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 birthday suits for… birthday parties vs. trick-or-treating!

Editor, reporter, writer and birthday enthusiast Jed Kim goes up against podcaster, improviser and trick-or-treating fiend Michael Stevens in this celebratory smackdown. Which pastime will win? Breathtaking birthdays? Or tasty trick-or-treating?

Vote below for the team YOU think won!

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As an added bonus, your Smarty Pass will grant you access to a super special debate starring Sanden and Molly! Vote for the debate you want Molly and Sanden to tackle here.

Audio Transcript

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SPEAKER 1: From the brains behind Brains On, it's Smash Boom Best.

SPEAKER 2: The show for people with big opinions.

MOLLY BLOOM: Hi. I'm Molly Bloom, and this is Smash Boom Best, the show where we take two things, smash them together, and ask you to decide which one is best. 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 birthday suits for birthday parties versus trick or treating. In one corner, we've got editor, reporter, and writer, Jed Kim, defending birthday parties.

JED KIM: Happy birthday, y'all. What am I giving you? How about a total smackdown on Halloween?

MOLLY BLOOM: And in the other, we've got improviser extraordinaire, Michael Stevens, ready to duke it out for trick or treating.

MICHAEL STEVENS: Trick or treat. Trick or treat. Now, it's time for birthday's defeat.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh. And here to judge it all, we've got Alex from Worcester, Massachusetts. He's head of his school's creative writing club. He's got a greenhouse in his room, and he's a fellow podcaster. Hi, Alex.

ALEX: Hey.

MOLLY BLOOM: So, Alex, can you tell us a little bit about your podcast?

ALEX: Sure. So, it's about the end of the world. And somehow--


ALEX: Somehow, I've made it satirical. So, yeah, it's about one guy who is, essentially, the last person alive. And he's trying to keep his sanity by, essentially, talking into a podcast, hoping someone will listen.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, that's fun. So, it's fiction.

ALEX: Yes. Hopefully, it is fiction.

MOLLY BLOOM: Hopefully? Hopefully, fiction. Do you use lots of sound effects and other actors? Or is it a one-person show?

ALEX: Yeah, it's a one person type thing. I do use sound effects. I actually have a theremin in my room. And so, I do a lot of really fun stuff with the theremin.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, so you have a greenhouse in your room and a theremin in your room. That's pretty impressive. Can you describe what a theremin is for people who might not know?

ALEX: Oh, goodness. So imagine a little wooden box, and then you have one vertical antennae sticking up from the right, and then a little hoop sticking from the left. And so, you move your hand closer or further away from the antenna to increase or decrease the pitch. And then, you can put your hand closer to the hoop on the left to increase or decrease the sound.

MOLLY BLOOM: You might not know the name, but you've definitely heard. It's the [MAKING SOUND]. sound. It's very, very cool. So will Alex be wooed by team birthday parties, or will he be taken with trick or treating? Only he can tell. It's time to review the rules of the game. Round one is the declaration of greatness, where our debaters present fact-filled arguments in favor of their side. And they each have 30 seconds to rebut their opponent's statements.

Then, we've got the micro round, where each team will present a creative response to a prompt they received in advance. Round three is the sneak attack, where our debaters will have to respond to an improv challenge on the spot. And to wrap it all up, we've got the final six, where each team will have just six words to sum up the glory of their side.

Our judge, Alex, will award two points in the first round, one for his favorite rebuttal, the other for the Declaration he liked best. Then, he'll award one point in each round after that, but he'll keep his decisions top secret until the end of the debate. Listeners, we want you to judge, too. Mark down your points as you listen. At the end of the show, head to our website,, and vote for whichever team you think won. OK, Michael, Jed, and Alex, are you ready?

JED KIM: About to blow out the candles.

ALEX: 100%.

MICHAEL STEVENS: I wish we would start.

MOLLY BLOOM: And then, it's time for the--

SPEAKER 3: Declaration of greatness.

MOLLY BLOOM: We flipped a coin. And Jed, you're up first. Tell us why birthday parties are for smarties.

SPEAKER 4: But now, we'd have X Radio Hour presents a birthday carol. Here sits wealthy old stooge on the eve of his 43rd birthday, but his cold heart isn't happy.

WEALTHY OLD STOOGE: Oh, humbugs and dingblasts, how I hate birthdays. I much prefer Halloween.

SPEAKER 4: On this fateful birthday's eve, he will be visited by three ghosts. Perhaps, they will change his mind?

WEALTHY OLD STOOGE: Who's that bothering me now? How dare you come calling at this late hour?

BIRTHDAY GHOST: Stooge, I am the ghost of birthday's past, and I'm here to remind you of why birthdays are way better than Halloween. And also, it's only 6:30.

WEALTHY OLD STOOGE: Birthdays are silly. Everybody singing and swilling cake. Never thinking about how it's another year closer to death.

BIRTHDAY GHOST: Yikes. Well, look. You're forgetting that birthdays mark important milestones in life.

WEALTHY OLD STOOGE: This looks like a baby's birthday party. Oh, look at all the food.

BIRTHDAY GHOST: It's yours, Stooge. You're one, and this is your toll. Korean families make a big deal out of the first birthday. There's a big party.

WEALTHY OLD STOOGE: Yes. And you set different items in front of the baby. And whatever it touches first foretells its future. Let's see, the string means they'll have a long life. A pen means they'll be a great student. Money means wealth.

BIRTHDAY GHOST: Wow. Baby, you just went for that cash. Let's look at some other big birthdays. Remember your best friend's bar mitzvah when he turned 13?

WEALTHY OLD STOOGE: When Jewish tradition says a boy becomes a man. That was fun.

BIRTHDAY GHOST: Or your cousin's quicenera when she turned 15.

WEALTHY OLD STOOGE: Uh-oh, this is when I spilled cake on her special white dress.

Feliz compe ano, prima. Oops.

BIRTHDAY GHOST: The point is, that birthdays are rites of passage. When you turn 16, you can drive. At 18, you can vote. 21 is a big deal for some reason. The older you get, the more you can do.

WEALTHY OLD STOOGE: But why do things have to change? Why can't they be more like Halloween? That's always the same old thing year after year.

BIRTHDAY GHOST: You're the worst.

WEALTHY OLD STOOGE: I'm back home. Was that all a dream? Who's there?

BIRTHDAY GHOST: Tis I, the ghost of birthday presents.

WEALTHY OLD STOOGE: Don't you mean the ghost of birthdays present?

BIRTHDAY GHOST: No. Presents like this. And here's where birthdays absolutely smear Halloween. Gifts versus candy. You do the math.

WEALTHY OLD STOOGE: OK, let's see. Analysis of no good futures compounded by demand.

BIRTHDAY GHOST: Stop doing the math. Look, birthday presents can be toys or candy, if that floats your boat. It can also be a real boat. You're stinking rich. You could treat yourself and buy an island or donate to charity for once? On Halloween, the most you can hope for is a full-sized candy bar.

WEALTHY OLD STOOGE: Always someone giving a full size. Say, you were the same ghost as before with the fake beard.

BIRTHDAY GHOST: Yeah, you got me. Spoiler alert, I'm the future ghost, too. Speaking of which, birthdays remain legitimately cool for your entire life. If you want to throw a rager on your 84th birthday, people are going to be like, cool, you do you, old man. But you try trick or treating when you're 16, you get a lot of, aren't you too old for this?

WEALTHY OLD STOOGE: You make some convincing points. I just really like seeing all those spooky costumes.

BIRTHDAY GHOST: Well, Stoogie boy, you can do whatever you want for your birthday. If that means wearing costumes and gorging on fun-sized Kit-Kats, you could always give your birthday party a Halloween theme.

WEALTHY OLD STOOGE: Zones, you're absolutely right. I'll dress up like Chester Arthur again, and the party favorite bags will have Necco Wafers, and Zag Nuts, and all the other candy kids hate. And this time, I'll make them give me the candy.

MOLLY BLOOM: I love it. A radio play to argue about how great birthday parties are. Alex, what stood out to you about Jed's declaration of greatness?

ALEX: Oh, goodness what didn't stand out to me? I absolutely loved the Christmas Carol theme. Really big fan of that. Actually, one thing I didn't know was about the importance of the first birthday in Korean culture. Now I found that was really cool. I didn't realize any culture found the first birthday to be that important. But I guess it makes sense to me.

JED KIM: That's a knowledge bomb just dropped on you.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Michael, it is time for your rebuttal. You've got 30 seconds to prove birthday parties are passe, and your time starts now.

MICHAEL STEVENS: OK, so birthdays are so expensive. Nothing is free on a birthday. You have to buy things. For Halloween, you can make your own costume. People feel left out of birthday parties. Trick or treating is for everyone. Good cake? So much work. Absolutely does not travel well. Party bags don't teach you the value of hard work like trick or treating does. And candy--

MOLLY BLOOM: And time. All right, Michael, I know you have more to say. You didn't have enough time there, so please tell us why you think trick or treating is so appealing.

MICHAEL STEVENS: Greetings, ghouls and goblins, welcome to team trick or treat. Sorry about that. I had something in my throat. Trick or treating has it all-- costumes, decorations, and, of course, sweets. But there's more. Trick or treating is also a celebration of nature, community, and the supernatural. But don't take my word for it. Let's ask these trick or treaters. Hey, guys, your costumes are amazing. What are you supposed to be?

CHILD 1: I'm a werewolf.

CHILD 2: I'm Supergirl.

GHOST: I'm a normal human child in a Harry Styles costume, definitely not a scary, spooky ghosty child.

MICHAEL STEVENS: OK. Well, these kids just demonstrated the first best thing about trick or treating. It lets you be anyone you want. You want to be a superhero? Get a cape and Spandex. You want to transform into a terrifying monster? All you need is a mask or some scary teeth. You get to be you 364 days of the year. Why not try on someone else's shoes?

GHOST: I would prefer no one else wear my furlined deerskin slippers.

CHILD 2: But why don't we do costumes on Halloween?

GHOST: Oh, I know.

MICHAEL STEVENS: Oh, why, normal human child?

GHOST: Costumes come from the ancient Irish festival Samhain. The ancient Celtics believed ghosts walked the Earth once a year on October 31 to fend off evil ghosts. They dressed up like us. I mean, them. Anyway, that's part of where we get the creepy costumes, or so we heard on TikTok.

GROUP: Trick or treat.

SPEAKER 5: Oh, your costumes are just adorable. Take as much candy as you want.

CHILD 1: Ooh, Butterfingers.

GHOST: Real fingers?

CHILD 1: OMG, full-sized candy bars.

GHOST: I wanted actual fingers.

MICHAEL STEVENS: This brings me to the second best thing about trick or treating-- candy.

CHILD 1: We should be trick or treating for every holiday.

GHOST: Yeah, you should be grateful you have it at all. Trick or treating had a long journey before became a beloved autumnal pastime.

MICHAEL STEVENS: That's right. The term trick or treat was first used in the 1920s. Around that time, kids would play tricks on homeowners on Halloween night. And to avoid getting tricked, homeowners had to cough up some candy.

GHOST: Yes, but long before that, trick or treating had its roots in the door-to-door traditions of mumming and souling. Mumming was a kind of folk performance of songs and skits in medieval Europe. Souling was another door-to-door custom, where people would ask their neighbors for a delicious treat, called a soul cake, in exchange for prayers for the dead. Those were the days is what someone alive back then would have surely said.

MICHAEL STEVENS: And the best part, a soul cake isn't covered in spit and wax like a birthday cake.

GHOST: Oh, this song reminds me of one of my favorite 17th century hymns. It makes me feel alive again. I mean, still alive because I'm totally still living like you guys.

MICHAEL STEVENS: Anyway, that brings me to my third point. Unlike some egotistical celebrations that only have one awkward song that no one really wants to sing--

GHOST: Oh, birthdays. I mean, boo, birthdays.

MICHAEL STEVENS: Right. As I was saying, trick or treating has way better music.

SINGER 1: Trick or treat. Trick or treat.

SINGER 2: I put a spell on you.

SINGER 3: He did the monster man.


GHOST: What a melodious selection of ditties.

MICHAEL STEVENS: Last but not least, trick or treating is part of how we celebrate the change of seasons as a community. As the world gets darker and colder, it helps us remember the bonds of community. Trick or treating is one of the few celebrations that allows us to safely open our doors to people we don't know.

GHOST: And don't worry, there aren't any actual ghosts out there, or are there?

MICHAEL STEVENS: Dude, we've known you were a ghost like the whole time.

GHOST: Really?

CHILD 2: You're literally floating.

CHILD 1: And I can see through you.

GHOST: Oh, right. Happy Halloween, everybody.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, a spooky and spectacular declaration of greatness there for trick or treating. Alex, what stood out to you in Michael's declaration of greatness there?

ALEX: Well, you know, I rang his doorbell. I opened my back out, and I've been filled with knowledge. I don't know if I will be able to walk home with so much knowledge. I think one of the most interesting things that I heard, at least, were the soul cakes. Do you know the recipe for soul cakes? By any chance, off the top of your head?

MICHAEL STEVENS: I think it's pretty close to a biscuit or a scone.


JED KIM: Delicious. You know what's probably better than a soul cake? Any kind of birthday cake.

MICHAEL STEVENS: You can't have that every day.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well, hold on. Wait one second here, Jed. It's time for your rebuttal. You've got 30 seconds to scare people away from trick or treating. And your time starts now.

JED KIM: If Halloween is such a celebration of nature, then why are there always so many wrappers on my lawn the day after? And why do we still say trick or treat? There's never a trick. It's a false option. Halloween is a lie. And you're going to put the Happy Birthday song, one of the most internationally recognized songs of all time, up against the monster mash? Hashtag, boo. And finally, birthdays are all about you. It's your special day. Who is Halloween for? How about the bloated corrupt candy industry. Think about it.

ALEX: So true.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, man, so many good points here. Alex, you have to make a decision that you have to give one point to the declaration of greatness you liked best and one point to the raddest rebuttal. You get to decide what makes a winning argument. Did one side win you over with their wisdom or make you laugh with their logic? Award your points, but don't tell us who they're going to. Both could go to the same person. Each person could get a point. Have you made your decision, Alex?

ALEX: Oh, boy, I have made my decision. Yes.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Michael and Jed, how are you two feeling so far?

MICHAEL STEVENS: I'm feeling spirited.

JED KIM: Oh, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm hoping I get a little gift.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, it's time for a quick break. Grab some cake or a handful of candy.

ALEX: And we'll be right back with more Smash Boom Best.

SPEAKER 5: You're watching state of debate, home to rage and rhetoric and awe-inspiring argumentation.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Hey, debaterenos. Taylor Lincoln here.

TODD DOUGLAS: And I'm Todd Douglass, and I'm getting very dizzy.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Maybe it's because you're riding that Merry-go-round.

TODD DOUGLAS: Oh, 100%. I thought it would be a good way to talk about the circular reasoning fallacy.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: A fallacy is an argument that's easy to tear down because it's not logical. The circular reasoning fallacy is when someone ends an argument with the same point as the one they started with.

TODD DOUGLAS: Yep. The argument just goes round and round, like saying, Merry-go-rounds are fun because people have fun on Merry-go-round.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Our cats are mean because they aren't nice.

TODD DOUGLAS: Or I shouldn't have spun so fast because spinning this fast isn't something you should do.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Or chocolate is tasty because it's super yummy.

TODD DOUGLAS: Or my stomach feels queasy because I'm nauseous.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Oh, or how about, you shouldn't wear white after Labor Day because you're not supposed to.

TODD DOUGLAS: Or barfing on state of debate is bad because if I did, that would be terrible.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Actually, that would be terrible. For the love of logic, Todd, stop spinning.

TODD DOUGLAS: That's all the logical fallacy I can take today.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: We'll see you next time on state of debate.

TODD DOUGLAS: Any chance you got a barf bag?

GROUP: Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, Smash Boom Best.

MOLLY BLOOM: You're listening to Smash Boom Best. I'm your host, Molly Bloom.

ALEX: And I'm your judge, Alex.

MOLLY BLOOM: We love getting debate suggestions from our listeners. Check out this epic idea we got from Lena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

LENA: My debate idea is chameleons versus jellyfish.

ALEX: What a colorful clash.

MOLLY BLOOM: We'll check back with Lena at the end of this episode to see which side she thinks should win.

ALEX: And now, it's back to today's debate-- birthday parties versus trick or treating.

MOLLY BLOOM: That's right. And it's time for round two, the--

SPEAKER 3: Micro round.

MOLLY BLOOM: Today's micro round challenge is called alien encounter. We asked Michael and Jed to pretend that they're aliens encountering their side for the very first time. It'll be their job to describe this strange new activity to their fellow aliens. Jed went first last time, so, Michael, you're up. Let's hear what trick or treating looks like to visitors from outer space.

LUPITA MU: My fellow gloopies, 'tis I, famed humanologist Lupita Mu. I am honored to speak at another Ted Exoplanet Gloop Conference. Please give me praise and validation with your hand sounds. Praise blocked. In my studies of humanity, I have encountered astonishing worlds, strange beings and new ways of life.

I believe that understanding humans is key to understanding what we, the magic gloopies, are meant to accomplish in our time in the universe. Why are we here? What's inside a black hole? What is in a McRib? But nothing-- I mean, nothing in my research has prepared me for the most baffling custom of all-- trick or treating.

Silence, gloopies. My fellow humanologist are still tentacles-deep in our research. But here's what we know so far. Trick or treat happens once a year. The humans, mostly small ones, I call the walkers, transform into unrecognizable beings and go door to door, screaming for someone or something called trick or treat.

CHILDREN: Trick or treat.

LUPITA MU: They then exchange small sugar power units they call candies. And they-- oh, they eat them.


Gloopies, we mustn't judge them. I know it's gross. Now, I bravely decided to investigate. I disguised myself as something called a poop emoji and screamed trick or treat as loud as I possibly could at every dwelling I encountered. Each time, it was the same. No trick or treat, only candies. I believe, if we find this trick or treat, we will unravel the mysteries of the universe. Now, who is with me?

MOLLY BLOOM: I could go for a small sugar power unit right about now. All right, Jed, it's your turn. Tell us what little green men will think of birthday parties.

ALIEN COMMANDER: Reporting team, how is spy mission going?

BLEPTOR: Bleptor here, commander. Zark's inside the house. None of the earthlings suspect that he's a shapeshifting alien.

ALIEN COMMANDER: Excellent. Zark, you'll be a legend after we take over this planet. Zark?

ZARK: You guys gotta get me out of here.

ALIEN COMMANDER: What's wrong with him?

BLEPTOR: Well, sir, he's disguised as a pinata, and he just found out what they're for.

ZARK: I've got to break.

ALIEN COMMANDER: Easy, Zark, no one's on you.

BLEPTOR: He means break, literally, sir. Apparently, humans hit pinatas with sticks until they break open.

ALIEN COMMANDER: Good gravy, why?

BLEPTOR: For fun, sir.

ZARK: Fun?

BLEPTOR: And then, they eat its insides.

ZARK: I'm going to be sick.

ALIEN COMMANDER: Hang tight. I'm making a plan.

ZARK: Hurry up, commander. The birthday girl's got the stick.

BIRTHDAY GIRL: Me smash pinata good.

ZARK: There's no way she said--


ALIEN COMMANDER: What's that racket?

BLEPTOR: The wind from the birthday girl's practice swings knocked over a television.

ZARK: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

ALIEN COMMANDER: Got it. Bleptor, you pop the bouncy house. When everyone's distracted, Zark, you shapeshift into a birthday thing that can run. Ready? Go.

WOMAN: What the-- hey, where's the pinata?

CHILD: And where did this clown come from?

BIRTHDAY GIRL: Hate clown. Smash clown.



BLEPTOR: He's trying, sir. He's having trouble running in the big shoes. Sir, may I suggest we try taking over a different planet?

ALIEN COMMANDER: Agreed. Clearly, Earth and birthdays aren't things to trifle with.

MOLLY BLOOM: Don't mess with birthdays man,

MOLLY BLOOM: That was a full-on action sci-fi movie. Amazing. All right, Alex, what did you like about Michael and Jed's micro rounds? What stood out to you?

ALEX: Wow, they're both very intense. I felt the heat of those aliens exploring the worlds. Goodness gracious, spectacular.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well done. All right, well, it's time to award a point. Did one teach you more about their subject? Did one make you laugh? Did one really engage your imagination? Whatever the criteria, it's up to you. Have you made your decision?

ALEX: I think I have.

MOLLY BLOOM: Fantastic. Then, it's time for our third around, the super stealthy--

SPEAKER 3: Sneak attack.

MOLLY BLOOM: Your sneak attack is called super slogans. For this challenge, we'd like both of you to come up with three fun catch phrases for your side. For example, if my holiday was Valentine's Day, I might say, fax me, baby. It's lovey dovey day. Or roses are red, violets are blue, today is my day to celebrate you. Does that make sense?


JED KIM: Yeah. Yeah. I'm ready to go.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, so Michael went first last time. We're going to take turns. We'll go back and forth. So Jed, you're going to go first. Let's hear your first pro-birthday slogan.

JED KIM: All right, here we go, coming up with something on the fly. Birthdays, your another year older, another year cooler.

MOLLY BLOOM: Yes, very nice. All right, Michael, let's hear a tremendous tagline for trick or treating.

MICHAEL STEVENS: Boo, buddies, I'm afraid it's trick or treating time. Yay.

MOLLY BLOOM: Very catchy. Very catchy. Jed, you're up. Time for tag line number two for birthday parties.

JED KIM: Birthdays, that time of year when your mom complains about how much it hurt to have you.

ALEX: So true.


ALEX: Accurate. Accurate. All right, Michael, it's all you. Number two slogan for trick or treating.

MICHAEL STEVENS: Oh, my, we needed more than one. Goodness gracious, goblins. I'm afraid it's trick or treating time.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well done. All right, Jed, let's hear your last slogan for birthday parties.

JED KIM: Trick or treat, smell my feet, Halloween's as cool as cream of wheat.

MICHAEL STEVENS: Cream of wheat is pretty cool.


ALEX: Wow.

MICHAEL STEVENS: If you put enough sugar on it, right?

MOLLY BLOOM: So Michael, would you like to make an anti-birthday one for your last one? It's your choice. You can go pro or con.

MICHAEL STEVENS: Let's see. I boo, buddies. I did goodness gracious, goblins. Holy moly. Holy moly, haunted hounds, I'm afraid it's trick or treating time. Yay.

MOLLY BLOOM: Perfect. Perfect.

MICHAEL STEVENS: It's all about alliteration.

MOLLY BLOOM: Yes, definitely. Alex, it's time to award your fourth point. Again, the criteria is totally up to you. Were one side catchier? Did the other side to have more alliteration? Did the other side-- is it really catchy in your brain? Whatever it is, it's up to you. Completely subjective. Have you awarded your fourth point?

ALEX: Oh, goodness, I think I have.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Then, it's time for our final around.

SPEAKER 3: The final six.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right. Michael, it's your turn. Let's hear why trick or treating is a frightfully good time.

MICHAEL STEVENS: Trick or treating is spooky cool. Birthdays, drool.

ALEX: It's very cool.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Jed, you've got just six words to convince us why birthday parties take the cake.

JED KIM: Presents, presents, parties, cakes, balloons, presents.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Alex, time to award a final point for this final six.

ALEX: All right.

MOLLY BLOOM: Have you made that decision?

ALEX: I think I have made this decision.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. So tally up those points. Are you ready to crown one team the Smash Boom Best?

ALEX: You know what, I think I am.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, drum roll, please. And the winner is--

ALEX: Birthday parties.

JED KIM: Woohoo, happy birthday to me.

MOLLY BLOOM: So Alex, was there a moment that really sealed the deal for birthday parties?

ALEX: You know what, I think it definitely started at the third round. Their slogans were just--

MICHAEL STEVENS: What do you mean? You don't like alliteration?

ALEX: I love alliteration, but I just love-- I think I love non-alliteration better.

MICHAEL STEVENS: That's fair. That's fair.

ALEX: I think that was the round that really stood out to me, that I said, birthdays, you have my heart.

MOLLY BLOOM: But was it close? Was it hard to decide?

ALEX: It was very close. It was 3-2.

MOLLY BLOOM: As close as it can get.

JED KIM: Man, Michael, you brought serious game. I loved your stuff. I did not envy Alex, the task of having to judge. That was a hard one. I mean, the voice acting alone was amazing.

MICHAEL STEVENS: Jed, I loved all the different types of birthday celebrations that you mentioned. I thought that was really great and pleasant. And I hope you have a Happy Halloween next year, and that you had a Happy Halloween this year.

JED KIM: Why, thank you, Michael. I appreciate that.

MOLLY BLOOM: And that's it for today's debate battle. Alex crowned birthday parties the Smash Boom Best, but what about you?

ALEX: Head to and vote to tell us who you think won.

MOLLY BLOOM: Smash Boom Best is brought to you by Brains On and APM Studios.

MICHAEL STEVENS: It's produced by Molly Bloom, Rosie DuPont, Ruby Guthrie, and Aaron Woldeslassie.

MOLLY BLOOM: We had engineering help from Gary O'Keefe, Alex Simpson, Josh Savajo. and Jordan Lambert.

JED KIM: Our editors are Shayla Farzad and Sanden Totten.

MICHAEL STEVENS: And we had production help from Anna Goldfield, Marc Sanchez, Anna Weggel, and Nico Gonzalez Wisler.

MOLLY BLOOM: Our executive producer is Beth Pearlman, and the APM Studios executives in charge are Chandra Kavati, Alex Shaffer, and Joanne Griffith. Our announcer is Marley. And we want to give a special thanks to Austin Cross and Taylor Kaufman. Jed, is there anyone, you'd like to give a shout out to today?

JED KIM: Yes. I need to thank Adam, Sid, and Piper Hirsch, Kelvin Thompson, Elliott and Eloise Thompson, Alice Kim, and Bruce Hazel Kim, all for providing voice acting talents.

MOLLY BLOOM: Lovely. And how about you, Michael? Any special thanks today?

MICHAEL STEVENS: Oh, big special thanks to my partner Jasmine for helping me with my research.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. And how about you, Alex, any thanks or shoutouts?

ALEX: Sure. Big shout out to my family. Thank you for finding this on Facebook. That's about it.

MOLLY BLOOM: Before we go, let's check in with Lena and see who she thinks would win her jellyfish versus chameleon debate.

LENA: I think that jellyfish would win because they won a Nobel Prize for having glowing protein.

MOLLY BLOOM: Do you have an idea for a knockdown, drag-out debate? Head to and tell us about it. We'll be back with a new debate battle next week.

ALEX: Bye.

SINGER (SINGING): Oh, you have a smash boom best. Oh,put it through the test. Oh, you have a smash boom best. It's a smash boom best. It's smash boom best.

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