Today’s debate is a sippable smackdown that is sure to refresh, relax and reward your sweet tooth. One side has sour power and the other comes with marshmallow might! Grab all the glasses and mugs you can possibly handle because it’s Lemonade vs. Hot Chocolate! Listen as actor, improviser and voice artist Billy Soco brings the heat for team hot chocolate while actor and podcaster Michael Stevens fights for team lemonade! Which unbelievable beverage will come out on top — Lemonade or Hot Chocolate? 

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 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: 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 sippable smackdown that is sure to refresh, relax, and reward your sweet tooth.

One side has sour power, and the other comes with marshmallow might. Grab all the glasses and mugs you can possibly handle because it's lemonade versus hot chocolate. We've got actor, improviser, and voice artist, Billy Soko, here to defend team hot chocolate.

BILLY: It's Billy Soko. Let's go go, hot cocoa.

MOLLY: And we've got improviser, sketch writer, actor, and podcaster Michael Stevens fighting for team lemonade.

MICHAEL: Hello. Hello. Hello. Now, I have no bitter peelings about hot chocolate. It's just not my main squeeze.

BILLY: Oh, wow.

MOLLY: And here to judge it all is Nova from New City. Nova writes poetry, loves to read, is a shrimp fanatic, and does book reviews for Stone Soup Magazine. Hi, Nova.


MOLLY: So when I was little, I read stone soup magazine, so I'm very impressed that you write for them. For those who might not be familiar, though, can you describe what Stone Soup Magazine is?

NOVA: Stone Soup Magazine is a magazine for kids. It has like writings, short stories, poems. It has art as well, and the cover art is always really good.

MOLLY: And everything in it is made by kids, right?

NOVA: Yeah, it's written by kids for kids.

MOLLY: Very cool. And lemonade, hot chocolate, how do you feel about them?

NOVA: Lemonade, it's good. I'm waiting for it to be better. And hot chocolate--

MICHAEL: Excellent.

NOVA: --also good, but you know, you need to be able to be good without needing marshmallows and, you know, candy canes and all this other stuff. I mean, lemonade has its own original taste without even needing a bunch of random toppings.

MOLLY: This is perfect. It sounds like you have an open mind and an open heart, and you're ready to judge lemonade and hot chocolate. So, will Nova side with Billy or Michael? Only time will tell. Nova, are you ready to judge today's debate?

NOVA: Very much so.

MOLLY: Excellent. 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 round, the sneak attack, and the final six. After each round, our judge, Nova, 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. All right, Billy, Michael, and Nova, are you ready?


NOVA: Definitely.

MOLLY: OK, then it's time for the--

SPEAKER 3: Declaration of Greatness.

MOLLY: In this round, our debaters will present a well-crafted immersive argument in favor of their side. Then they'll each have 30 seconds to rebut their opponent's statements. We flipped a coin, and Billy, you're up first. Tell us what's so hot about hot chocolate.

BILLY: Hot chocolate, the glory is in its name. When something is hot, it's hip. It's fly. It's in.

SPEAKER 4: Hot chocolate is so hot right now.

BILLY: And chocolate is beloved by all. We eat it in our cakes, our candy bars, our cookies, sometimes even with pickles, crickets, and even beef jerky. Put hot and chocolate together, and you've got a cup of heaven.

And believe it or not, historians believe that for millennia, people rarely ate chocolate. They drank it. And the hottest emperors, queens, and celebrities were drinking it, too. Hot chocolate, it's in the room where it happens.

MONTEZUMA: Or on the balcony where it happens.

BILLY: Wow, is that Montezuma, one of the last and most powerful emperors of the Aztec empire?

MONTEZUMA: You bet it is. I drink 50 cups of chocolate a day, exclusively from golden goblets. And when I'm done, I throw my golden empties into Lake Texcoco.

BILLY: Wait, no.

MONTEZUMA: Bring me more chocolate.

BILLY: OK, so Montezuma was one of those famous people who loved drinking chocolate. We don't know for sure if he drank 50 cups a day, but we do know that he was drinking a lot of the stuff. Aztec, Mayan, and Olmec peoples were some of the first people to drink chocolate.

And they made it by mixing cocoa, cornmeal, water, and spices, like chili peppers and vanilla. So it was pretty bitter to the taste.

MONTEZUMA: Bitter but invigorating. Cocoa is the food of the gods.

BILLY: And that makes sense because chocolate is powerful stuff. It comes from cacao seeds, which are a superfruit. That means they're super good for you. They contain compounds called flavanols that reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and improve circulation.

So next time you make a cup of hot cocoa, go easy on the sugar and use your own cocoa powder for a beverage that's nourishing for your heart and soul. So good. And that's exactly what the Spanish thought when they invaded the Aztec empire and sampled Montezuma's beloved elixir.

The first European account of drinkable chocolate came from an anonymous Spanish invader who wrote--

SPANISH INVADER: This drink is the healthiest thing, and the greatest sustenance of anything you could drink in the world. Because he who drinks a cup of this liquid, no matter how far he walks, can go a whole day without anything else.

BILLY: Spanish invaders brought drinkable chocolate back to Spain, where they threw in some sugar, heated it up, and made it much like the hot chocolate we drink today. But it was still considered extremely fancy. As hot chocolate wound its way through Europe only, kings, queens, and their most powerful friends drank it.

MARIE ANTOINETTE: Let them eat cake. I'm going to relish this steaming mug of hot chocolate.

BILLY: It's famously rich and out of touch Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France, and her husband King Louis XVI.

KING LOUIS: Give me a sip, Marie.

BILLY: These French royals loved hot chocolate, but their subjects did not love them.

SERVANT: Marie, the rebels are storming the gates.

MARIE ANTOINETTE: They're just jealous of our hot chocolate.

REBEL 1: Down with the monarchy.

REBEL 2: You fancy fuzzwits do nothing but tax the poor.

BILLY: Yikes. Much like the French monarchy, the idea that hot chocolate was just for the rich soon came to an end. By 1850, hot chocolate was being enjoyed by the masses. You get a hot chocolate, and you get a hot chocolate, and--

KID: I get a hot chocolate.

BILLY: Yes, kid, you get a hot chocolate, too. Because these days, hot chocolate is a treasure enjoyed around the world by people from every walk of life. It is accessible and decadent, and it does something that lemonade will never do.

It forces you to slow down, sip gently, relax. So go ahead, rip open a packet of chocolate powder, dump it into a cup, add some hot water, and spoil yourself with one of life's greatest and most accessible pleasures.

KID: It's like a spa in my mouth.

BILLY: When life hands you lemons, don't waste your time trying to squeeze them. Make a hot chocolate and feel better instantly. You said it.

MOLLY: Wow, a beverage with deep roots that is like a spa for your mouth. Nova, what stood out to you about Billy's declaration of greatness?

NOVA: Billy, you are speaking to my heart right now with that comment about Spain. I'm Spanish.

BILLY: Whoa, really?

MOLLY: Whoa.

NOVA: Yeah, my mom was born and grew up in Corunna.

BILLY: Whoa, awesome.

MOLLY: So, Nova-- Nova, besides speaking to your Spanish heritage, what else stood out to you about Billy's declaration of greatness?

NOVA: There was a Hamilton reference-- in the room where it happens.

MOLLY: Excellent. All right, well, Michael, it is time for your rebuttal. You've got 30 seconds to tell us why you're lukewarm on hot chocolate, and your time starts now.

MICHAEL: OK, what happens when you hurt yourself on a hot chocolate that is too hot? We don't have any kind of briefing on the precautions that need to be done there. What about the aftertaste? What happens when I'm done drinking hot chocolate, and it's still in my mouth? Why that? No, thanks. What about lactose intolerance, for those who can't drink milk? There is milk involved in hot chocolate, is there not? Is there in hot choco?

BILLY: Sometimes. Yeah, sometimes. Sometimes.

MOLLY: And time.

BILLY: I drink my hot chocolate with no milk. I can appreciate that cautiously.

MOLLY: Well, it is your turn. Michael, please tell us why lemonade makes for a superior sip.

MICHAEL: Picture this. It's the dog days of summer. The sun's dry heat beats down on your forehead. You realize that you're parched. You feel more sun dried than beef jerky. You could go for a tasty beverage to quench your thirst. Then in the distance, you see a lemonade stand.

LINDA: Lemonade. Get your lemonade here. Hiya. Welcome to Linda's Lemonade Stand. That'll be $0.50 for a cup of mouth-watering lemonade.

MICHAEL: Wow, that's it?

LINDA: Yeah, I know it's an absurdly good deal, but making lemonade is so easy, I almost feel guilty charging. people.

MICHAEL: Here's $20.

LINDA: What?

MICHAEL: And upon the stand, you behold a pitcher holding a nectar called lemonade. And you drink it. All of it.

LINDA: Mister, you're drinking my whole pitcher.

MICHAEL: And that's when you know that you are team lemonade all the way. And I might say, Linda, I love your recipe. What's in it?

LINDA: I used rosewater and honey instead of tap water and sugar. Gives it a floral vibe.

MICHAEL: Of course. Lemonade rules because it's so easy and adaptable. All you need are lemons, water, and any sweetener. You can easily riff like Linda's floral tweak or make pink lemonade, strawberry lemonade, ginger lemonade, the Arnold Palmer mint lemonade, jalapeno lemonade. You name it. Now how many hot chocolate variations are there?

LINDA: Well, there's with marshmallows and without marshmallows?

MICHAEL: And lemonades history is as rich as its flavor. In 10th century Egypt, there were several variations, including one called cash cab made from fermented barley mint, rue, black pepper, and leaves of citron, the original lemons.

Lemonade, as we know it, emerged in France around the 17th century. Merchants called lemonade sold it from tanks strapped to their backs. It is claimed that the presence of lemonade and lemon peels in the 17th century helped France beat the plague.

SPEAKER 5: Sure, it's hot here in 17th century France.

SPEAKER 6: Yeah, and the plague totally stinks, too, bro. I could go for some lemonade.

LEMONADE VENDOR: Oh, wee, I'm coming down from my nice cafe to lay the smack down on your thirst.

SPEAKERS: Yay, the plague is over.

LINDA: Is that really how it went down?

MICHAEL: Kind of. It's believed that lemonade left piles of lemon peels behind them, which rats nibbled on, and that repelled the fleas which carried the bubonic plague. So, yeah, kind of went down that way. Besides, lemonade is good for you.

On top of keeping the body hydrated, it's packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. It prevents anemia, kidney stones, and scurvy for all you pirates out there. And it reduces cancer risk, aids in weight loss, and improves digestion.

LINDA: Plus, it gives you energy. After lemonade, I could run a 5K. After hot chocolate, I need a nap.

MICHAEL: Good point. And speaking of running, you run a lemonade stand, which is another reason to love this stuff. More than anyone know, perhaps, the best thing about lemonade is that it is the product of a resilient and entrepreneurial attitude.

Writer and philosopher Elbert Hubbard once said, a genius is a person who takes the lemons that fate, hands them, and starts a lemonade stand with them. You hear that? If you make lemonade right now, boom, instant genius. Lemonade stands, thanks to the ease and cost of production, represent a civic enterprise filled with opportunities to learn about business, fight community thirst, and get creative.

LINDA: I hear you on creativity. I invented like nine new recipes.

MICHAEL: Nice. Now before I go, can I use your bathroom? I drank your whole pitcher, and I have to go.

MOLLY: Lemonade. Good for our health, good for our pocketbooks. Amazing. Nova, what stood out to you about Michael's argument?

NOVA: I liked all the little scenes. It was very entertaining just picturing this random dude walking up to a lemonade stand and stealing the entire thing of lemonade. Although, listeners, do not steal. You'll probably get arrested.

MICHAEL: I paid $20 for that. $20 for that whole picture.

MOLLY: So, Nova, you liked the scenes. What facts or something you learned about lemonade stood out to you?

NOVA: It stopped the plague.

MOLLY: Mhm, very impressive.

NOVA: Well kind of stopped.

MICHAEL: Kind of.

NOVA: Mildly stopped the plague.

MOLLY: All right, Billy, it's time for your rebuttal. You've got 30 seconds to tell us why you're sour on lemonade, and your time starts now.

BILLY: There was a moment where when you were drinking that pitcher of lemonade. It sounded like it was really tough to drink. Probably because the taste wasn't as good as hot chocolate.

MICHAEL: No, no, no, no, no, no.

BILLY: But, yeah. So, I mean, I'll give you lemonade is made from lemons, so it is definitely bitter, but hot chocolate is better. What were those sellers, the people that sold the lemonade?

MICHAEL: Limonadiers.

BILLY: Limonadiers.

MICHAEL: Oh, OK. Well, when you have hot chocolate, you're going to say, lemon, adieu to lemonade.

NOVA: That was vile.

BILLY: What?

NOVA: That was a vile pun. Almost as vile as lemons.

BILLY: Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.

MOLLY: All right, Nova, it is time to award some 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 they're going to.


MOLLY: Both points could go to the same person. Each person could get a point. Totally subjective. Totally up to you, Nova. Have you made your decision?

NOVA: I have.

MOLLY: All right so, Michael and Billy, how are you two feeling so far?

MICHAEL: I'm feeling refreshed. I'm feeling very good

BILLY: Oh, I'm feeling fulfilled and really relaxed.

MICHAEL: Yeah, I would think--

BILLY: So pretty warm? I feel very warm.

MICHAEL: Yeah, really warm. I feel like I could go this way or that way. I still feel pretty.

BILLY: Yeah, I feel pretty adaptable as well. Very smooth.

MICHAEL: I mean, I could do an exercise. I could do like workout a workout right now.

BILLY: Oh. I could calmly meditate.

MOLLY: They could go any which way. All right, we're going to take a quick break. So, go grab some marshmallows and lemons.

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

SPEAKER 6: You're listening to State of Debate, home to rage and rhetoric and awe-inspiring argumentation.

TODD: Howdy, campers Todd Douglas here in the great outdoors with my campsite companion, Taylor Lincoln.

TAYLOR: That's right. We hiked up to this beautiful scenic vista to use our eagle eyes to spot a logical fallacy in the wild.

TODD: A logical fallacy is a weak argument that can easily make your case, tip over, and go timber.

TAYLOR: Yup, and today, we're on the hunt for the appeal to nature fallacy. That's when you argue something is right, just because it's more natural.

TODD: It's a bad argument because not all natural things are good. And what does natural even mean? It's hard to pin down.

TAYLOR: Todd, I think I see the fallacy now. It's over yonder at the campsite downhill.

TODD: Let's listen in.

DAD: A weekend in the wilderness. What a great way to end the summer.

MOM: I know. And look at our child, Little Jamie playing on the rocks and in the trees, just like nature intended.

DAD: Yep. And next week, Jamie starts the first week of school. What a big deal, huh, hun?

MOM: Yeah, so about that, I decided Jamie's not going.

DAD: Excuse me? We both think education is super important, so why not go to school?

MOM: Because I realized Jamie should be learning out here in the woods, collecting pine cones, learning to forage, and build shelter. Everything Little Jamie needs to know is being taught out here in the wild.

DAD: But Jamie also needs to learn reading and writing and math at school or at least with some kind of teacher.

MOM: Nature is the teacher, and the forest is the classroom. Do you see wild animals going to school? No, they learn by doing out here in the woods, and we're animals, so we should do what's natural. Come on, let's live in the woods and hunt our meals.

DAD: You had pizza delivered to our tent last night.

MOM: Jamie needs to heel the call of the wild.


TAYLOR: There it is, the fearsome logical fallacy called appeal to nature.

TODD: See it in all its frightening glory.

TAYLOR: Spending time in nature is great, but it's also important to make arguments backed up with evidence, like saying going to school helps kids learn skills they might need later in life.

TODD: Like how to use logic when debating.

TAYLOR: Exactly. Now, let's get our campfire going. And did I hear there's a pizza place that delivers out here? Because I could really go for a slice of pineapple pepperoni.

TODD: Oh, me, too. See you next time on State of Debate.

SPEAKER 7: Best,

SPEAKER 8: Boom, Smash. Smash, boom

SPEAKER 7: Best.

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

NOVA: And I'm your judge, Nova.

MOLLY: And we love getting debate suggestions from our listeners. Take a listen to this tasty debate idea from Gil.

GIL: My name is Gil. My idea is oatmeal versus cereal.

NOVA: Oh, yum. Nothing beats a breakfast battle.

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

NOVA: And now, it's back to today's debate-- lemonade versus hot chocolate.

MOLLY: That's right, and it's time for round 2, the--

SPEAKER 3: Micro Round.

MOLLY: For the micro round challenge, each team has prepared a creative response to a prompt they received in advance. For Billy and Michael, the prompt was Seuss and his stylings. That means Billy and Michael each wrote a glorious poem about their side in the style of Dr. Seuss. Billy went first last time. So, Michael, you're up. What tasty rhymes did you make for lemonade?

MICHAEL: I really like this lemonade, lemonade, lemonade. I really like this lemonade. $0.15 is what I paid so that my rabid thirst would fade. Which drink do I think will be the best? Surely, you will find it's the one with the zest, not chocolate or milk or mellow of marsh. Just nice aid of lemon, the drink that's less harsh.

Could you, should you add blueberries, or, perhaps if you're fancy, a handful of cherries? Could you, should you before a race, in a space, in a place, in a case in your face, have it cold, have it hot, just drink a whole lot. I'll finish the rest that you left in the pot. Lemonade, lemonade, I really like this lemonade. $0.15 is what I paid so that my rabid thirst would fade.

MOLLY: Incredible. Transported into the world of Dr. Seuss. The cat in the hat was there with us. Nicely, nicely done. All right, Billy, now, it's your turn. Please tell us how Dr. Seuss would talk about hot chocolate.

BILLY: My sister and I, we trudge through the snow, dragging our sleds, we chant as we go. I want something warm, something chocolate and creamy. Make it rich, make it thick, make it sweet, and so dreamy. When a voice says, I've got it. Give this a try.

And my sister, she freezes. Who's that guy? There, between the trees, is a furry white thing that looks like a bear with little white wings and a long skinny neck and emerald green eyes, a half crescent smile, and a little bow tie. And in its small hands, it clutches two mugs, sweet, steam curling round it like a bear hug.

SAL: This stuff is the best, the most drinkable drink. Give it a sip. I swear, it don't stink.

Are you kidding, crisis? You just jumped from a tree. That's the definition of weird and super creepy. Then, I recognized him. Wait, your dad's pickleball pal.

"Yes," says the creature, "and my name is Sal."

BILLY: At ease, we bring the mugs to our lips, give each other a look, and take a small sip. And just for a moment, time pauses, I swear. Snowflakes stop falling in the cold winter air. The forest, it shimmers.

Warmth spreads through my gloves, and I think, why, this drink, is the essence of love, so sweet and rich, warm in our tongues. Me and my sister, we both yell, yum. This drink, I say, what on Earth is it called? "Hot chocolate," Sal cries.

SAL: It's the best drink of all.

MOLLY: Incredible. Sal, I'm ready for some hot cocoa. Bring it to the studio, please. All right, Nova, what did you like about Billy and Michael's excellent micro rounds?

NOVA: I liked how Mike's was a little bit repetitive. And my English teacher in my new school said that repetition is a sound device, so that was a good thing to use.

MICHAEL: Thank you.

MOLLY: Smart. And what about Billy's?

NOVA: I liked that he did voices. He did a little voice. He did a-- he did a Sal voice.


NOVA: And also, he mentioned pickleball, which was not very related to chocolate, but still-- but still, we always appreciate a little athleticism.

MOLLY: Very lovely. All right, Nova, it is time to award a point. But don't tell us who it's going to. The criteria are completely up to you. Did one of these stories really transport you?

Do you see one of these on the shelf at your local library, where the rhymes there, where the facts there, that one make you laugh. It's up to you. Have you made your decision?

NOVA: Yep.

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

SPEAKER 3: Sneak Attack.

MOLLY: This is our improvised round, where debaters have to respond to a challenge on the spot. Today's sneak attack is called mystery sound. Billy and Michael, were going to give you a list of things related to your side, and you'll each have 30 seconds to get Nova to guess as many mystery sounds from your list as you can.

So for example, if my side was smoothie. My first sound might be, [MAKING BLENDER SOUND]. Which, obviously, is a blender, right?

NOVA: I could tell. I could tell.

MOLLY: Thank you so much.

NOVA: We love you, Molly. We love you, Molly. We can tell there was a--

MOLLY: Thank you, Nova. I appreciate you. So whoever gets Nova to guess the most mystery sounds correctly wins. And if it's a tie, then Nova gets to make the call about who gets that point. All right, Billy, you're up first. I'm going to put 30 seconds on the clock. Let's see how many mystery sounds you can get our friend Nova to guess. And your time starts now.

NOVA: Drinking. Drinking.

BILLY: Complicated. Pass.


BILLY: Poop. Poop.

NOVA: Oh, putting in a marshmallow.

BILLY: Oh my gosh, yes.

MOLLY: Yes. Nicely done.

BILLY: Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish.

NOVA: Like, mixing it. Mixing it. Mixing in the cocoa powder.


MOLLY: And time. I think we-- I think I would give you that last one. That was whisking. And then the first one was-- Billy, do you want to reveal what you're trying to do with that first one?

BILLY: Yeah, the first one, which was-- it was boiling water.

MOLLY: I thought it was excellent.

BILLY: Thank you.

MOLLY: I thought it was great.

NOVA: I thought it was drinking, like you're gargling it to make your mom mad at you or something.

BILLY: Shout out to my mom.

NOVA: Yeah, we love all moms here.

BILLY: We love all moms.

MOLLY: Excellent guessing. Excellent sound making. Michael, it is your turn. You have 30 seconds to get Nova to guess your sounds, and your time starts now.


NOVA: Drinking. Savoring the taste of sourness. Drinking. Sour. Sour.



NOVA: Mixing-- mixing the lemon juice in the water?


MOLLY: And time.

NOVA: Chopping the lemons.

MOLLY: Time. Oh. Oh, you got it. But even if you got that one, it's still 2 to 1. Tell Nova, Michael, the sounds you were doing.

MICHAEL: So the first one, so close. I was sipping.

NOVA: Drinking is the same thing as sipping.

MICHAEL: Does that count? Does it?

BILLY: It's 2 to 2 here. So, Nova, you're going to get to decide who gets this point.

NOVA: All right.

MOLLY: Please think about which side impressed you the most and award your fourth point. Have you made your decision, Nova?

NOVA: Yes, I have.

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

SPEAKER 3: The Final Six.

MOLLY: In this round, each team will have just six words to sum up the glory of their side. All right, Michael, let's hear your six words to aid in your lemonade debate.

MICHAEL: Lemonade, get paid. Hot chocolate, lack aid.


MICHAEL: The end.

MOLLY: Very nicely done. OK, Billy, it's your turn. Give us six words on why hot chocolate is so heartwarming.

BILLY: OK, hot chocolate, you can't beat it.

MOLLY: Excellent. All right, Nova, it is time to award your final point.

NOVA: I made my decision.

MOLLY: Wow. OK, Nova has made her decision. Tally up your points, Nova. Are you ready to crown one team the Smash Boom Best?

NOVA: Yes.

MOLLY: Drumroll, please. And the winner is--

NOVA: Hot chocolate.



NOVA: I could hear the absolute joy in your voice when you said yes.

BILLY: You know, it's been a really rough week. I had so much lemonade.

NOVA: Oh, no.

MOLLY: So, Nora, was there a moment that decided things for hot chocolate?

NOVA: There was much less smack talking, and I put every ounce of smack talking into the cons. Because we're not here to put others down. We're here to bring ourselves up by not stepping on others.

MOLLY: So you liked the positive arguments today. Very, very fair.

BILLY: Yeah, I'd like to piggyback on what Nova said. But I think, Michael, you've enlightened me about lemonade. I feel like I learned a lot. I didn't know it was really helpful during the plague, which is awesome. And yeah, just to double down on the health benefits, you know, I was that really-- it was relatable and resonated with me.

MICHAEL: Really?

BILLY: And it really focused on the positive. And you know what, I think I'm going to go home tonight, and I'm going to try to make some lemonade.


MICHAEL: Yeah. Billy, I'm going to piggyback off of your piggyback. I actually didn't know that there were so many health benefits to hot chocolate. I did not know the history quite as in-depth as you did.

And so that was something that really enlightened me. And then I also really, really, really loved your micro round. That was it for me. Like, right there, I was like, you know what, it's going to be hot chocolate. And that's OK.

BILLY: That's really nice. That's sweet of you.

MICHAEL: I'm going to go home after this. I've been drinking lemonade all day. I'm going to make a hot chocolate.

BILLY: Oh, stop. It's 70 degrees outside.

MOLLY: Well, that's it for today's debate battle. Nova crowned hot chocolate the Smash Boom Best. But what about you?

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

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

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

MOLLY: We had engineering help from Josh Savageau with sound design by Aaron Woldeslassie.

BILLY: Our editors are Shahla Farzan and Sanden Totten.

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

MOLLY: Our executive producer is Beth Perlman, and the APM Studios executives in charge are Chandra Kavati, Alex Schaffert, and Joanne Griffith. Our announcer is Marley Feuerwerker-Otto. And we want to give a special thanks to Austin Cross, Taylor Kaufman, and Brant Miller. Billy, is there anyone you'd like to give a shout out to today?

BILLY: Yeah, shout out to Swiss Miss, and also Nova's parents, who I've desperately been trying to make laugh.

MOLLY: And how about you, Michael? Any special shout outs?

MICHAEL: Well, I'm going to echo Billy's shout out to Nova's parents. This is great. And I'm going to I'm going to shout out my nephews who are probably listening. Look, whatever you want, hot chocolate, lemonade, either is cool.

BILLY: Excellent. All right, Nova, do you have any special shout outs?

NOVA: I'd like to give a shout out to my parents, as every other person has done so far. Because my mom gave birth to me, and my dad buys us Popeyes every Friday.

BILLY: Yes, that's such a great Friday treat.

MOLLY: I think we can all agree Nova's parents are the star of today's debate. Before we go, let's check in and see who Gil thinks should win the oatmeal versus cereal debate.

GIL: I think cereal should win because I have it more often.

MOLLY: If you're between the ages of 13 and 18 and you'd like to be a judge, or if you're any age and you have an idea for a knock down drag out debate, head to and drop us a line. We'll be back with a new debate battle next week. See you.

SINGER: Oh, it's Smah Boom Best. Oh, better than the rest. It's Smash Boom Best. It's Smash Boom Best.

NOVA: We love all moms here.

MICHAEL: We love all moms.

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