Today’s tree-mendous debate is between two prolific plants. One side towers tall with fancy fronds, while the other amazes with needles and cones. It's Palm Trees vs. Pine Trees! Writer, comedian, and improviser Andy Hilbrands will sing the praises of palms, while writer, actor, and @jewslovetrees creator Tobin Mitnick will tell us why pines are oh-so fine. Which tree will take the win? Playful palms or pleasant pines?

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Audio Transcript

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WOMAN: From the Brains behind Brains On, it's Smash Boom Best.

WOMAN: 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 tremendous tree tussle between two prolific plants. One side towers tall with fancy fronds while the other amazes with its needles and cones. It's palm trees versus pine trees.

In one corner, we've got writer comedian and improviser Andy HILBRANDS here to sing the praises of palm trees.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Tobin is going to be pining after my performance today once I get this debate in the palm of my hand.

MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHTER] And in the other, it's a writer, actor, and creator of JewsLoveTrees, Tobin Mitnick, here to tell us why pines are oh so fine.

TOBIN MITNICK: I'm a pappy feeling sappy, and I'm not groaning because I'm cone and shout out to some fine trees, the pine trees.

MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHTER] And here to judge it all is Taylor from Lakeside California. Taylor is fluent in Spanish, has broken four bones, loves learning about science and has a fairy garden. Welcome Taylor.


MOLLY BLOOM: So Taylor, I can't believe you've broken four bones. Do you have a wild bone breaking story you'd like to share with us today?

SUBJECT: I would say the last Sunday or the Sunday before, I was bending down to get something in my room before I left somewhere with my dad. And I bent down, but I have a folding chair in my room with like a metal rim. And I hit the tip of my tailbone on the metal rim, and so I have like a broken tailbone right now.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh my gosh.


ANDY HILBRANDS: Oh my goodness.

MOLLY BLOOM: Taylor. OK we need to just wrap you in bubble wrap for a little while. I hope you're OK with that.


MOLLY BLOOM: Well will Taylor side with playful palms or will she be persuaded by pleasant pines? There's no telling. Taylor are you ready to judge today's debate?


MOLLY BLOOM: Before we dive in, let's review the rules of the game. Every debate consists of four rounds of argumentation. The declaration of greatness, the micro around, the sneak attack, and the final 6. After each round, our judge, Taylor, will award points to the team that impresses her the most but she'll keep her 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 Andy, Tobin, and Taylor, are we ready?

SUBJECT: Yes I am.


TOBIN MITNICK: Yes, Molly. Never been readier.

MOLLY BLOOM: Then it's time for the--

WOMAN: Declaration of greatness.

MOLLY BLOOM: In this round, our debaters will present a well-crafted immersive argument in favor of their side. Then they'll each have 30s to rebut their opponent's statements. We flipped a coin, and Andy you're up first. Tell us why palms are top tier trees.

ANDY HILBRANDS: As a kid, I spent a lot of time in my yard face-to-face with my enemy. It was twisted and gnarly, about 40ft tall and covered in long spiky branches. It was a pine tree. My job was to rake all of its sharp pokey needles into piles. I can still feel the sweat running into my eyes, the blisters on my fingers.


[? SINISTER MALE VOICE: ?] Hello, Andy, I've been pining to see you.

ANDY HILBRANDS: [GASPS] You, the pine tree that stole my childhood.

[? SINISTER MALE VOICE: ?] TREE: I've still got mountains of needles for you to rake.


[? HIGH-PITCHED VOICE: ?] Andy, wake up. You were having a bad dream.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Palmy the palm tree? Oh, thank goodness.

[? HIGH-PITCHED VOICE: ?] Was it the pine tree nightmare again? Oh here, pal, let me fan you with my palm fronds.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Oh, thanks buddy. It's hard not to feel relaxed when you're lying in the shade of a palm tree. That's why palm trees are the symbol of rest and relaxation. Just picture it, resting against the trunk of a palm tree wiggling your toes in the soft, warm sand while the ocean waves lap against the shore because that's what palm trees represent to me, carefree vacation vibes.

See, even that seagull agrees with me. And palm trees are so much more than just a symbol, they're givers. Around the world, palm trees are an important source of food, giving us everything from coconut milk, to sweet juicy dates.

WOMAN: And it's not just food.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Right you are my bark-covered friend. Palms also give us lots of other stuff like coconut oils, and butters to moisturize our skin and hair. Scientists have even found that you can use coconut oil as a biofuel to power an engine. That's right, an engine that runs on the power of palm trees.


WOMAN: Plus our palm fronds are used for making baskets, furniture, even buildings.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Yeah. Dried palm fronds have been used for hundreds of years to weave thatched roofs in South America and Southeast Asia. And a project from the United Nations found that palm fronds can be a cheap sustainable building material.

WOMAN: Just like how the leaves can be woven together to provide shelter, the palm tree has woven itself into so many different cultures and religions.

ANDY HILBRANDS: It's true, humans have been growing palms for over 5,000 years. It's believed that ancient Egyptians saw palm fronds as a symbol of eternal life while the Romans thought of them as a symbol of victory. And for the Cahuilla people of California palms have long been used for shelter, food, even to make tools and eating utensils. They even have a story about how the first palm came to be.

WOMAN: Oh I love this one.

ANDY HILBRANDS: The legend goes that there was a man named Mawel who was near the end of his life. He didn't want to leave his community empty handed, so he stood tall and transformed into a palm tree. Bark grew around his legs and leaves sprouted from his head. The tree provided shade on hot days, sweet fruit and flour for cakes and let people know if water was nearby.

Soon people started coming from all over to see the palm tree and eat its sweet fruit. They also took seeds back home with them and boom, suddenly palms were everywhere. So there you have it. Palms are providers through and through.

WOMAN: And unlike pine trees, those palms are so easy to hug.

ANDY HILBRANDS: So true. Bring it in friend.

MOLLY BLOOM: A lovely argument for the lovable, huggable palm tree.

TOBIN MITNICK: Oh gosh. Oh gosh.

ANDY HILBRANDS: I'm so glad my roommate--

TOBIN MITNICK: Is there a trashcan anywhere?

ANDY HILBRANDS: I'm so glad my roommate Palmy got to make the show.



MOLLY BLOOM: Taylor what stood out to you about Andy's declaration of greatness?

SUBJECT: I thought it was really neat how many uses the palm tree has that it can provide food, biofuel. And because I have a palm tree in my backyard--


SUBJECT: I remember kind of like hugging it with one arm one time when I was little and walking in circles around it counting how many times I could go around it.


ANDY HILBRANDS: See that's the love palm tree can provide.

MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah. So you have a palm tree roomy too. All right Tobin, it's time for your rebuttal. You've got 30s to poke holes in Andy's argument.


MOLLY BLOOM: And your time starts now.

TOBIN MITNICK: Oh Andy, Andy. You've bought into the tree propaganda, my friend. Palms as givers, try takers, my friend, of water as invasive plants because none of them are actually native to Los Angeles and so the city has to figure out what to do with all these trees that are eating up all the native water, but also as takers of dreams. That's right they were meant to lure people to the West Coast so they could have those dreams smashed into pieces on the ground. And it looks like you bought into it. It looks like you bought it hook, line, and sinker--

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.

TOBIN MITNICK: --my friend, I'm sorry.

ANDY HILBRANDS: I would just like to remind you Tobin--


ANDY HILBRANDS: --you were lured out here too. You live here.

TOBIN MITNICK: No I came here by necessity, and I'm miserable.

MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHTER] Well this is an excellent time for Tobin to do his argument. Let's hear Tobin why we should be pining after pine trees.

TOBIN MITNICK: How uninspiring for a poet to be so uninspired. Oh my stars that scent what glorious olfactory sensation of butterscotch and pineapple is this? Aha of course, the preeminent pine. I feel my poetic gift returning.


Oh pine, you winking wooden creature of the morn whose limber boughs hath built my humble hut. Your sugary SAP doth make me feel newborn while gorging on your heavenly pine nut. Oh my ouchie stars. Yes even the pain of your plummeting pine cones is exquisite. Pines, the evergreen queens of my heart. How I Marvel at your tremendous trunks and bee needled branches thou selfless speechless Guardians of the planet.

While palms are off showboating at casinos, sucking every last drop of water from the parched Los Angeles soil, pines are taking sweet care of Mother Earth. In one year, a single adult pine tree absorbs almost 50 pounds of carbon dioxide, one of the gases in our atmosphere making global warming worse and our planet hotter. Many pines are also adapted to withstand forest fires, which are becoming more common because of climate change.

Some pine species can resprout very quickly after being burned, and for others, fire can actually help them spread their seeds. They use a sticky goo called resin to seal their seeds inside their cones. And when a fire sweeps through, the resin melts and the seeds go flying.

WOMAN: Holy smokes. I've been cooped up in that pine cone forever, and now it's finally time to see the world. I mean seed the world. This fire is fire man. It's giving me wings. Wee.

TOBIN MITNICK: Pines are also survivors. One of the oldest and toughest of them all, the bristlecone pine. Bristlecone pines are all-knowing trolls of the pine world. Their gnarled and short and known for their twisted branches which reach toward the sky like claws and they are extreme. They can handle frigid temperatures, bone dry soil and whipping winds for thousands of years.

One of the oldest living organisms on Earth is a bristlecone pine in nicknamed Methuselah. It's been alive for almost 5,000 years, which means it sprouted up in California before the pyramids of Giza were built in Egypt. I was so taken by the idea of Methuselah that I made a special pilgrimage to Inyo National Forest in California to see if I could find it.

I searched for hours inspecting each brilliant, beautiful bristlecone but soon the pines began to blend together. The dry air scratched at my lungs, the sun mocked me with its gaze. Even the mountain bluebird seemed to laugh at me with their song. Would I ever find this magnificent tree? I was on the brink of giving up when [GASPS] there it was.


I could hardly believe it. The only thing to do was to bow down before its mighty partially desiccated roots and weep, which I did twice.

WOMAN: All hail the mighty Methuselah.

TOBIN MITNICK: Because pine trees are thought to have mystical powers. In many cultures around the world, pine trees are seen as magical symbols of unity hope and everlasting life, especially in Japan. One of the most famous pines there is called the Yamaki pine. It was dug up and put in a pot around 400 years ago and passed down from generation to generation as a bonsai tree.

In 1945 when the American military dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima during World War II, the little tree survived. Later the Japanese made peace with the Americans and presented the tree as a gesture of friendship between the two nations. And that little pine also has a nickname, the peace tree of Hiroshima. It's still growing stronger than ever, and you can see it at the National Arboretum in Washington DC.

Whether Ponderosa pinyon or Vietnamese white pine, cultures around the world have honored these magnificent trees and for good reason. Pines are environmental rock stars, rough and tough survivors, and they exude a certain Je ne sais quoi. That's French for I don't know what but you know what I do know, pines are divine. Oh pine. How I pine for thee.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wow. Is there anything those pines can't do? A moving declaration--

ANDY HILBRANDS: Oh, I can think of a few things.

MOLLY BLOOM: --of greatness.

TOBIN MITNICK: What Andy? Name one thing. Name one thing. Name one thing they can't do?

ANDY HILBRANDS: Get hugged comfortably.

TOBIN MITNICK: Get hugged. I hug them all the time. I hug him all the time. I'm literally hugging a pine right now. It's really small.

MOLLY BLOOM: Taylor, what stood out to you about Tobin's argument there?


SUBJECT: I thought it was neat that one tree could absorb 50 pounds of carbon dioxide. And I did think it was cool that a bonsai tree survived a bomb. That was pretty crazy to me.

MOLLY BLOOM: It's pretty amazing. OK Andy it's your turn. You've got 30s to rebut Tobin and chop down team pine tree and your time starts now.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Thank you Tobin. You said that your pine tree can remove carbon dioxide. Well that's all trees. So yeah, thank you-- thank you for saying that again. Also Methusula-- there is also a palm tree called Methuselah which was germinated from a 2000-year-old seed, which is not being kept secret, you can go see it and hug it right now here in California.

Another thing you said that they are Oh, they're survivors and that they're helpful with fire. No they helped spread fire when they drop those needles, and then they dry, but what about the rest of the forest. What about the squirrels and the trees that have not adapted to withstand the fire. It's like having one person--

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.

ANDY HILBRANDS: --in the family car ride the AC up to 100.

TOBIN MITNICK: It doesn't go to 100, Andy.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Drive a newer car.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Taylor. It is time to award your points. Please give one point to the declaration of greatness you liked best and one point to the rebuttal that won you over. You get to decide what makes a winning argument. Did one team's jokes make you giggle. Was another team's logic to die for. Award your points, but don't tell us who's getting them. Both points go to the same person or each person could get a point. Have you made your decision Taylor?



MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. All right. Tobin and Andy how are you two feeling so far?

ANDY HILBRANDS: Pretty confident. I feel like Tobin is more bark than bite.

TOBIN MITNICK: Yeah that's nice. Yeah it's-- with real palm slap on the--

ANDY HILBRANDS: I don't have a pun. I don't have a pun for this.

TOBIN MITNICK: Wow. You know why, because palms aren't trees. We'll talk about it later.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh. All right. Take a minute to fan out your fronds. And don't get too sappy because we'll be right back with more Smash Boom Best.

WOMAN: You're listening to state of debate home to rage and rhetoric and awe inspiring argumentation.

TODD DOUGLAS: Howdy ho debate arinos. I'm Todd Douglas and I'm here with the ranch to my celery sticks.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Taylor Lincoln. And would you believe it, we just caught another logical fallacy.

TODD DOUGLAS: Logical fallacies are debate no nos that make your argument so, so much weaker.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: We just saw someone use the false dichotomy fallacy. That's when a person makes it seem like there are only two sides to an argument, even though there are many different sides.

TODD DOUGLAS: Check it out.

WOMAN: Hey, JoJo. Do you want an apple? They're delicious.

SUBJECT 2: No, thanks. I'm good.

WOMAN: What. You just hate apples?

SUBJECT 2: That's not what I said.

WOMAN: Well either you like them or you don't. If you don't want this apple, well you must really not like apples.

SUBJECT 2: Not true Jenny. I just had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and I'm still full.

WOMAN: Just admit you hate apples JoJo.

SUBJECT 2: Ex-squeeze me, that's a false dichotomy. Just because I don't want an apple right now doesn't necessarily mean I don't like them. I'm just too full. And there could be lots of other reasons I don't want an apple. Like maybe I just brushed my teeth or I only like Granny Smith's or maybe I'm allergic.

WOMAN: Oh whoopsie Daisy. My bad. Sorry for getting ahead of myself. This should be a fallacy-free friendship.

SUBJECT 2: No worries. Save me an apple for later.

WOMAN: You got it.

TODD DOUGLAS: JoJo stopped that false dichotomy fallacy in its tracks.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Right. Things are rarely black and white. There are usually lots of different sides to a story or an argument.

TODD DOUGLAS: And in this case, many different sides to a snack. Speaking of, I've got a hankering for a Honeycrisp.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Ooh. Make that two tickets to crunch town. We'll catch you next time on--

BOTH: State of debate.


MAN: Smash Boom Best.

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

SUBJECT: And I'm your judge, Taylor.

MOLLY BLOOM: And we love getting debate suggestions from our listeners. Take a listen to this delightfully creative debate idea from Ronin.

BOY: My debate idea is painting versus drawing.

SUBJECT: What an awesomely artful idea.

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

SUBJECT: And now it's back to today's debate palm trees versus pine trees.

MOLLY BLOOM: That's right. And it's time for round two, the micro round. For the micro round, challenge, each team has prepared a creative response to a prompt they received in advance. Today's micro round is called letter to the editor. We asked Andy and Tobin to write a letter to the editor complaining about the other side. Andy went first last time so Tobin you're up. Let's hear you pontificate about the problems with palms.

TOBIN MITNICK: Dear sir as I sit here in the shade of my Eastern white pine whose tree rings tell the entire story of my life since grandpappy planted it on the day of my birth, I feel ashamed to be a subscriber to your once esteemed publication, in an article dated this Tuesday last, a reporter under your journalistic jurisdiction repeatedly referred to a certain large monocotyledon, that means a grasslike plant, as a palm tree.

After lifting my jaw up off the floor and reattaching it to my zygoma, that means my skull, I said to myself, is this fellow mad. Let us set aside the issue of shade of which palms have none and the fantastic falsehoods of which palms have many. I will even overlook the palms fabled reputation as a luxury resort for rats. And it is well known that I despise rats. No sir, the great sin of your publication is to label the palms as trees, which they are not.

Trees have growth rings. They are great emissaries from the past who bestow us with invaluable wisdom of days gone by. But palms have no growth rings, therefore they have no memory and, therefore, they have no wisdom to impart. Does this sound like a tree to you? I beg you to relabel these pitiful pretenders correctly as palm plants.

But let it be known that should you blaspheme the name of tree again, you will be hearing from my lawyers at Linden, Hawthorne and Pine LLC. Sincerely. Outraged in Ontario.

ANDY HILBRANDS: I never lived in Ontario but--

TOBIN MITNICK: I love a liberation.

ANDY HILBRANDS: So Tobin, your argument is labels.

TOBIN MITNICK: Yeah it's a process argument.

ANDY HILBRANDS: It's a 2023, sir.

TOBIN MITNICK: It's a process argument. That's how our country works.

ANDY HILBRANDS: So is Chris Pine not a human because he doesn't grow pine cones because he-- I mean your label system is just baffling to me.

TOBIN MITNICK: It's relatable, Andy.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK. Andy, it's your turn. Please share why you might whine about pines.


ANDY HILBRANDS: Dear Editor, Preston the poodle here. I'm writing this while my human is sound asleep, which is really hard because I don't have human thumbs. Recently human loaded me into their car and said we're going to be one with nature. Never met nature but seems like they could be pretty chill. Let me tell you I was sorely mistaken.

We went somewhere called the forest and it was filled with these giant spiky things called pine trees. Talk about barking up the wrong tree. Pines are paw-ful. They make this super sticky stuff called sap that gets everywhere, especially when you're a curious good boy such as myself. It got in my fur, and on my paws. Preston, how could it get worse, you ask.

Curiosity isn't just for cats so I thought, why not try nibbling on some of those dry pokey sticks under the tree. My human called them needles. Needles are the worst part of the vet. Why would I want them on my walk? Not to mention, they totally gave my tummy the worst bellyache.

So now I'm inside eating rice while my human is down by the lake pretending to fish while taking selfies when he should be on the phone with my dog groomer Esteban. I'm sure the forest has some positives. But on a scale of K 1 to K 9, I give it a zero. Belly rubs forever. Preston the poodle.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wow. That dog does not--


MOLLY BLOOM: --like pine trees at all.


TOBIN MITNICK: I'm not going to trust the dog with anything.



TOBIN MITNICK: I don't know.


TOBIN MITNICK: You did use the pun paw-ful in there. I just want to-- I just want to point that out.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Yeah. It was a tree-umph.


MOLLY BLOOM: The puns are coming fast and furious. OK Taylor what stood out to you about those two micro rounds.

SUBJECT: I noticed that in Tobin's argument, he was talking about how they're not trees because they don't have rings. And I thought that was interesting and I never thought about that. Probably because I've never cut down a pine-- a palm tree. Then in Andy's argument he said that sap can be messy and it sounded like my dog.

MOLLY BLOOM: So you have some experience with that. Just a little clarifying point about the palm trees is that they are more closely related to grass than pine trees. Interesting fact. OK Taylor it's time to award a point but don't tell us who it's going to. Who made you laugh, who crammed in more facts, who wrote the sassiest letter. The criteria are totally up to you. Have you made your decision?

SUBJECT: Yes, I have.


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


MOLLY BLOOM: Sneak attack. This is our improv round where debaters have to respond to a challenge on the spot. Today's sneak attack is called genre replay. Andy and Tobin, for this challenge, we want you to come up with one stellar sentence making a case for your side. Then we'll give you three different genres and you'll say that same sentence again in the style of each genre. Andy and Tobin, does that make sense?



MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. All right, the last round, Tobin went first, so we're going to start with you, Andy. First let's hear your sentence about calm palms just plain, normal, straight ahead.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Palms have had an important symbolic role in a variety of cultures.


ANDY HILBRANDS: I already regret my choice.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right. Now let's hear that same sentence, but this time as if it were in an opera.

TOBIN MITNICK: Palms have had important symbolic roles in a variety of cultures.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, wow. Check out that lung capacity. Very impressive.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Who said that? All I see are stars. Where am I?

TOBIN MITNICK: I blacked out.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK. Now Tobin, it's your turn. Please give us your sentence for pines on its own.

TOBIN MITNICK: Our future depends on pine trees.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, wonderful. Now let's hear that sentence as if it was in a Disney Princess movie.

TOBIN MITNICK: Our future depends on pine trees.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Wow. You are really branching out there.

TOBIN MITNICK: I don't know.

MOLLY BLOOM: Were you the sidekick or the princess?

SUBJECT: All of the Disney movies are so different, though.

MOLLY BLOOM: It's true.

TOBIN MITNICK: That's completely correct. Taylor points out that they're all genres in and of themselves. So it was difficult to pick.

MOLLY BLOOM: So true. So true. OK excellent work. Now Andy it's your turn again. How about a bone-chilling thriller.

ANDY HILBRANDS: What is that? I'm so scared. All I need is an important symbolic role in my culture. Hawk.

Over there. Is that a palm tree?

MOLLY BLOOM: Nicely done. OK Tobin, how about your line as a slapstick comedy.

TOBIN MITNICK: [LAUGHS] Our future ain't going to be the best if you don't got the pine trees.


MOLLY BLOOM: Got me. I enjoyed it. All right, Andy. Last one. One more time but as a superhero movie.

ANDY HILBRANDS: The aliens are here. The aliens are here. The only thing that can combat the aliens are something of an important symbolic role in our culture. But what is that coming out of the sand?

Fear not people of Earth. I am the palm tree.

But you're not a tree.

Oh but for a symbol I may be a strong tall piece of grass but a tree is what you believe me to be so a tree is what I shall be.

MOLLY BLOOM: Nicely done. The hero to save us all. OK, Tobin. Last one. It's time to hear it in the style of a Broadway musical.

TOBIN MITNICK: Hey, kids. Have you seen this tree? Let me show you this tree go down to the market pick up some trees because the future if you want it--

We want it. We want it. We want it. We want it.

Ain't going to be the same if you don't got the pines. Don't got the pines, don't got the pines, don't got the pines.

We got the pines.

We got the pines.


ANDY HILBRANDS: Could you imagine going to Broadway for two hours and never having the songs rhyme.


TOBIN MITNICK: It's called Stephen Sondheim.

SUBJECT: I have to say I was waiting for the high note in the opera.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well you know sometimes we got basses. We got basses we got tenors. We got all the range here.

ANDY HILBRANDS: That's right.

TOBIN MITNICK: Andy what are you? A baritone?

ANDY HILBRANDS: Don't try to label me. What's up with you and labels today?

TOBIN MITNICK: Sorry Barry tenor. Barry tenor.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK Taylor it is time to award a point to the side that impressed you the most. Again the criteria are completely up to you. It is completely subjective. Have you made your decision?

SUBJECT: Yes, I have.


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

The final six.

In this round, each team will have just six words to sum up the glory of their side. Tobin let's hear your six words for why pines are absolutely divine.

TOBIN MITNICK: Palm plants. Palm plants. Palm plants.

ANDY HILBRANDS: If you say that into a mirror, a palm tree appears in your back yard.

MOLLY BLOOM: Ooh. OK Andy it's your turn. Give us your final 6 to keep palm and carry on.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Palms no qualms, pine just asinine.


MOLLY BLOOM: Oh my goodness.

TOBIN MITNICK: The idea of a tree being asinine is wonderful. Thank you.

MOLLY BLOOM: Do you know what the word asinine means?


MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, it means foolish. Asinine means foolish.


MOLLY BLOOM: Despite the first syllable, it is not a swear word. OK Taylor tough decision. It's time to award your final point. Have you made your decision?

SUBJECT: I have.


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

SUBJECT: Yes, I am.

MOLLY BLOOM: Drumroll please. And the winner is palm trees.


TOBIN MITNICK: This is a terrible day it's a terrible way to be.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Oh my goodness.

TOBIN MITNICK: Seems wild.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Tobin you are in for a root awakening.

TOBIN MITNICK: Am I having a worse dream than I did last night, which was a nightmare.


TOBIN MITNICK: Wow. Incredible.

MOLLY BLOOM: Taylor was there a moment that decided things for you. Like what pushed it over the edge there.

SUBJECT: The final six. I just felt like--

TOBIN MITNICK: Wow, incredible.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Buzzer beater.

SUBJECT: I just felt like pine tree-- it was a little repetitive.

MOLLY BLOOM: Mhm. Didn't take full advantage of the six words--


MOLLY BLOOM: --available maybe.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Got a good ear on you. Yeah.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well this was a very close debate. It was tied to the end, it sounds like Taylor.


MOLLY BLOOM: You had a very tough decision but you did an excellent job. This was a great debate.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Tobin it was an absolute pleasure to debate you. When I found out we were debating and I looked you up when I tell you that I had to go back into the archives and double my research efforts and triple check everything, it was because you bring such a focus and passion to trees that I know I really had to really put all of my effort into it.

MOLLY BLOOM: And what did you learn about pine trees that you find maybe they're not so bad after all.

ANDY HILBRANDS: They're just everywhere. You can build a house from them. And I mean, honestly the removal of carbon dioxide, that is something pretty special.

TOBIN MITNICK: I thought that everything that Andy did today was pretty hilarious because Andy is really funny and he's a great writer. And I found the argument of the dog really funny. And also the idea that just people don't have to take palm trees all that seriously all the time. It's completely fine if they want to remind you of a special place or being at the beach because we all have those moments that we go to in our heads and wish we were when we're in difficult places. Maybe when we're having a tough day. And for that reason palms are really important and Andy reminded me of that today.

MOLLY BLOOM: That's lovely. Well that's it for today's debate battle. Taylor crowned palm trees the Smash Boom Best but what about you?

SUBJECT: 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.


Andy is there anyone you'd like to give a shout out to today?

ANDY HILBRANDS: I would. My wife is currently traveling to New York so she's 30,000ft in the sky. So have a safe flight.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh and how about you Tobin. Any special shout outs?

TOBIN MITNICK: I'd love to get a shout out to pine trees because I let you guys down. But also my two daughters whom I love and who are going to start listening to Smash Boom Best soon I hope.


ANDY HILBRANDS: You can never let them listen to this episode.

TOBIN MITNICK: Not this one.


MOLLY BLOOM: And Taylor, do you want to give any special thanks or shout outs?

SUBJECT: I want to say thank you to Molly Marc Sandin and Rosie for giving me the opportunity to judge this episode. I love all the Brains On [INAUDIBLE].

MOLLY BLOOM: Aww, Taylor.

SUBJECT: And I'd like to thank my mom for taking me to the two Brains On live events I went to and this taping. My dad because when I told him about this, he tried to understand what it was. And my little brother, Tanner, for being my favorite little brother and my only little brother but pretty good.

MOLLY BLOOM: Before we go, let's check in with and see who he thinks should be in his painting versus drawing debate.

BOY: I think drawing should win because it's so much easier and all you need is a paper and pencil.

MOLLY BLOOM: Ronin's got a point. Do you have an idea for a knock down drag out debate. Head to and tell us about it. We'll be back with a new debate battle next week. Bye Bye.



ANDY HILBRANDS: Tobin would you want to split a cryogenic chamber with me?

TOBIN MITNICK: Is that what Frozen two is about. We haven't watched it yet in my house.


SUBJECT: No it's not.

TOBIN MITNICK: Oh OK. Well then I'm not watching.

ANDY HILBRANDS: It's probably about the journeys the sisterhood.

SUBJECT: It's about a forest and trees.



TOBIN MITNICK: OK, I'll watch it.

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