

Joe is put in charge of distributing the grain during the years of famine. When he recognizes his own family has come to procure food, he is overcome with emotion. He wants to reveal himself to them, but first needs to know if they have changed. He devises a plan where he frames the youngest brother, Benjamin, for theft to see how they respond. When all the brothers insist on taking the fall in his place and rue the previous loss of another brother, Joe reveals his identity. The story concludes with the happy reunion.

The Veggie Tales video Moe and the Big Exit is a sequel to this episode.

Cast of Characters


  • Countertop Intro
  • The Ballad of Little Joe (Part I)
  • [Silly Song: Bellybutton
  • The Ballad of Little Joe (Part II)
  • QWERTY Closer


In addition to the ubiquitous "VeggieTales Theme" and "What We Have Learned," this episode contains the following songs:

  • Happy Ki-Yi Birthday, sung by the French Peas and Mr. Lunt
  • Dream of a Dozen Cactus, sung by Little Joe
  • Oh Little Joe I, sung by McPotipher and patrons of the Rootin' Tootin' Pizza Place
  • I'm Blue, sung by Miss Kitty
  • Oh Little Joe II, sung by Little Joe, Sheriff Bob, the Baker, and the Blacksmith
  • Mayor's Dream, sung by the Mayor
  • The Bellybutton Song, sung by Boyz in the Sink


  • One of the wanted posters in the jail has Phil Vischer on it.
  • This is a parody of Joseph and his Brothers and also Dreamworks' Joseph: King of Dreams.
  • The character parody of Asenath does not appear.
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