Cover art for podcast Smash Boom Best

Smash Boom Best

93 EpisodesProduced by American Public Media

Smash Boom Best is a debate show for kids and families from the makers of the award-winning podcast, Brains On! Every episode takes two cool things, smashes them together and lets you decide which is best. Our debaters use facts and passion to make their case -- teaching listeners how to defend thei… read more

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Death Valley vs. Mount Fuji

February 2nd, 2023


Ain't no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough to keep us from smash boom besting. It’s Death Valley vs. Mount Fuji! Journalist and podcast host Gloria Riviera defends sizzling Death Valley, while editor and …

Mustard vs. Mayo

January 26th, 2023


The queens of condiments go jar to jar in today’s yummy rumble. Give it up for mayo vs. mustard! In one corner, we’ve got comedian, actor and host of

Black Holes vs. Meteors

January 19th, 2023


Grab your telescopes, cuz you’re in for a celestial smackdown. It’s black holes vs. meteors! Comedian and writer Max Maliga goes to bat for black …

Axolotls vs. Flamingos

January 12th, 2023


Today’s ani-melee features an amphibian with frilly gills and a pink bird with a bent bill. It’s axolotls vs. flamingos!

Comedian, puppeteer and …

Birthday Parties vs. Trick-or-Treating

January 5th, 2023


Today’s debate is a face-off between yearly sensations that rock the nation. Both involve candy and cake for eating, so grab your costumes and …

Dogs vs. Cats

December 22nd, 2022


Check out another one of our classics: dogs vs. cats! Which furry friends are you most fond of? Playful pups or frisky felines? Listen to find out …

Books vs. Movies

December 8th, 2022


Listen to one of our first smash boom best debates ever: books vs. movies! Who are you rooting for? The printed word or the silver screen? Listen to bibliophiles and film buffs duke it out in this awesome smash boom …

We're back on January 5th!

December 3rd, 2022


Smash Boom Best is back on Thursday, January 5th with 16 new episodes of chatty, fact-y fun!

You’re in for some massive new matchups like Birthday Parties vs. Trick-or-Treating, Spiderman vs. Batman, and Mayo vs. …

Introducing Smarty Pass: Your ticket to the Brains On! Universe

October 28th, 2022


Become a Smarty Pass subscriber today to access bonus episodes and ad-free episodes of Brains On!, Smash Boom Best, Moment of Um, and Forever Ago -- all right here in your favorite podcast player.


Kangaroos vs. Platypuses

September 29th, 2022


You’re in for some bouncy, duck-billed fun from “down undah!” It’s kangaroos vs. platypuses! Comedian and writer Allison Reese reps kangaroos in a beastly brawl with platypus-fan and Brains On! co-creator Sanden Totten. …

Goldilocks vs. Little Red Riding Hood

September 22nd, 2022


Today’s debate is not too hot, not too cold, but just right! It’s Goldilocks vs. Little Red Riding Hood! Audio producer extraordinaire Tracy Mumford …

Peanut Butter vs. Marshmallows

September 15th, 2022


Today’s debate is fluffy, crunchy, and extra delicious. It’s peanut butter vs. marshmallows! Writer and producer Jeff Nucera champions the power of creamy, dreamy peanut butter in this salty smackdown with writer and …

Chefs vs. Veterinarians

September 8th, 2022


Kitchen wizards and kitten whisperers take the stage in today’s career-off. It’s chefs versus veterinarians! Comedy writer and LEGO Master Model Builder, Sam Suksiri, defends chefs in a sizzling smackdown against comic, …

Roller Skating vs. Bowling

September 1st, 2022


Looking for a rolling, bowling ballyhoo? Tune in for roller skating vs. bowling! Writer, actress, and roller skating maven Ashley Jaye dukes it out …

Redwood Tree vs. Prickly Pear Cactus

August 25th, 2022


Today’s debate is all about roarin’ flora. It’s redwood tree vs. prickly pear cactus! Tobin Mitnick – actor, writer, and creator of internet phenomenon jewslovestrees – rages for redwoods against comedian, writer, and …

Opossums vs. Raccoons

August 18th, 2022


Today’s debate is quite the creature feature. It’s opossums vs. raccoons! Theater teacher, improv sensation and marsupial maven Roy Rodriguez dukes it out with super producer and raccoon-lover Rosie duPont in this …

Sundaes vs. Nachos

August 11th, 2022


Looking to spice up your life with a dreamy, creamy debate? Then we’ve got you covered… with nachos vs. sundaes! Writer, comedian, and nacho lover Linnea Frye gets salty with comedian, writer, and sundae queen Nikki …

Sneakers vs. Jeans

August 4th, 2022


Two stylish essentials go knee to toe in this week’s fashionable face-off. It’s sneakers vs. jeans! Writer, actor, and attorney Chas Carey defends …

Roller Coasters vs. Mini Golf

July 28th, 2022


Strap in, because today’s debate is a wild ride full of ups and downs. It’s roller coasters vs. mini-golf! Producer Anna Weggel gets loopy with …

Lollipops vs. Popcorn

July 21st, 2022


Get ready, cuz you’re in for a poppin’ good time. It’s lollipops vs. popcorn! Producer and writer Aron Woldesslassie gets corny with comedian Katie …

Hummingbirds vs. Seahorses

July 14th, 2022


Two little critters take the spotlight today. It’s hummingbirds vs. seahorses! Reporter Jill Replogle gets into a squeaky scuffle with comic and writer Brandi Brown in this awesome ani-melee. Which creature will carry …

Naps vs. Exercise

July 7th, 2022


Today’s debate is all about snoozin’ and groovin’. It’s naps vs. exercise! Journalist and author Tom Weber gets into a sleepy scrap with podcast host and voice actress Merk Nguyen in this dynamic (if drowsy) dispute. …

Season 5 Trailer

June 9th, 2022


Smash Boom Best is back on Thursday, July 7th with 13 new episodes!

Get ready for some show-stopping smackdowns like Little Red Riding Hood vs. …

Forever Ago: How ice cream flavors went from whale poo to vanilla

June 2nd, 2022


Hi Smash Boom Besties! We are hard at work on the new season of Smash Boom Best and we will be back with new debates SOON! But in the meantime we wanted to tell you about our other show Forever Ago - which returns this …

Be the judge at our next virtual debate!

February 17th, 2022


If you’re looking for more Smash Boom goodness, join us for our next live, interactive debate on February 26th! Fan favorite debaters Sanden Totten, …

Basketball vs. Baseball

February 3rd, 2022


Today’s debate is a slam dunk and a home run, rolled into one. It’s basketball vs. baseball! Hoopster and master producer Marc Sanchez mounts a full …

Ghosts vs. Zombies

January 27th, 2022


Today’s frightful free-for-all might just scare your pants off. It’s GHOSTS vs. ZOMBIES! Co-host of the Story Pirates podcast, Peter McNerney battles …

How does pencil lead stick to paper? - A Moment of Um extra

January 25th, 2022


We know a lot of you debate heads like to take notes and keep score while you're listening to Smash Boom Best, BUT have you ever stopped to think how the pencil lead your’re using sticks to the paper? Strange concept …

Apollo vs. Artemis

January 20th, 2022


Join us on Mount Olympus for a battle between two of the greatest Greek gods. It’s Apollo vs. Artemis! Journalist Jed Kim spars with producer Ruby …

Introducing Moment of Um!

January 18th, 2022


We're super excited for you to hear our newest podcast: Moment of Um!

Whether or not you’ve heard of Moment of Um featured in Brains On, you’re in for a treat! The show answers those head-scratcher questions that seem …

Coral Reefs vs. Rainforests

January 13th, 2022


Two iconic ecosystems hurl tree-mendous facts and rock-hard arguments in today’s colorful debate. It’s coral reefs versus rainforests! Comedian and …

Apples vs. Bananas

January 6th, 2022


Today’s fruity free-for-all is apple-solutely bananas! In one corner, we’ve got those crunchy, portable treats -- apples! And in the other, it’s …

Lego vs. Minecraft

December 16th, 2021


Today, we’ve got a builder’s battle you’re gonna DIG. It’s Lego vs. Minecraft! In one corner, we’ve got the Lego-loving YouTuber and contestant on Lego Masters USA Season 1, Boone Langston! In the other, it’s Minecraft …

Godzilla vs. King Kong

December 9th, 2021


We hope you’re ready for today’s ragin’ rivalry, cuz it’s monstrous! In one corner we’ve got that legendary lizard with atomic breath… Godzilla! And in the other, it’s that gargantuan gorilla who scales skyscrapers… …

Jello vs. Spam

December 2nd, 2021


We hope you're hungry, cuz today’s debate stars two funny, fantastic foods. It’s Jello vs. Spam! Audio producer Tracy Mumford and American chef and food writer Kenji Lopez-Alt get serious in this squelching smackdown… …

New Episodes & Our Live Virtual Halloween Debate!

October 7th, 2021


Smash Boom Best will be back with eight new episodes starting December 2nd. Get ready for a slew of awesome battles, including one of our most requested debates of all time, Lego vs. Minecraft!

In the meantime, join us …

Pikachu vs. Mario

September 23rd, 2021


Buckle up for a brawl between two of the most iconic video game characters of all time. It’s Pikachu vs. Mario!! Radio producer and Pokemon trainer David Zha goes up against podcast pro and Mario maven Kristina Lopez in …

Chess vs. Ping Pong

September 16th, 2021


Today’s teams are in it to spin it. It’s chess vs. ping pong! Comedian and writer Joon Chung goes up against podcast producer Elyssa Dudley in this classic competition, but which team will smash their way to victory? …

Horses vs. Dolphins

September 8th, 2021


Saddle-up, because today’s debate is the dolphinition of awesome. It’s horses vs. dolphins! Terrible, Thanks for Asking producers Marcel Malekebu and …

Refrigerators vs. Toilets

September 2nd, 2021


Today, we’ve got a brawl between two things we’d hate to live without. It’s refrigerators vs. toilets! Terrible, Thanks for Asking creator Nora McInerny and reporter Jill Replogle duke it out in this feisty fixture …

Spaceships vs. Submarines

August 26th, 2021


Pack your bags, cuz today’s episode is a trip. It’s spaceships vs. submarines! Too Beautiful to Live co-host Andrew Walsh and comedian Brandi Brown …

Honey vs. Pickles

August 19th, 2021


Two iconic foods go jar-to-jar in today’s fearsome flavor feud. It’s honey vs. pickles! Million Bazillion host Jed Kim goes up against comedian and journalist Anna Weggel in this sweet and salty showdown. Which team dill

Bikes vs. Skateboards

August 12th, 2021


Get ready to kickflip out -- cuz this debate is off the chain. It’s bikes vs. skateboards! Listen to radio journalist Daniel Alarcón and Brains On! star Sanden Totten drop some gear-grinding arguments and gnarly …

Fairies vs. Giants

August 5th, 2021


We’re stomping into season four with a debate of mythic proportions. One team is the size of a green bean, while the other towers over the whole …

Season 4 Trailer

July 22nd, 2021


This August 5th, Smash Boom Best is back! 

We’re staging some very controversial debates this season, including Skateboards vs. Bikes, Godzilla vs. …

Return Date & New Merch!

April 29th, 2021

We’re coming back!

Smash Boom Best is coming back on August 5th.

New merch

While you wait for fresh episodes to drop, check out our awesome new merch at

We’ve got t-shirts, phone grips, face …

Want a Bonus Episode?

February 26th, 2021


Meep Meep! Our bonus episode has arrived. That’s right, folks. It’s coyotes vs roadrunners!! In this season’s Debate Club exclusive, Brains On!

Mermaids vs. Bigfoot

February 11th, 2021


Two marvelous, mythical legends make an appearance in this week’s episode. It’s mermaids versus Bigfoot! Which elusive creature will win this smash boom battle? Mermaids, the mysterious sirens that haunt our oceans? Or …

Sugar vs. Salt

February 4th, 2021


Today, we’re going to tickle your tastebuds with two mouthwatering flavors. It’s sugar versus salt! Which fabulous flavor will win? The savory …

Moon vs. Sun

January 28th, 2021


This week, we’re heading to space for a celestial debate. It’s moon versus sun! Which legendary orb will win? The queen of the night sky? Or the star …

Armadillos vs. Porcupines

January 21st, 2021


Two courageous critters take the stage for today's debate. It’s Armadillos versus Porcupines! Which brave and beautiful beast will claim the crown? …

Helium vs. Neon

January 14th, 2021


Today, we’re letting the science rip in a seriously gassy showdown. It’s helium versus neon! One is famous for making balloons float and voices …

Deserts vs. Swamps

January 7th, 2021


This week, two treacherous terrains take the stage. It’s deserts versus swamps! Marc Sanchez and Anna Weggel defend these exceptional environments with humor and pizzaz, but only one team will take home the title of …

Ants vs. Bees

December 17th, 2020


One’s in the sky, one’s underground. One makes a buzz, the other? Not a sound. It’s ants versus bees! Comedians Ian Abramson and Tim Barnes take …

Rats vs. Pigeons

December 10th, 2020


Today, we’re switching it up -- Smash Boom Best is going full on Smash Boom Pest. Two misunderstood critters go head to head in today’s debate …

Teleportation vs. Telekinesis

December 3rd, 2020


It’s time for another superpower showdown! Challenger one is teleportation, the ability to instantly zap yourself to any place in the world. Challenger two is telekinesis, the power to move things with your mind. Which …

Pandas vs. Penguins

November 26th, 2020


Today’s debate is between two totally adorable, extremely popular animals known for their fashionable fur and frolicsome feathers. It’s pandas vs …

Ice Cream vs. French Fries

November 19th, 2020


We’ve got a tasty debate for you today -- it’s ice cream vs french fries!! This is going to be a tough one for everybody, because let’s face it: we all scream for ice cream and we freak out over french fries! Comedians …

Avengers vs. Star Wars

November 12th, 2020


This week, two of the biggest movie franchises EVER go head-to-head in a blockbuster-worthy battle. It’s Avengers vs. Star Wars! Which team will win? The Marvel-ously superhuman Avengers saga? Or the space story from …

Giant Squid vs. Blue Whales

November 5th, 2020


We’ve got a deep-sea debate for you today, so put on your scuba gear and jump on in! It’s Giant Squid vs. Blue Whales. Journalist Tom Weber goes up against science writer and stand-up comedian Kasha Patel in a fearsome …

Vampires vs. Werewolves

October 29th, 2020


Today, the ultimate immortal rivals go fang to claw in a blood-thirsty debate. It's vampires vs werewolves! Who will win? Pale, blood-sucking …

Drums vs. Guitars

October 22nd, 2020


We’ve got a musical matchup to get your toes tapping: guitars versus drums! Smash Boom Best producer Rosie DuPont goes up against comedian Tommy McNamara in this raucous (and rocking) showdown.

After you listen, tell us …

Flowers vs. Rainbows

October 15th, 2020


We’re launching season three with a burst of color of delight. It’s flowers vs rainbows! Brains On star Sanden Totten goes up against Forever Ago

Season 3 Trailer

October 1st, 2020


Smash Boom Best is back on October 15th! We’ve got 16 new epic debate battles, including Vampires vs Werewolves, Ice Cream vs French Fries, and …

Season 3 News!

February 4th, 2020


Smash Boom Best is back with 16 new debate battles this summer! But before we kick off the season, we need your help choosing two debate match-ups. …

Want a Bonus Episode?

September 26th, 2019


We made a special bonus episode just for our Debate Club members! To join and get access to the episode, head to and make a donation in any amount. The bonus episode features our beloved host …

Aliens vs Robots

September 11th, 2019


NPR’s Sam Sanders and Elise Hu go head to head in this futuristic faceoff! Sam is repping the extraterrestrial neighbors we’re still searching for. …

Chocolate vs Cheese

September 5th, 2019


How could you ever decide between two foods so scrumptious? Today’s judge is eleven-year-old Paige Goehner, the winner of Food Network’s Kids Baking …

Sharks vs Skunks

August 29th, 2019


It’s killer fish versus stinky furballs! Science Vs. host Wendy Zukerman goes to bat for SHARKS, those ancient, blood-thirsty predators that make swimming at the beach just a little bit scary.... and Chompers host …

Swimming vs Soccer

August 21st, 2019


Which sport is tops? Is it swimming, the splashy, life-saving skill, or soccer, the super-popular game of strategy and speed? Debaters Anna Weggel …

Ice Age vs Jurassic

August 14th, 2019


Story Pirates podcast hosts Lee Overtree and Peter McNerney duke it out in a debate of epoch proportions: it’s the Ice Age vs. the Jurassic!! Who will win this bruiser of a battle? Will it be the chilly, …

Rice vs Noodles

August 7th, 2019


Two of the world’s most beloved starches are taking the stage today. On one side, we have Joy Dolo repping mighty, multi-colored rice! And on the …

Venom vs Claws

July 31st, 2019


Grab some sunscreen, lace up your hiking boots and don’t forget your binoculars because... you’ll want to keep your distance from today’s debate. …

Venus vs Jupiter

July 25th, 2019


We’re blasting off, leaving Earth’s orbit, and grabbing front row seats at an interplanetary smackdown. Which planet will be crowned the Smash Boom Best? Will debater Tommy McNamara bring it home for our neighbor Venus? …

Mega Mini-Boom Bonanza

July 17th, 2019


Buckle up for our first ever Mega Mini-Boom Bonanza! Tai Poole, host of the CBC’s award-winning podcast Tai Asks Why judges four high-octane …

Snakes vs Spiders

July 11th, 2019


One has no legs, the other has eight. It’s snakes vs. spiders! The Washington Post’s Anna Rothschild reps Team Snake, and comedian Jenny Yang comes …

Invisibility vs. Flying

July 3rd, 2019


It’s the ultimate disguise versus the freedom of the skies! Debaters Katie McVay and Brandi Brown face off in this superpower showdown. Who won your …

Loki vs. Athena

June 26th, 2019


Loki and Athena battle it out for the title of smash boom supreme! Which one of these divine deities will triumph? Will it be Loki, the …

Grand Canyon vs. Mount Everest

June 19th, 2019


Two epic landforms battle it out in a geological prizefight that’s going to rock your world! So which one of these stony-faced sluggers is going to …

Libraries vs. Museums

June 12th, 2019


Totally lit libraries take on the marvel of museums in a heated, high-minded debate about which institution is the most educational, the most impressive and, above all, the COOLEST. So who will take home the crown? Joy …

Unicorns vs. Dragons

June 6th, 2019


Unicorns and dragons have graced us with a magical, show-stopping debate! Which one of these whimsical, wondrous beasts will triumph? Will it be ferocious, fire-breathing team dragon? Or ethereal, elusive team unicorn? …

Piranhas vs Venus Flytraps

June 6th, 2019


Venus flytraps and piranhas go leaf to teeth in this fearsome debate battle! That’s right, this matchup is killer plant meets fanged fish. Will it be treacherous team Venus flytrap or tricky team piranha for the win? …

Season 2 Trailer

May 23rd, 2019


Smash Boom Best is back on June 6th! In 16 new episodes, our debaters tackle epic match-ups like chocolate versus cheese! Aliens versus robots! And …

Season 2 News!

February 4th, 2019


Press play for an announcement from the Smash Boom Best team!

Lava vs Quicksand

June 27th, 2018


Two natural phenomena go head-to-head in our final match-up of the season. It's ooey, gooey molten lava versus tricky, shifty, fast-acting quicksand. …

Pizza vs Tacos

June 21st, 2018


It's an all-you-can-eat buffet of difficult decisions in one of our toughest match-ups ever. In one corner, it's cheesy, shareable, savory-sauced …

Books vs Movies

June 13th, 2018


Who are you rooting for: the printed word or the silver screen? Bibliophiles face off with film buffs everywhere in this week's Smash Boom Battle. Hear both sides out and then vote here:

Castles vs Caves

June 7th, 2018


We’re pitting noble medieval fortresses against naturally-made chambers of wonder. Which do you think is cooler: castles or caves? Our debaters aim …

Cats vs Dogs

May 31st, 2018


In one corner, human’s best friend, licker of faces, chewer of toys -- it’s dogs. And in the other corner, sleek and graceful, free pest control with …

Super Speed vs. Super Strength

May 24th, 2018


Will muscly might or supersonic speed triumph? This Smash Boom Best battle takes on two out-of-this world superhuman powers. Which would you rather …

Bermuda Triangle vs. Loch Ness

May 17th, 2018


Ready for some mystery? This Smash Boom Battle takes on two famous places: the Bermuda Triangle and Loch Ness. Which is cooler? Is it the Bermuda …

Bats vs Owls

May 15th, 2018


Wings out, eyes wide -- we’re swooping in on a battle between a perfect pair of creatures of the night. Which is cooler: Bats? Or owls? We’re going …

Season One: The Trailer

May 8th, 2018


Smash Boom Best is a debate show for kids and families from the makers of the award-winning podcast, Brains On! Every episode takes two cool things, …

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