We hope you’re ready for some fashion bashin’, because today’s debate is a rumble between the tips of your toes and the top of your head! One protects us from the sun and the other makes tan lines that are so much fun. It’s Top Hats vs. Flip Flops! Top-notch editor and Brains On! co-creator Sanden Totten will be repping top hats, while comedian and writer Max Maliga will defend flip flops. Which adorable adornment will come out on top, Top Hats or Flip Flops? 

Vote below for the team YOU think won!

Also… do you have your Smarty Pass yet?? Get yours today for just $4/month (or $36/year) and get bonus episodes every month, and ad-free versions of every episode of Brains On, Smash Boom Best, Moment of Um, and Forever Ago. Visit www.smartypass.org to get your Smarty Pass today!

As an added bonus, your Smarty Pass will grant you access to a super special debate starring Sanden and Molly!

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. I hope you're ready for some fashion bashin' because today's debate is a rumble between the tip of your toes and the top of your heads.

One protects you from the sun, and the other makes tan lines that are so much fun. It's top hats versus flip-flops. In one corner, we've got top notch editor and Brains On co-creator, Sanden Totten, reppin top hats.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Hello. Hello. Welcome, everyone, to the big show. Hi. I'm donning a top hat right now to greet you all as you entered this fantastic debate.

MOLLY BLOOM: Fancy. And in the other, we've got comedian and writer Max Maliga, defending flip-flops.

MAX MALIGA: Oh, wow, such a nice summer day. It's a total flip-flop weather, right? I mean, it's so nice to imagine how many people are wearing flip-flops out there right now.

MOLLY BLOOM: And here to judge it all, we have he Andrew from Los Angeles. He used to play an average of 12 hours of Minecraft a day when he was younger. He once tripped on the American flag. And for a very brief window of time, our very own Andrew went viral on TikTok. Hey, Andrew.

ANDREW: Hi, Molly.

MOLLY BLOOM: So, Andrew, what were you doing that you ended up tripping on the American flag?

ANDREW: I was actually giving a speech for my middle school valedictorian, and I tripped on the flag twice during the speech. And it fell once, too.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, no. Wait, what was it like when you were walking up to the podium to give the speech?

ANDREW: Nope, it was during the speech. So, not amazing, but--

MAX MALIGA: Oh my gosh.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well, I think we should all say, though, congratulations on being valedictorian. That's a very big accomplishment.

MAX MALIGA: And on tripping on a flag while standing still. That's hard to do.

SANDEN TOTTEN: That flag was probably star struck. That's why it got in your way. It was like, valedictorian, can I shake your hand?

MOLLY BLOOM: Totally. Well, will Andrew flip his lid for top hats, or will he step up for flip-flops? There's no telling. Andrew, are you ready to judge today's debate?

ANDREW: Yes, I think so.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. 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 Six. After each round, our judge, Andrew, will award points to the team that impresses him the most.

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, smashboom,org and vote for whichever team you think won. All right, Sanden and Max, are you ready?

SANDEN TOTTEN: Oh, yeah, ready.

MAX MALIGA: So ready to flip this flop, baby.

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

SYNTHESIZED VOICE: Declaration of Greatness.

MOLLY BLOOM: In this round, our debaters will present a deep and delightful argument in favor of their side. Then, they'll each have 30 seconds to rebut their opponent's statements. We flipped a coin, and Sanden, you're up first. Tell us why top hats have you brimming with joy.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Before this debate, I bought the coolest used top hat off some mysterious stranger in a dark alley. Dark alleys always have the best deals. Let's just take this puppy out of the box, and--

HATTO: Oh, it feels good to get out of that cramped space. It's like a New York City apartment in there.

SANDEN TOTTEN: A talking hat?

HATTO: Correction, I'm Hatto, a magical hat. I talk. I sing. It's me, hi. I'm the top hat. It's me. I dance. Oh, and I tell jokes. What's the difference between a calendar and someone in sandals?


HATTO: The calendar has a date.


HATTO: Too much?

SANDEN TOTTEN: Harsh, but accurate. Anyway, so excited you're here. I'm telling the world why top hats are top tier. For starters, you're super stylish.

HATTO: Oh, we're the height of fashion, darling. We first got popular in the early 1800s before cars or radios or electricity, but not before influencers. Some historians think the very first fashion influencer was an English chap named George Beau Brummell.

VOICE ACTOR AS GEORGE BEAU BRUMMEL: Howdy ho. 'Tis I, Beau Brummel. I don't need selfies to get attention. My outfits are enough. But I would love for everyone to look at me. Everyone, look at me.

HATTO: Brummel was so influential, even Prince George IV admired his looks.

VOICE ACTOR AS GEORGE BEAU BRUMMEL: And hat I loved to sport? The top hat, of course.

HATTO: Soon after top hats were worn by other icons, like circus dude PT Barnum, dance Maverick Fred Astaire, and even President Lincoln.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Oh, yeah, he was like 6 feet 4 inches tall, but famously wore a stovepipe top hat to be even taller.

VOICE ACTOR AS ABRAHAM LINCOLN: Now, I am 4 score and 7 feet or so.

HATTO: Yes, Lincoln knew top hats make the look. Fashion, darling. Fashion.

SANDEN TOTTEN: You know, Hatto, I always thought top hats were for the mega rich, like the monopoly guy or Scrooge McDuck.

HATTO: Ugh, such an outdated stereotype. Think of a rich person now. Some tech company CEO or reality TV diva, you're more likely to see them in a hoodie and sandals than a stylish topper like me. No, today, top hats are for adding flair to a look. That's why musicians love us.

Taylor Swift likes to sport one. Guns N' Roses guitarist, Slash, always wears his. Plus, we add charm and excitement to fictional characters, like Willy Wonka, Alice in Wonderland's Mad Hatter, and Frosty, the snowman.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Oh, yeah, Frosty was just a normal snowman. And then, there must have been some magic in that old top hat they found. For when they placed it on his head, he began to dance around. Wait, hold up. Was that--

HATTO: Guilty. Frosty was always cold, but I made him cool.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Whoa. Wait, so if I put you on something, that thing will be able to talk and dance?


SANDEN TOTTEN: Double wait. If I put you on me, would I be able to talk and dance?

HATTO: You already can.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Wow, you're good.

HATTO: Well, top hats are known for their magic. It's said that in 1814, French magician Luis Conte was the first to do something iconic with top hats.

VOICE ACTOR AS LUIS CONTE: Behold, my hat. It's just your average, terribly stylish top hat, until I reach in and pull out a rabbit.

HATTO: A rabbit from his hat? Amazing.

MAN: I can pull something amazing from my sandal. Watch.

HATTO: That's just a gross Band-Aid you pulled off your toe. Today, magicians use top hats to pull out birds or ribbons or to make things disappear. So not only are we fashionable, we're performers.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Amazing. Top hats create unforgettable looks. They make fictional characters more fun, and they even do magic tricks.

HATTO: And let's not forget, you can fill us with kittens, store snacks in us, drink from us, or just use us as a hat. That's fine, too.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Yeah. Compared to all that, sandals are just a flip-flop.

MOLLY BLOOM: Declaration of greatness, but make it fashion. Well done, Sanden. Andrew, what stood out to you about Sanden's declaration of greatness?

ANDREW: I really like the part about how it got popular before everything, and it was like the first fashion influencers statement piece. I think that was really cool. Then, I loved the joke about the calendar.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Oh, yeah, that top hat was a little mean. I wouldn't sink so low, but Hatto, you know, it's not afraid--

MAX MALIGA: Sure. Sure.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Hatto is not afraid to go there.

MAX MALIGA: Sure, sure, sure. Yeah, Hatto's just one letter away from hater, right?

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh. All right, Max, it's time for your rebuttal. You've got 30 seconds to top top hats, and your time starts now.

MAX MALIGA: Wow, could you feel that sense of overconfidence, exclusivity, really full of themselves? Oh, I'm so great. I'm so magical. First off, no way was that the height of fashion. They mentioned the term height of fashion. Absolutely not. I mean, look at it now. That is just so out of date.

Talk about being out of date, of course. And what century do the dates you go on? I don't know. But nowadays, we have outdoor dates, where we want to get to know people, and you can wear your flip-flops on a date. There's no problem with that. It's not, everyone, look at me. Look at this fake person that I am. I'm not trying--

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.

MAX MALIGA: I got so much more to go here. Can we just do another 30 seconds.

MOLLY BLOOM: 30 seconds sure flies, when you've got a lot--

MAX MALIGA: Insecurity.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Think you stubbed your toe on the time limit there.

MAX MALIGA: Yeah. Yeah, my toe is fine. It feels really good. It's loose and airy.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well, wonderful. I know you have so much more to say. So, please, Max, tell us why flip-flops are so fantastic.

MAX MALIGA: So I was flip flopping around the boardwalk the other day, taking in that sweet beachy breeze, when I overheard this scroogiest dude ever.

MORTIMER: Summertime is the absolute worst. The warm weather seems to rile up the commoners. All these children running around and playing makes me sick.

MAYA: Hey, Great Uncle Mortimer, over here.

MORTIMER: Oh, dear. Maya, you've grown quite a bit since I saw you last. I find it unsettling. Nice to see you, too? Want to go have a picnic on the beach?

MORTIMER: Absolutely not. I might get sand on my knee highs, and the water is so wet. Plus, I always try to keep my skin as pale as possible.

MAYA: No problem. Let's go walk on the pier.

ICE CREAM VENDOR: Ice cream. Get your ice cream. Today only, 100% free. Only an elitist would say no.

MAYA: Oh, everyone loves ice cream.

MORTIMER: Not me. It's so cold and creamy and sweet.

MAYA: If you say so. Oh, look, Great Uncle Mortimer, a roller coaster. Want to go for a ride?

MORTIMER: Yes. That's acceptable. I like to look down on the riff raff from above.

TICKET VENDOR: Tickets, tickets over here. Wait a minute, this guy is too tall for this ride.

MAYA: Oh, he's just wearing a really tall hat. Great Uncle Mortimer, take off your top hat.

MORTIMER: And embarrass myself among these plebeians? I think not. Excuse me, coaster attendant, do you know where I can safely count my suitcase of gold bars?

MAYA: Why do you have a suitcase filled with gold?

MORTIMER: I think the real question is, why don't you?

ANDREW: Now, that beach day could have been so chill, but it wasn't. It never is with haters, I mean, hatters, like Great Uncle Mortimer. We all know the type-- wealth hoarders trying to look 5 inches taller than they are. Think Ebenezer Scrooge, Uncle Sam, Scrooge McDuck, and the Monopoly Man, whose real name, by the way, is Rich Uncle Pennybags.

This is who wears top hats. Flip-flops , on the other hand, are the funnest, most practical, most psychologically beneficial footwear in the universe. Who wears flip-flops? Almost everybody. And flip-flops are so affordable, you can even find them at the dollar store.

And you can slip them on faster than I can say top hats are elitist, man. Plus, they've been around forever. The ancient Egyptians were the first to wear flip-flops nearly 6,000 years ago. Top hats were only a thing for, like, 200 years. Plus, they were mostly only worn in Europe and the US.

Flip-flops, on the other foot, are popular around the world. In New Zealand, they call them jandals. In South Africa, they're pluggers, in India, the chappal. Go to the Philippines, and they're tsinela. In Latin America, la chancla. And flip-flops aren't just a global sensation.

Experts also say that they're good for your mental health. Flip-flops liberate us from formality, says Debbie Mandell, a stress management specialist. When donning flip-flops, you are telling yourself that how to relax and have fun, and it's time for recess. Wow, recess. She actually mentions recess. Quick audience survey here. Do you all like recess? So do I, and so does my nephew Arlo.

ARLO: I've got so much to do. I've got to give my cat a bath, bite off all my nails, make some passive-aggressive comments to my cousin, and bring my rich uncle's top hat to the cleaners.

MAN: Hey, dude, looks like you could use a pair of flip-flops.

ARLO: Whoa. To-do list. More like, to-don't list. Am I right?

MAX MALIGA: Plus, there's something so satisfying about that slapping sound. And that's exactly where flip-flops get their name. A flip-flop is an onomatopoeia. An onomatopoeia is a word that represents a sound, like moo, buzz, quack, pop, crack, and splat. Onomatopoeias are fun. I like fun. What about you, Uncle Mortimer? Do you like fun?

MORTIMER: 99 bars of gold on the wall. 99 bars of gold. Fun. No, I don't like fun. I just like money.

MAX MALIGA: Typical top hatter. Fat cats in the worst way. Too bad. Because there's more to life than money.

MOLLY BLOOM: I said a flip-flop, the flippy, the flippy to the flip, flip-flop, and you can't stop the flip-flop. Nice job, Max. Very nice argument. Andrew, what stood out to you about Max's declaration of greatness?

ANDREW: I really liked the part about how psychologically beneficial because you would never, at first glance, think flip-flops are psychologically beneficial. I think that was a really cool fact.

SANDEN TOTTEN: I'd like to see the peer-reviewed study on that one.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Sanden, it's time for your rebuttal. You've got 30 seconds to prove that flip-flops are the pair to beware. And your time starts now.

SANDEN TOTTEN: OK, so that was a lot of anti-top hat slander, based on some really out of date and offensive stereotypes. I don't know if you're Bigfoot lobbyist who paid you to do that is just up with the times, but that whole thing of like rich people wearing top hats is so out of style.

And I would hate for the youth of today to fall victim to that old stereotype. You know who is wearing sandals? Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, all the rich people out there on their yachts are wearing sandals. So if you want to talk about elitist, start with the footwear of the rich and famous, OK?

Also, there have been studies that show that when people walk around on the streets, they get all sorts of gross stuff on their feet, including the E coli.

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.

SANDEN TOTTEN: You got E coli on your sandaled foot. Bring that inside your house.



MAX MALIGA: Wow. First off, I'm not worried about getting E coli on my foot. Second off, Jesus, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Beyonce, Shakira, Cleopatra, Oprah Winfrey, all these people, these incredible figures in history have worn flip-flops.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Then, why did you have to go for been wearing inaccurate stereotype of rich people if you're so well-versed on what people wear.

MAX MALIGA: That's the representation.

SANDEN TOTTEN: That is a representation from 200 years ago.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wasn't expecting this to become a socioeconomic smackdown, but it is. So Andrew, it is time to award your points. We're going to 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 persuasive 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 they're going to. Both points could go to the same person or each person could get a point. Andrew, have you made your decision?


MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Max and Sanden, how are you two feeling so far?

SANDEN TOTTEN: I'm feeling very attacked right now.

MAX MALIGA: Wow, I feel-- it's so funny. No, I feel great. I mean, how many more good things can you say about top hats? I feel like there's really a cap on it.


SANDEN TOTTEN: Well, sandal has the word dull in it. Top hats have the word top. You do the English.

MAX MALIGA: Right. Up at the top. We're up at the top, feeling attacked up here at the top, right there.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, take a moment to rest your head and wiggle your toes.

ANDREW: Because we'll be right back with more Smash Boom Best.

SYNTHESIZED VOICE: You're listening to state of debate, home to rage and rhetoric and awe-inspiring argumentation.

TAYLOR: Hey, debaters. Taylor Lincoln here with my debate dude, Todd Douglas.

TODD: Taylor, I'm eavesdropping on a conversation between two dads at the park.

TAYLOR: Are they arguing?

TODD: It sounds pretty tense, and one of them is leaning heavily on a logical fallacy, a debate mistake that makes an argument easy to defeat.

TAYLOR: Uh-oh. Are they discussing how much screen time is too much or which Montessori preschool is the best?

TODD: Worse. You'll see. Come with me to the splash pad.

DAD 1: It's just been so tough to keep the kids entertained since school ended, but there's one thing that's been helping so much.

DAD 2: Giant ball pits.

DAD 1: Books.

DAD 2: George, books, really?

DAD 1: Good old fashioned word fun.

DAD 2: No, no, no, no, no. Absolutely everyone is buying giant ball pits for your home. Literally, everyone. They are so much better than books because everyone has one.

DAD 1: Gosh, are you sure? They seem so lavish. I don't know.

DAD 2: Your family will not be happy with that one because everyone has one, so you need one or your family will just turn into a big pile of frowns all day. Frowns for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Terrible.

TODD: Wow, being a parent seems tough.

TAYLOR: Yeah, especially when others use the pesky bandwagon effect to try to pressure you into things.

TODD: The bandwagon fallacy assumes that something is true or better, just because it's popular or widely accepted.

TAYLOR: Let's all keep that in mind next time when we feel pressure to buy something because everyone has one.

TODD: But Taylor, I want a giant ball pit.

TAYLOR: I'll see what I can do. Catch you next time on State of Debate.

MAN: Best. Boom.

WOMAN: Smash.

MAN: Boom. Best.

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

ANDREW: And I'm your judge, Andrew.

MOLLY BLOOM: And we love getting debate suggestions from our listeners. Check out this sweet debate idea from Bryce.

BRYCE: Hi. My name is Bryce, and I'm from Washington DC. My debate idea is maple syrup versus jelly.

ANDREW: That sounds and tastes like a good idea to me.

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

ANDREW: And now, it's back to today's debate-- top hats versus flip-flops.

MOLLY BLOOM: That's right. And it's time for round 2, the--


MOLLY BLOOM: For the Micro Round challenge, each team has prepared a creative response to an assignment they received in advance. Today's micro round is alien infomercial. For this challenge, we asked Max and Sanden to pretend that they're a member of an alien species, and they've just discovered flip-flops or top hats, respectively.

Now, they need to make an alien infomercial, trying to sell their side. Sanden went first last time, so Max, you're up. Show us an alien encounter of the commercial side for team flip-flops.

WOMAN: OK, Danny, rainbow flip-flops is running a big advertising campaign, and the geniuses in marketing asked the public for submissions. It's our job to watch all the submissions and pick the best one.

DANNY: This first one is from Joe Barr Flakbrewed, live human person. I'm not sure why they included that last part, but OK.

JOE BARR FLAKBREWED: Is it on? OK. Hi there. Look at you. You are big and tired and definitely human like me. Don't you want things to change? Yes, of course, you do. You are so big and so tired. Here is a flip-flop. Yes, you heard me flip-flop. It do everything. Look, here we go.

Watch this. You can pretend to make phone call. Hello? Yes, it's Joe Barr. No, I don't have your human pants, Alky Star. Why would I have those? Or maybe you find an Earth bug in your house and you're thinking, oh, boy, geez, better do something. Flip-flop becomes tiny squishy couch for Earth bug to relax on. Or how about this?

Imagine you are important human judge, and you've come to a big decision. But you can't find a gavel. Flip-flop hammer time. Or maybe you are stuck on an alien planet because you crash land, and you just want to go home, so you enter a bunch of human video contests, hoping other aliens monitoring Earth TV will see you and pick you up.

DANNY: I'm sorry, ma'am. Let's hope they're not all that bad.

WOMAN: Bad? That was incredible. Tell that little weirdo they're hired. We've got a commercial to shoot.

MOLLY BLOOM: Very clever to use contests to contact your home planet. Side note, I have killed flies with my flip-flop before.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Have you tried disappearing them into a top hat? They just vanish magically.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Sanden, it's your turn. How would aliens sell top hats?

DEALSBOT 3000: Hi, intergalactic TV viewers. It's me, Dealsbot 3000, the self-aware robot from the planet Janet. I searched the entire universe for one thing-- fresh worlds to conquer. Just kidding. I'm looking for deals, deals, deals. And have I got a deal for you.

It's from some backwater clump of dirt called Earth. Terrible place. Don't visit. But they do have one piece of technology that lit up my motherboard. It's called top hat. Focus your cameras on this beauty right here. Now you may be saying, Dealsbot 3000, I love it already. But what does it do?

Well, just put it on your noggin, and it acts like a shield against rain. It also makes you look super tall. So your enemies cower in fear. Plus, top hat also comes with built-in portable portal technology. Yes, sir. I saw earthlings disappear things into top hat and pull new things out, like it was some kind of miniature black hole.

Amazing, right? How does it work? I don't know. I'm Dealsbot 3000, not Applied Physics bot 3000. Come on. I just know it is awesome. So get your very own top hat for the low price of 39.99 intergalactic space units today or suffer the consequences of not having top hat.

MOLLY BLOOM: Dealsbot 3000 is very persuasive.

SANDEN TOTTEN: AI is taking all our jobs. Geez.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Andrew, please tell me, what did you like about these two excellent infomercials? What stood out to you?

ANDREW: I definitely liked for flip-flops contacting the home planet part. It was really funny. And then I also like the boss discussion, and threatening to get the top hats, that was really funny.

MOLLY BLOOM: I agree. All right, Andrew you have to award a point for this wonderful Micro Round. The criteria are totally up to you. Did one of them really pitch you? Is it a product you want to buy? Did someone slip some facts in? Did someone make you laugh? Totally subjective. Totally up to you. Have you made your decision?

ANDREW: I think I have.

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


MOLLY BLOOM: This is our improv round, where debaters have to respond to a challenge on the spot. And today's Sneak Attack is called, Oscar-winning moment. For this challenge, we want you to pretend that your side is the big star of the next best blockbuster movie.

Make up a scene on the spot that deserves an Oscar nom. Maybe it's dramatic, thrilling, or a love story for the ages. It's up to you. Before you start, please tell us a bit about the movie, your character, and where this speech is happening in the story. Does that make sense?



MOLLY BLOOM: Sanden, you are up first. Let's hear top hats magnificent movie monologue.

SANDEN TOTTEN: OK. So this is one of those classic stories. There's a school, and all the kids there love the school. They have the best teachers, but the school is in danger of shutting down. Why? Because a big beach plans to take over the school front and just make it a huge sandals resort and casino.

But they're like, no, if we can raise enough money and put on a really good show, we can keep the school going and all the little kids can continue to get their education. So the protagonist of the story, Tiny Todrick, just giving a little speech to rally everybody before the big show, OK? Here he goes.

MAX MALIGA: And all the kids are wearing top hats, right?

SANDEN TOTTEN: Oh, you'll see. You'll see.

MAX MALIGA: OK. OK. OK. Can't wait. Can't wait.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Tiny Todrick. All right, class, here we are on the precipice of a big moment. If we can put on the best show ever, we will save our school, and we'll continue to learn about cool things, like facts about elephants and facts about other things that aren't elephants.

But if this shows a flip-flop, well, then, it's over. And we'll all just have to go back to our regular lives of not learning about elephants and other things that aren't elephants that are amazing school here. So what are we going to do? How are we going to get the school to just be saved by this amazing show we've got planned? Should we just put on flip-flops and go out there and just give it, I don't know, 20%?

No, we got to give it 100%.

Then, what could we possibly do to show people that we care, that we're trying, that this is going to be a show worth remembering something special?

Try a top hat.

A top hat? What a great idea. I mean, it evokes magic. It evokes style. It evokes that you are in the safe hands of a seasoned performer, even though, I, Todrick, the tiny. I'm only 6 and 1/2 years old, and I know many facts about elephants and other things that aren't elephants, I can put on a good show.

And so, I'll grab this top hat here from this closet full of props, put it on. And you know what? I'm going to give him the best dang show that anyone has ever seen about things that are elephants and also not elephants. Let's go, everybody. Let's tap dance. Let's do magic. Let's sing and let's raise money to save our school. Yes.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wow. Top hats' really coming out to save the day. What a dramatic moment. What a beautiful moment. All right. It is your turn. Please, let's hear your Oscar-worthy performance for flip-flops.

MAX MALIGA: OK, here we go. So setting the scene here. I don't know if this, but the term mad as a hatter comes from the poor people who had to stitch hats together, these top hats together. And they used mercury in those factories, and so they would get mercury poisoning.

And their brains would deteriorate. And so, they had to work in these factories to build these hats for these rich people. And so that's where we are, in a top hat factory, in England, building top hats for the rich. OK, here we go.

My fellow employees, I stand before you as a man who knows about sickness and who has seen his family suffer from these hatters, who have pushed us down and stomped on us. Well, now, it's our chance to fight back. Let's put on our flip-flops and rub our sweaty arms together.

And together, we can overthrow this unjust system and have tea and crumpets and go out for delicious snacks in our flip-flops to the beach and rest with the waves crashing on us and actually bring meaning to our small lives in this unfit universe. Who is with me on this fine day?

I am.

I am.

I'm sorry I don't know what's going on. Are we talking about peaches?

No, Darryl, we're talking about top hats and the whole making of the--

Oh, yes, I am as well involved.

Fantastic. Then today, we stand strong, and we use the power in our muscles to overcome these evil, dark, rich folk. Together, we rise.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wow. Dramatic. An American actor trying to get an Oscar with a British accent.

MAX MALIGA: Always works. I mean, I think it's 100% successful,

MOLLY BLOOM: Always works.

MAX MALIGA: It usually works, right? It usually does.

MOLLY BLOOM: You can't get an Oscar if you're talking how you regularly talk. It's just not going to happen. All right, Andrew, think about which side impressed you the most and award your fourth point. Are you really anxious to see one of these movies? If you were in the Academy, who would you vote for? Please award a point to the side that impressed you the most. Have you made your decision?


MOLLY BLOOM: All right. Perfect. Then, it's time for our last round--


MOLLY BLOOM: In this round, each team will have just six words to sum up the glory of their side. Max, let's hear your six words that prove flip-flops are the shoe for me and you.

MAX MALIGA: It's really simple here, folks. Here's the six words. Flip-flops, inclusive. Top hats, hatsclusive.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent work. All right, Sanden, it's your turn. Give us your final six that show why top hats are top dog.

SANDEN TOTTEN: You're special. Top hats show it. I'm going to go high, where he goes low. Well, literally low, like as far down as the feet.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Andrew, time to award a final point for this Final Six. Have you made your decision?

ANDREW: Ooh, this is hard, but--

MOLLY BLOOM: Go. Go with your gut. Don't tell us who it's going to yet.


MOLLY BLOOM: You've marked it down?

ANDREW: I got it.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, so tally up those points. We're going to do a whole drum roll thing, so don't say it yet. Are you ready to crown one team Smash Boom Best?


MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Drum roll, please. And the winner is--


ANDREW: Flip-flops.



SANDEN TOTTEN: Wow, it feels like as bad as a sunburn on my toes.

MAX MALIGA: Oh, yeah, try sun lotion. It works. Yeah, I'm out in the sun right now. It feels so good.

MOLLY BLOOM: Andrew, was there a moment that decided things for you?

ANDREW: I think it was-- it all came down to the very last round. It was equal up until then.

MOLLY BLOOM: Really? Wow. It was as close as it could be. What was it about that final six message that won you over?

ANDREW: I mean, I don't know. I just went with my gut.

MOLLY BLOOM: And your gut said flip-flops.

MAX MALIGA: Oh, my gosh. I can't talk, sorry, suddenly. Oh my goodness, Sanden, so great to work with you. So fun. I loved your D-O-G. I loved your alien. That was so much fun. I've admired your work from the get-go here, so it's so great to be performing with you in this. And I had so much fun battling you on this set today.

And top hats? Amazing. Amazing. I mean, I love a good-- I love a good top hat for costume purposes. That's really where my top hat dream is. It's less for the, I'm dressed up higher than you. It's more for, I get to dress up in a top hat for, like you said, Taylor Swift, like wearing a costume.

SANDEN TOTTEN: Or prom. A good top hat at prom. It's going to do the trick.

MAX MALIGA: Sure. Yeah, Max, this was really fun. I got a little heated there when you were coming at me with those billionaire remarks. I should probably put on some sandals and cool off a little bit. But you know, I appreciate-- I appreciate a good fight.

And I'm just going to continue repping top hats, but I have got a soft spot in my heart for flip-flops. You know I rock a pair of those every once in a while, too. So no hard feelings, and thanks for showing me the light of the floppy flop flops.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well, that's it for today's debate battle. Andrew crowned flip-flops the Smash Boom Best, but what about you?

ANDREW: Hit the smashboom.org and vote to tell us who you think won.

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

SANDEN TOTTEN: It's produced by Molly Bloom, Rosie Dupont, Ruby Guthrie, and Aron Waldeslassie.

MOLLY BLOOM: We had engineering help from Ming Xing Shiguan, Derek Ramirez, and Colin Diles, with sound design by Rachel Breece.

MAX MALIGA: Our editor was Shahla Farzan.

SANDEN TOTTEN: We had production help from Anna Goldfield, Marc Sanchez, Anna Wegel, and Nico Gonzalez Wisler.

MOLLY BLOOM: Our executive producer is Beth Perlman, and the APM Studios executives in charge are Chandra Kavati, Alex Schaffert, and Joanne Griffith. Our announcer is Marlee Foraker Otto. And we want to give a Special thanks to Austin Cross and Taylor Kaufman and Ewen Kerr. Sanden, is there anyone you'd like to give a special shout out to today?

SANDEN TOTTEN: Yeah, I'd like to say thanks to my friend Matt Bruce, who is a magician and recently got me tickets to the Magic Castle, where I got to see some top hats perform up close and personal.

MOLLY BLOOM: Magic, magic, magic. How about you, Max, any special shout outs?

MAX MALIGA: I got to give a special shout out to my currently missing cat, Dinah, who's 19 years old, who was the light of my life for every day. For 19 years, she would snuggle me so to her. To Arlo and Luna always, my niece and nephew, who I love dearly. And to Flora, of course, who's my rock. And to Mateo and Lola, who maybe are listening for the first time, I hopefully-- I hope. I hopefully. We're going to start saying that.

MOLLY BLOOM: We hope you are listening. And Andrew, do you want to give any special thanks today?

ANDREW: I like to give a special thanks to my friends and family, especially my sister.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, that's so nice. All right, before we go, let's check in with Bryce and see who he thinks should win his maple syrup versus jelly debate.

BRYCE: I think jelly would win because it can be made from different types of fruit and the sweeter.

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

MAX MALIGA: Until we meet again.

(SINGING) Oh, you're the smash boom best. Oh, put you through the test. Oh, you're the smash boom best. Oh, better than the rest. It's the smash boom best. It's the smash boom best.

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