|Full Name:||Joseph Francis "Little Joe" Cartwright|
|Family/Relatives:|| Ben Cartwright (father)|
|First Episode:||A Rose for Lotta (Bonanza)|
|Last Episode:||The Hunter (Bonanza)|
|Portrayed by:||Michael Landon|
- Joseph Francis Cartwright was named after Ben Cartwright's father. He has little memory of his beloved mother, Marie Cartwright, and was under five when she died in a horsing accident, one he would mirror years later when his horse Cochise falls at the ranch.
- Little Joe received his nickname because compared to his brother, Hoss, he was little in comparison. Joe likes playing checkers and poker, he also likes making bets that end up with hilarious results.
Joseph Francis Cartwright "Little Joe" was the only Cartwright born on the Ponderosa, unlike his other family members. He was the third biological son of Ben Cartwright.
Joe is shown as sneaky, smart, feisty, iron-willed, and cute. He often pulls Hoss into his schemes. Joe is widely known as a ladies man, although many of his romances never work out. Joe enjoys reading detective novels and loves to laugh, which is contagious to anyone near him. His trademark horse, Cochise, often fondly called Cooch, is a black and white pinto. Joe is very fond of his horse. Joe is not known to back away from a fight or a challenge and his hot temper sometimes takes over from good sense. However he seems able to recover from any beating or bullet wound with nary a scratch.