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The Ballad Of Little Joe is the next exciting Veggietales episode.

Introduction

Bob and Larry open the show and receive a question from a boy named Pete from New Castle, Indiana, wondering why bad things happen to him if God loves him. They agree that Pete’s question is a tricky one, but Bob assures Pete he knows a bible story that could help him a lot when Larry interrupts him saying he thought they were going to do a story set in the Old West, “with cowboys, and tumbleweeds, and little doggies.” Apparently, Bob promised Larry they would before Larry went away to cowboy camp.

However, Bob prefers that they do a bible story, and Larry becomes angry with Bob for breaking his promise. Bob doesn’t remember promising anything, but Larry is resolute in wanting to do a Western. The two begin to bicker back and forth about the type of show they want to do, Bob vouching for a bible story, Larry a Western. Bob interrupts their argument and pulls down a sign reading, “We are experiencing technical difficulties, please stand by…” The two argue in muffled voices in the background.

A couple minutes pass, and after a bit of discussion, Bob says that he and Larry have agreed to make the story a "Western Bible Story." They then introduce the title of the episode.

Plot

A tumbleweed blows across a desert landscape near a town called The Okie-Dokie Corral a long time ago, “way out in the West somewhere.” A lone ranch stands with interspersed cacti surrounding it, belonging to a group of cowboy brothers, their father, and their servant (Mr. Lunt). The brothers are seen outside tending to their flock of sheep.

Reuben (Philipe Pea) greets the audience in a French accent, leading Larry as the narrator to now declare the episode a “French Western.” The narrator then introduces the rest of the brothers: Reuben, Simeon (Yoshi Pea), Levi (Larry Pea), Izzy (Fifi French Pea), Zeb (Kyle Pea), Gad (Rex Pea), Ash (Nate Pea), Dan (Bill Pea), Natty (Christophe Pea), and Jude (Jean-Claude Pea). There’s also “Baby Ben,” but “he was too little to come outside."  Little Joe (Larry the Cucumber) is introduced as the second-youngest of his brothers, with his tan Stetson and red neck-bandana, as he comes out of the house. Jude greets him harshly. Little Joe wants to tell his brothers about the “crazy dream” he had the night before, but Jude doesn’t want to hear about his dream because they’re working. The narrator then reveals how Little Joe was different from the rest of his brothers – he spoke differently and had great organizational abilities, which prompts Jude to sarcastically comment, “You should see his sock drawer…”  Little Joe asks about what kind of work his brothers are doing, and Reuben tells him that they’re trying to count the sheep, but every time they try, they fall asleep out of boredom. Little Joe suggests to try putting the sheep in groups of five or ten so that they need only to count the groups instead of each sheep individually, saving them time and energy. His brothers scoff that Little Joe’s plan is ridiculous and that he knows nothing about sheep, but without Little Joe seeing, Jude whispers to one of his brothers to put the sheep into groups of ten. Just when Little Joe is about to tell his brothers about his dream, Jacob, their father, (Pa Grape) rings the dinner triangle and announces that dinner is ready. The brothers run inside as they leave their newly-stacked sheep in groups of three one on top of the other, as Little Joe suggested.  The family gathers for a dinner of pancakes and what is assumed to be rice. All the brothers hungrily gather with their forks and spoons for a family meal. The inside of the house is decorated with pictures of cowboys on horses, a stone fireplace, and a mounted moose-head where the brothers hang their mittens.  Before they eat, Pa announces that it’s Little Joe’s birthday, and he pulls out gift. Modestly, Little Joe blushes as he feeds Baby Ben his bottle 

Little joe's birthday

Little Joe, his pink birthday cake, and his frosted cow.

in his blue and white pram. A servant (Mr. Lunt) emerges shortly after carrying a pink cake adorned with yellow accents, saying he decorated it himself and added a frosting cow especially for Little Joe. Pa and the brothers then start singing “Happy Ki-Yi Birthday” in honor of Little Joe’s birthday. The brothers are clearly jealous of the attention Little Joe is getting, and Jude declares in mid-song, “We all know Pa likes you the best.” Little Joe thanks his brothers modestly, saying that they shouldn’t have, and Jude bitterly whispers, “Finally, we agree on something…” Pa then hands Little Joe his present, and it turns out to be a beautiful coat of many colors, “made from the finest calf hides; perfect for riding the range or goin' a-courtin’.” The brothers gripe that all
Little jo, izzy, gad, and dan

Little Joe, Levi, Gad, and Ash.

they got for their birthdays was the mittens that now drape over the mounted moose head. 
Little joe in his spiffy coat

Little Joe in his spiffy coat.

Pa tells Little Joe to try the coat on. He puts on the coat and models it for his family, like a model walking down a catwalk as Pa narrates. According to Pa, “This is one vest that says, ‘Look at me! I’m somethin’ special!’” Jude and one of the brothers complain that the only thing mittens say is “You are not as special as your brother.” 

Little Joe then blows out his candle and says his birthday wish is to tell his brothers about the crazy dream he had the night before. He then breaks into a song, telling how in the dream, there were a dozen cacti standing beneath a desert sky. He stops for a moment wondering if the plural of cactus is cactuses or cacti, but his brothers interrupt him to continue. He says that the cacti represented the brothers, and that they gathered around and bowed before the one that represented Little Joe, “their dearest little brother.” The brothers become angry with Little Joe, jesting that he’d ever be able to rule over them like a king. Pa intervenes and says it was just a dream and that Little Joe should “cut down on the bratwurst before bed.”  Later that day, the brothers lead Little Joe to an old abandoned mine shaft, saying that it’s where they hid his birthday present. Little Joe says their hiding space is very “uh…creative.”  He says can’t wait to find his present. The brothers all stare into the mine shaft, but Little Joe says he can’t see his present. Jude says he isn’t looking hard enough, but while his back is turned, the brothers push Little Joe into the mine shaft and he falls deep underground.  Little Joe calls up to his brothers to help him out, thinking a goat might have bumped him. Jude calls down they’d love to help him out, but they’re too busy “bowing down before him.” Suddenly, a vagabond approaches, and the brothers disappear from Little Joe's sight. He keeps calling up to them, when a rope comes swinging down. He climbs up it, unknowing who threw it down, and once he reaches the top, he sees two desperados (Scallion 1 and (Scallion 2) in black masks waiting for him. They yank him out of the mind shaft and his Stetson comes flying off. They tie him up as Little Joe tells them to let him go, but they pull his red bandana over his mouth to quiet him. They throw Little Joe onto their wooden rocking horse on wheels and toss a bag of gold to the brothers, who paid them to steal Little Joe. The desperados then take a frightened and betrayed Little Joe away on their rocking horse.  Little Joe and the desperadoes then go on a journey with no particular destination through Native-American and Plains country. The narrator tells us Little Joe has never been away from his ranch, so he has no idea where he is, but the desperados do stop for a brief period and a large fire starts after Little Joe points out they forgot to put out their campfire. A year passes. The setting now shows a sign in a profitable Western town reading, “Welcome to Dodge Ball City: ‘Play fair or yer out!’” We are taken to a restaurant in the town called the “Rootin’ Tootin Pizza Place,” with a cow head mounted above it. Inside, Little Joe then emerges from the kitchen as the song ‘Little Joe’ plays in the background. He now works as a busboy for the Rootin’ Tootin’ Pizza Place, where he serves pizza, root beer, peanuts, and cherry slushies to the citizens of Dodge Ball City. The restaurant goers delight in playing checkers at the Rootin’ Tootin’ Pizza Place, but Little Joe must monitor their games to make sure they’re “playing fair,” ever owing patronage to the town’s motto. The owner of the restaurant (Scooter), Mr. McPotipher, sings that a year ago, his restaurant nearly closed because of bad business, until Little Joe came to town and, with his organizational abilities, saved the restaurant. He says that Little Joe also helped put a stop to the fighting that would go in in the restaurant, as is seen on the sign behind the cashier reading “Days Without a Fight” with a bunch of tic marks on it.  The restaurant-goers then toast their root beer to Little Joe, who has been an influential employee. Mr. McPotipher praises Little Joe for his job well done as Little Joe plunges back into his work. There is a stage in the back of the restaurant with yellow curtains, and a performance is about to begin as Little Joe starts serving peanuts to the audience. The crowd cheers as Miss Kitty (Madame Blueberry (character) ) begins to narrate/sing a lament. The audience starts crying as Little Joe interrupts her lament loudly serving peanuts, annoying Miss Kitty. She continues, but Little Joe interrupts her again offering the crowd more peanuts. Miss Kitty storms off the stage in annoyance.  Little Joe then give his boss a bag full of money he collected from the customers, telling him to get root beer ready, as the peanuts make them thirsty. Mr. McPotipher says that Little Joe is a natural at being a busboy and names him Employee of the Month, replacing the previous Employee of the Month, Miss Kitty. Little Joe is elated and thanks his boss excitedly, saying he won’t let him down and that he’ll work harder than ever.  Miss Kitty then emerges from the kitchen and sees her picture taken off the Employee of the Month wall. Connivingly, she approaches Little Joe and tells him to take the money he gave to his boss and leave. Little Joe asks her why he would do such a thing, and she says that she knows he doesn’t want to be there, and with all that cash, he can return home. Little Joe then tells her stealing is wrong and a slight to God; plus, he’d lose his status as employee of the month.  Furious, Miss Kitty quickly decides how to frame Little Joe. She approaches him again and tells him she made some alterations to Little Joe’s

Mr. sheriff

Bob the Tomato's first photoshoot as the Sheriff.

previously ragged cow hat, thrusting it on his head. Little Joe says the hat feels heavier than before and struggles under its weight. Miss Kitty says she added stuffing to it, then shouts to the restaurant-goers that Little Joe is a thief. The sheriff (Bob the Tomato) then enters the scene, hearing Miss Kitty’s accusation, and she tells him Little Joe has been stealing from Mr. McPottifer since the day he arrived. 

The sheriff can’t believe Little Joe would steal, but Miss Kitty then tips his cow hat over and the money she previously tried to thrust upon Little Joe spills out of it and around his feet. Mr. McPotipher is stunned and disappointed at the sight, immediately replacing his picture with Miss Kitty’s on the Employee of the Month wall. The sheriff asks Little Joe what he has to say for himself, and Little Joe nervously says that he’s innocent. The sheriff doesn’t believe him, and leads him out of the restaurant and to the town jail.  Another year passes. “Oh Little Joe” begins to play as we are introduced to the Dodge Ball City jail on the end of town (two buildings away from the Rootin’ Tootin’ Pizza Place) where Little Joe is currently being held. Two other inmates, a baker (Jimmy Gourd) and a blacksmith (Jerry Gourd), share Little Joe’s jail cell with him. Little Joe now wears a striped inmates outfit.  The other inmates sing about how much Little Joe has done for the jail, putting stuffing in their cots, rebuilding the furnace, teaching the inmates how to respect themselves, and how to quilt. The sheriff sings how a year ago, before Little Joe was arrested, his jail was “bustin’ at the seams,” with criminals taking up too much space. When Little Joe came along, he taught all the inmates a trade, and the sheriff recounts how he bought a new Stetson with the money made from Little Joe’s homemade goods.  Little Joe remembers his past year in which he was put into jail without bail, but he says he knows God is good and helps him overcome his frustration, despite being incarcerated. The sheriff tells Little Joe he’s got the best attitude of any criminal he’s ever seen, to which Little Joe replies that God is good, so he doesn’t have to be upset about anything. The sheriff then wonders why so many bad things keep happening to Little Joe if God was so good. Little Joe pauses, but replies, “I don’t that yet. But I will when it’s time. I just need to keep doing what’s right.” The sheriff tells Little Joe and the other inmates goodnight as turns out the lantern and leaves. Later that night, the baker and the blacksmith have a rough night’s sleep, and both wake up screaming after having nightmares, waking up the entire town in turn. The volume of their screams can be heard miles away, and a hobo eating a bratwurst gets pelted with an avalanche of dodge-balls. They then go to Little Joe and ask what their dreams mean. He replies that there’s good news and bad news – the baker will go back to work, but the blacksmith will be sent up the river. As they converse, Archie, the banker, (Archibald Asparagus) enters on behalf of the town mayor looking for the baker. He approaches the baker and says that the mayor has given him a pardon for whatever crime he did, wanting him to resume his duties immediately. Another man comes in after him, and says that he wants the blacksmith to join his chain gang up the river, and laughs maniacally. All four men depart, leaving Little Joe and the sheriff alone in the jail. The sheriff asks Little Joe how he was able to interpret the inmates’ dreams, and Little Joe says it’s always been a gift of his, “just another way God made me special.” “Yeah, and he loves you very much, I’ve heard…,” the sheriff replies. Little Joe remains alone in his cell, and starts to wonder what God was up to. He asks God why the dreams he interprets for everyone else always come true, but the dream that God gave him a long time ago has yet to come true, instead landing him in jail. Little Joe says he’s trying to do what’s right, but is confused with what God wants of him. Concluding his prayer, he asks God to be with his family, including Jude.  The next day, a town meeting is held in the meeting hall. The mayor (Mr. Nezzer) attends, but falls asleep as Archie discusses how the cash reserves of Dodge Ball City are down 25% due to the fact that their bank is robbed every other day. In fact, one happens just outside the meeting hall where the town meeting is being held as the sheriff chases a bank robber, who pelts him with a dodge-ball. The newly-released baker is the caterer of the meeting, and offers the spectators pizza rolls. Mid-meeting, the Mayor starts fidgeting, and wakes up screaming from a nightmare. On the outskirts of town, the hobo vegetable is cooking another bratwurst and is again pelted with an avalanche of dodge-balls because of the volume of the Mayor’s screams.  The Mayor freaks out about his nightmare, claiming it was so horrible and real. Archie appears uninterested, but the Mayor is too shaken up by his dream to let it go – he must know what it means. He asks the crowd if there is anyone in Dodge-Ball City who can interpret dreams, and the baker nervously speaks up that he knows of someone currently in jail who can. Little Joe and the sheriff turn up shortly after, and the Mayor asks Little Joe if he can in fact interpret dreams. Little Joe replies that he can’t, but God can, and that He gives him all the answers. The Mayor says he better, or else Little Joe will be placed back in jail without bail. The Mayor then tells Little Joe about his dream. 7 fat cows sat on a grassy hill with the sun shining in the distance, when 7 scrawny cows came and ate the fat cows, the landscape in the background changing into a desert. “And then,” the Mayor continues, “I dreamt I was in front of a large group of people in my underwear. What’s that about?” The spectators then notice the Mayor in his underwear as he tells the dream, which prompts him to hide behind his desk. Little Joe says the 7 fat cows represent 7 years of prosperity and plenty of food, while the 7 scrawny cows represent 7 years of terrible famine, famine so bad that the 7 good years will be forgotten. The Mayor frightfully asks what they will do, and Little Joe suggests that the town should store as much food as possible during the good years to return to the people during the bad years. Because Archie’s poor organizational abilities (his sock drawer is very disorganized), the Mayor puts Little Joe in charge of food preservation because of his great organizational abilities. 

Little Joe soon becomes the second most powerful man in Dodge Ball City before too long. Little Joe soon grows a handlebar mustache and
Little joe makin' the big time

Little Joe makin' the big time in Dodge Ball City.

wears a deputy-like uniform with his trademark red kerchief, along with a spur on the side of his belt. Little Joe starts his job right away to make the city safe and efficient, conserving as much pizza and sacks of grain as possible in the town silo.

7 years pass, and the town stocks up on bags and bags of food under Little Joe’s supervision; so much so, that the amount of bags in the silo nearly makes the lid of the structure pop right off. The sheriff thanks Little Joe as the years of famine are nigh, fully confident that the town is prepared for any misfortune coming for them.  Suddenly, a dust storm arises in the north, heading straight for Dodge Ball City. Little Joe screams to the citizens to run for shelter. Mr. McPotipher gathers all the citizens he can into his Pizza Place. He then laments that nothing will be able to grow with the dust encapsulating the town, but the Mayor commends Little Joe for his food preservation abilities and his saving of the town. Little Joe appears sad however, saying that his family is out there somewhere, and he hopes they’re alright. The Mayor says he doesn’t think the drought would spread very far and that his family is probably, ironically, “right as rain.”  Way out in the country, far from Dodge Ball City, Little Joe’s family gather around their table back on their ranch with one lone pint-size pancake in the center for the 11 of them to eat. Baby Benjamin is now grown into a healthy young asparagus. The brothers exclaim their doomed state of hunger, but Baby Ben tells them to calm down and that if they stick together, they’ll get through this bleak time. The servant then comes in and slices the itty bitty pancake into 11 miniscule slices for the family. The brothers again lament that they’re doomed.  Back in Dodge Ball City, the citizens are still under a period of famine with immense dust storms. They are doing well given the circumstances, however, thanks to Little Joe’s system of food storage. Residents come and take however much food they need, and Little Joe keeps track of the comings and goings of their food supply on his clipboard. Suddenly, Little Joe looks up from his clipboard and sees some peas walking through the dust. He discovers that they are his brothers coming to Dodge Ball City. He quickly pulls his red kerchief over his mouth to shield his face so his brothers don’t recognize him. I n a gruff voice, he greets his brothers as “strangers,” introducing himself as running the town and asking what he can do for them. Jude, unrecognizing his brother, asks Little Joe if they could buy some of Dodge Ball City's stored food. Little Joe asks how many are in their family. Jude answers that there’s only 11 after one of their brothers “got ate up in a wild gopher accident, but that was years ago.” Little Joe says he’s sorry to hear that, even though he knows Jude is lying. Reuben chimes in that they have regretted their brother’s accident every day, and Baby Ben adds that their deceased brother was his closest brother and that he doesn’t even remember him. Little Joe asks where their Pa is, and Jude replies he couldn’t make the trip; Reuben explains his heart is broken. Choking up, Little Joe tells them to see the sheriff and quickly walks away. He tells the sheriff to give them whatever they need, but not to let them go until he says. The sheriff asks if Little Joe is alright, and he says he’s fine, but informs the sheriff to not use Little Joe’s name around his brothers. He then blows his nose. The sheriff then takes the 11 brothers over to the silo to stock up on pizza and grain to put on a wooden rocking horse on wheels that he lent them. Little Joe watches from afar, wanting to know if his brothers have really changed. He decides to test them. He winks at the sheriff, who then whispers something to a carrot helping the brothers stock their wooden horse, as the three quickly and wordlessly construct a plan.

Little joe plotting to frame his brothers

A disguised Little Joe plots to frame his brothers to test their loyalty.

Little Joe approaches his brothers and asks if they’re ready to go. Jude replies that they’ve been provided with everything they need. He adds that they tried to pay their helpers, but they wouldn’t take their money. Little Joe then accuses his brothers of being “low-down, dirty thieves," much to the brothers’ shock. Jude protests that they only came to buy food, but Little Joe walks over to a frightened Benjamin and opens up the pizza box he was holding to find silver coins pressed into the pizza. “Them ain’t pepperonis, partner!” Little Joe exclaims. 

Little Joe then locks up Baby Ben in jail where he once was. Bewildered, Jude says that there’s been a mistake, but Little Joe says that the only mistake was Benjamin stealing from him, and that Dodge Ball City “doesn’t take kindly to stealin’.” Desperate, Jude pleads that his Pa has already lost one son and it was his own fault – he can’t lose Benjamin as well. Jude then steps into the jail beside Baby Ben and begs the sheriff and Little Joe to take him instead and let Baby Ben go free. The other 10 brothers follow him as well, sacrificing their freedom for BenjaminThe sheriff intervenes and tells the brothers to get out of the jail cell as they take up too much space. He looks over at Little Joe, who is close to tears. Little Joe asks his brothers if they’d really sacrifice themselves for Baby Ben, and they all reply emphatically that they would. He then decides to unveil his identity, taking off his hat and mustache and reveals himself to be their long-lost brother.  The brothers are shocked to see Little Joe standing before them. Nervously, Reuben asks if Little Joe is still upset at the “little mine shaft joke” they pulled nine years ago. Jude steps in and says he’s to blame for Little Joe’s kidnapping, and tells Little Joe to punish him, but to allow the other brothers to go free. Little Joe tells Jude what he did was wrong and that he hurt his feelings, but what Jude intended for harm, God used for good. Little Joe then forgives Jude for his offenses, and as the other brothers cheer, Pa walks in telling the brothers they forgot their mittens. He gasps when he sees Little Joe, and Little Joe excitedly greets his father as well as the entire family reunites in the jail cell. 

The narrator concludes the story by saying how a very bad thing became a very good thing for Little Joe and his family, who had “the happiest family reunion the West had ever seen.” The episode ends with another avalanche of dodge balls falling on the vagabond vegetable on the outskirts of town, who had been tied up by the desperados who kidnapped Little Joe, who also get trampled by dodge balls. </p>

Send-Off

Larry tells Bob that their story was the best Western Bible story ever. Bob thanks Larry and turns to Qwerty to give the daily verse. The “What Have We Learned” song is then sung by western singers instead of the traditional version. As always, the song annoys Bob, but Larry loves it, saying he whipped up the new song at cowboy camp. Bob asks what they learned in the story, and Larry replies that “you can learn a lot about a person by their sock drawer.” Instead, Bob asserts that good and bad things happen to everyone, but God as the ability to put the good and the bad things together to make something great. The guys then turn to Qwerty for the verse, and a graphic of Larry riding a horse pops on the screen. Larry says he made the graphic at cowboy camp and that he got a merit badge for it. Qwerty’s verse is from Romans 8:28, and it reads, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.” Bob then says that even though Pete didn’t get into the class he wanted, God still loves him just as much as he loved Little Joe. If Pete tries to do what’s right, he’ll be amazed at what God has in store for him. Larry then says it’s time to go so he can get ready for the next show. Bob asks where he’s going, and Larry replies that he’s heading off to Danish immersion camp. He then comes out in a Danish outfit and greets Bob in Danish. They then give their typical salute, “God made you special, and he loves you very much.”


Main Cast

Supporting Cast

Continuity

  • In the scene with the stacked sheep in groups of 3, there are 30 sheep. When we first meet them, however, three jump out over Reuben’s head and three remain, making the number only six. Jude walks into frame after his brothers, and it could be that he brought the remaining 24 with him.
  • The fact that Little Joe’s family has a servant signifies the family was wealthy. This makes sense, as in biblical times, shepherding was a profitable trade, and Jacob carried on God's promise of an eternity of prosperity given to his grandfather, Abraham.
  • Jude is the only brother with a black Stetson.
  • At the end of “Happy Ki-Yi Birthday,” the servant is seen standing next to Little Joe, but in the next scene, he disappears.
  • As Little Joe models his coat, his giant pink birthday cake suddenly disappears. After the modeling session, the cake suddenly reappears when Little Joe blows out its candle.
  • When Jude tosses the red mittens onto the moose head, there are only five pairs draped over it, but Joseph has ten brothers, not including Baby Ben.

  • Little Joe says there are a dozen cacti in his dream, but when the song sequence starts, there are only 10, not including Little Joe as himself.

  • It is suggested Little Joe is prone to eating bratwurst before he goes to bed. Bratwurst would have been an exquisite meal for a Western family and quite uncommon, as it is a German dish. Germans usually settled in New York or Pennsylvania, so it is unclear how the family would have access to bratwursts in that time period.

  • We are given a lay of the land in the scene where the desperados steal Little Joe, as an outdated map of the territory appears. The land west of the mine shaft where Little Joe was abducted appears to be near Indian teepees, suggesting that Little Joe’s family lives near Native-American communities. The name of the map reads “Territory of The Plains,” which suggests that the region where Little Joe and his family lives is somewhere in between the mountainous West and the flat Plains, though when we see Little Joe’s house on the Okie-Dokie Coral, mountains can be visibly seen in the distance. There is also an oasis on the map called “Lango Lake.”

  • Despite the fact that the Rootin’ Tootin’ Pizza Place is a pizza restaurant, there are mustard and ketchup bottles on the tables.

  • There are 45 tic marks on the “Days Without a Fight” sign in the Rootin’ Tootin’ Pizza Place, so though Little Joe helped diminish some of the fighting in the restaurant, it’s only been forty-five days since their last fight, a little over a month. Little Joe has been there a year.

  • Little Joe is the only inmate in the jail wearing an actual prisoner's outfit. The baker and the blacksmith are clad in their regular clothes.

  • The hobo on the outskirts of Dodge-Ball city that periodically appears in the episode resembles the picture of the wanted criminal Charles Pincher on the bulletin board in the jail.

  • In the town meeting scene, Archie mentions that the bank is robbed every other day. According to the sheriff, however, Little Joe supposedly reduced the crime rate, yet robberies are apparently still happening “every other day.”

  • When the citizens flee as the dust storm approaches, they run in the opposite direction of the town as the dust consumes the buildings, including the Rootin’ Tootin’ Pizza Place. However, the citizens end up taking refuge in the restaurant somehow, despite the fact that seconds before, they were running away from it while it was consumed by the dust.

  • Given the two years Little Joe spent laboring and being imprisoned in Dodge Ball City, and the 7 years of prosperity that followed after, Baby Ben’s age is 9 years old at the end of the story. Junior Asparagus is 5.

  • When Little Joe’s brothers come to Dodge Ball City, Little Joe covers his face so they won’t recognize him. However, Little Joe has grown a mustache and wears much different clothes than the last time he saw them, so it is unclear why would he feel the need to hide his face.

  • Little Joe tells his brothers that he “runs this here town” of Dodge Ball City, but according to the narrator, Little Joe was second in command in terms of power structure in the city, behind the Mayor.

  • In the jail scene when Jude and the rest of his brothers sacrifice their freedom for Benjamin's sake, Sheriff Bob says, "Little Joe, we have a problem." Little Joe hasn't revealed himself to his brothers yet, so this direct reference to his name (twice) should have given away his identity to his brothers.

Notes and Trivia

  • It is in this episode we learn of Larry’s emphatic love of the Old West and cowboys.
  • An instrumental rendition of the silly song “His Cheeseburger” by Mr. Lunt can be heard when the technical difficulties sign comes down.
  • Behind the fence in the first shot of Little Joe's family ranch, a cacti with no arms and what looks like a face stands on the far right of the screen.
  • The role of Little Joe's brother Izzy is played by Fifi Pea, sister to Jean-Claude and Phillipe.
  • The real names of Joseph's brothers: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Gad, Asher, Dan, Naphtali, Judah, and Benjamin.
  • There are two Beatles references surrounding Little Joe’s brother Jude when people greet him saying, “Hey, Jude!”
  • Joseph and most of his brothers were technically half siblings, except for him and Benjamin. Jacob, his father, technically had two wives, Rachel and Leah, but also procreated with two other concubines, Zilpah (Leah’s servant) and Bilhah (Rachel’s servant). The story goes that Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah by her and Rachel’s father Laban, even though Jacob was in love with Rachel. When Laban later permitted him to wed Rachel as well, it was discovered Rachel was barren and couldn’t give him children, so Jacob procreated mainly with Leah at first. She gave birth to Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Jacob’s only daughter Dinah, who doesn’t appear in The Ballad of Little Joe. Rachel felt bad about not being able to give Jacob children, so she gave him her servant Bilhah in place of herself to produce children. Bilhah gave birth to Dan and Naphtali. As was usual practice back then, Jacob ended up taking Leah’s servant Zilpah as his concubine as well, and she gave birth to Gad and Asher. After much suffering, however, God rid Rachel of her barrenness and let her conceive. She would give birth to Joseph and Benjamin.
  • In this episode, we never see any of the women who were in the original Joseph story, like Leah, Rachel, or Dinah, even though they were some of the most important figures. The only woman we see in this episode is Miss Kitty and a few lady carrots in Dodge Ball City.
  • The costume designers for the episode actually knitted Little Joe’s multi-colored coat, as Larry the Cucumber was opposed to wearing anything made out of animal hide.

  • The abstract pattern on the back of Little Joe’s coat forms the word “OK.”

  • Larry has a history of playing characters who fall into deep trenches like he does in The Ballad of Little Joe when he falls into the mine shaft. In Daniel and the Lion’s Den, he is thrown into a dark trench in the middle of nowhere; in The Story of Flibber-O-Loo, he is stuck in a small hole that he can’t wriggle out of.

  • Many instances of cows appear in this episode, though an actual one is never shown. Little Joe first has a frosted cow on his birthday cake, his coat is made of calf hides, and the Rootin’ Tootin’ Pizza Place’s mascot is a cow, which Little Joe dons on his head when he works there. It is suggested cows are one of Larry the Cucumber’s favorite animals.

  • We find another reappearance in this episode of the VeggieTales drink of choice: the famous slushie.

  • The video games in the Rootin’ Tootin’ Pizza Place are “Cactus Round-Up” and “Moby Blaster!” This could possibly give some insight into the time period of the story, as “Moby-Blaster!” could be an allusion to Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, which was written in 1851. The game has pictures of pink fish on its side, confirming this possibility.

  • The painting behind the cash register in the Rootin’ Tootin’ Pizza Place consists of a cornucopia full of pumpkins and other gourds, tipping a hat to the cast of VeggieTales.

  • There are 7 “Wanted” posters in the jail, six of which are of humans, one of which is of a vegetable. Their names are Poncho Villa, “Crazy” Joe Sapo, Laughin’ Lannon, Charles Pincher, String-Bean Vollmer, “Spoons” McGraw, and (?) Darcy Pitts (?). Charles Pincher is the vegetable. Laughin’ Lannon resembles John Lennon, with glasses and a little beard, or the creator of VeggieTales, Phil Vischer.

  • When Little Joe explains how he can interpret dreams to the sheriff, the sheriff’s reply, “Yeah, and he loves you very much, I’ve heard…” is a pun about the motto of VeggieTales.

  • When the brothers first approach Dodge Ball City, there are only 10 peas, but once they're in the city, we find Baby Ben came with them, too. Junior Asparagus had a dentist appointment the day they shot the first scene of the brothers arriving into Dodge Ball City, so he was added later on when they have their first interaction with Little Joe.

  • Larry the Cucumber had trouble growing a mustache for the film, so the filmmakers gave him the false mustache to wear, to give the illusion much time has passed during the years of prosperity and famine. Ironically, however, he rips off his mustache when he reveals himself to his brothers, so during the story itself, the mustache was a fake. It is unclear why Little Joe would want to wear a fake mustache.

  • First episode to involve forgery. When Miss Kitty told everyone that Little Joe was a thief, the cow hat forged the evidence.

Errors


  • When Little Joe left with the pizza plate, and he placed it to a customer, the pizza was missing then appeared.

Songs

  • "His Cheeseburger (Instrumental)"
  • "Oh Little Joe I" (sung by: Mr. McPotipher and the patrons of the Rootin' Tootin' Pizza Place)
  • "Happy Ki-Yi Birthday" (sung by: Pa, the brothers, and the servant)
  • "Dream of a Dozen Cactus" (sung by: Little Joe)
  • "I'm Blue" (sung by: Miss Kitty)
  • "Oh Little Joe II" (sung by: the baker, the blacksmith, the sheriff, and Little Joe)
  • "Mayor's Dream" (sung by: Mr. Nezzer)

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