Violas have always been the butt of viola jokes since first violins came into existence. According to WikiPedia, “The viola jokes are thought to have originated from the 18th century when the part of the viola was very uncomplicated and often just a filler part, thus attracting musicians who were not usually very talented either musically or intellectually.” I play the viola so I have had to listen to these viola jokes for the bulk of my viola career and they have not become any funnier over the years.

While the history of the viola jokes is relatively unknown,  The Strad has written a great history of the viola joke article.

We hope to contain here a running list of all the best viola jokes. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

 


  • What’s the difference between a viola and a coffin? The coffin has the dead person on the inside.
  • How do you get a violist to play a passage pianissimo tremolando? Mark it “solo.”
  • Once upon a time there was a hospital where they made brain transplants. A client asked about the prices.The doctor said, ” Well, this Ph.D. brain costs $10,000…this brain belonged to a NASA top scientist and costs $15,000…oh yes, here we a violist’s brain as well. It costs $50000.”The client asked, “What? How’s that possible?”

    The doctor replied, “You see, it’s totally unused.”

  • How do you get a dozen violists to play in tune? Shoot 11 of them.
  • How do you get a dozen violists to play in tune? Shoot all of them.
  • How do you get a dozen violists to play in tune? Who the hell wants a dozen violists?
  • Why is viola called “bratsche” in Germany? Because that’s the sound it makes when you sit down on it.
  • How is a viola like a lawsuit? Everyone’s happy when the case is closed.
  • How does a violist’s brain cell die? Alone.
  • How do you transcribe a violin piece for viola? Divide the metronome marking by 2.
  • How do you stop a violist from drowning? Take your foot off his head.
  • How can you tell if a violist is playing out of tune? The bow is moving.
  • What’s the difference between a dead skunk on the road and a crushed viola on the road? There are skid marks before the skunk.
  • What is the difference between a radio and a viola? A radio plays music.
  • What is the difference between a viola and an onion? No one cries when you chop up a viola.
  • What is the difference between a viola and a trampoline? You take your shoes off to jump on a trampoline.
  • Why do you always bury a viola player three feet under? Because deep down they are all very nice people.
  • Why do violists have pea-sized brains? Because alcohol has swelled them.
  • One day Timmy came home from school very excited.”Mommy, Mommy, Guess what? Today in English I got all the way to the end of the alphabet, and everyone else got messed up around ‘P’!”His mother said, “Very good, dear. That’s because you’re a violist.”

    The next day, Timmy was even more excited. “Mommy, Mommy, guess what! Today in math I counted all the way to ten, but everyone else got messed up around seven!”

    “Very good, dear,” his mother replied. “That’s because you’re a violist.”

    On the third day, Timmy was beside himself. “Mommy, Mommy, today we measured ourselves and I’m the tallest one in my class! Is that because I’m a violist?””No dear,” she said. “That’s because you’re 26 years old.”

  • What’s the only thing a violinist can do better than a violist? Play the viola.
  • What do you call 1,000 violists buried up to their necks in sand? Not enough sand.
  • A noted bon vivant and comic was recently flying to Berlin. He decided to strike up a conversation with his seat mate.
    “I’ve got a great violist joke. Would you like to hear it?”
    “I should let you know first that I am a violist”.
    “That’s OK. I’ll tell it real slow!”
  • What’s another name for viola auditions? Scratch lottery.
  • What do you call a bunch of violists in a hot tub? Vegetable soup.
  • How many violists does it take to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies?
    Ten. One to stir the batter and nine to peel the M & M’s.
  • How do you call a violist with two brain cells? Pregnant.
  • What’s the latest crime wave in New York City? Drive-by viola recitals.
  • What is the similarity between a violist and a prostitute? Both are paid to fake climaxes.
  • How does a violist’s brain cell die? Alone.
  • Why did the violist marry the accordion player? Upward mobility.
  • Conductor: “Start three measures before the da capo.”
    Principal violist: “Hold on! We don’t have measure numbers.”
  • Why do so many people take an instant dislike to Viola players? Why wait; It saves so much time.
  • Why don’t violists play hide and seek? Because no one will look for them.
  • How do you get a viola player out of a tree? Cut the rope!
  • What’s the difference between a violist and a dog? The dog knows when to stop scratching.
  • What’s the difference between a viola and a lawnmower? You can tune the lawnmower.
  • What’s the difference between a violist and a terrorist? A few people actually like terrorists; Their mothers.
  • Why are violas larger than violins? They’re not; It’s an optical illusion. Viola players have small heads.
  • What’s the difference between a violin and viola? Violas burn longer.And do you know WHY the viola burns longer? It’s usually still in the case.
  • What’s the difference between a chainsaw and a viola? The viola is always sharp.
  • What’s the difference between a chainsaw and a viola? A chainsaw has a better chance at blending a string quartet.
  • What’s the difference between a chainsaw and a Viola? The law doesn’t require a DANGER: MAY CAUSE INJURY warning label on a viola.
  • What’s the difference between a violist and a prostitute? A prostitute keeps better tempo.
  • What’s the difference between a violin and a viola? The viola holds more beer.
  • What’s the ideal weight for a professional viola player? About 20 ounces – not counting the urn.
  • What’s the most effective male birth control method? Tell the girl he plays the viola.
  • What’s the difference between a viola and fingernails scraping on a blackboard? Vibrato.
  • What’s the difference between a viola player and Doctor Scholl’s Footpads?
    Doctor Scholl’s bucks up the feet: A viola player …
    OK, we’re not going to go there.  This website has a family rating.
  • What’s the difference between a viola player and a lawnmower?
    The exhaust smells different.
  • What do a SCUD missile and a viola player have in common?
    They’re both offensive and inaccurate.
  • What do you call a viola player with half a brain? Gifted.
  • Why do violists make effective rapists? It’s hard to fight back when you’ve got your hands over your ears.
  • What’s the range of a viola? 35 yards if you’ve got a good arm.
  • How do you get two viola players to play in tune? Shoot one of them.
  • What do you call two viola players playing in unison? Counterpoint.
  • How can you tell that a viola player has died? The violinists have hopeful looks on their faces.
  • What does a Viola section sound like under water? A good idea.
  • What’s the last thing a violist does before walking on stage for a concert? Looks for his instrument.
  • What’s the difference between a class of deaf students and a symphony viola section? The violists have a pension plan.
  • How do you know there’s a group of viola players at your door? None of them can find the key.
  • What is the first sound you hear after the conductor yells, “Bratsche?”
    The concertmaster saying, “Gesundheit.”
  • Why are orchestral concert intermissions only 15 minutes long? So the violists won’t forget where the stage is.
  • How can you make a violin sound more like a viola? Sit in the back row and just pretend to play.
  • How can you make a violin sound more like a viola? Play only on the G string and miss a lot of notes.
  • Did you hear about the violist who played so out of tune even the rest of the viola section could tell? (Just kidding. That could never happen.)
  • Who makes the best viola mutes? Smith & Wesson.
  • What’s the famous viola players’ credo? “It’s far better to play a little sharp than to play out of tune.”
  • How does a composer create an orchestral glissando effect? Write a 16th note run for the violas.
  • What’s the definition of perfect pitch? When you throw a viola into a dumpster without hitting the rim.

Other Viola Joke Resources:

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