Today’s debate is a match between two mean cleaning machines. One is a weekend cut up, while the other is a buster of dust! It’s vacuums vs. lawn mowers! We’ve got producer Matt Alvarez ready to blow his opponent away for team vacuums! And comedian, writer, and actor Andy Hilbrands is here to slice through the competition for team lawn mowers! 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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ANNOUNCER: From the brains behind Brains On, it's Smash Boom Best.

LIV: 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 match between two mean cleaning machines. One is a weekend cut up, while the other is a buster of dust. It's vacuums versus lawnmowers. In one corner, we've got Producer Matt Alvarez, ready to blow his opponent away for team vacuums.

MATT ALVAREZ: Give me your dusty, your dirty, and rooms yearning to be clean. Vacuum's here to suck up all of the debris.

MOLLY BLOOM: Ooh. And we have comedian, a writer, and actor, Andy Hilbrands, here to slice through the competition for team lawn mowers.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Trim, triminy, trim, triminy, trim, trim, tree.


MOLLY BLOOM: And here to judge it all is Liv from Plymouth, Minnesota. Liv has a dog named Sugar, is starting to dabble in filmmaking, and can play the keyboard, kalimba, and ukulele. Plus, she sings. Hi, Liv.

LIV: Hi.

MOLLY BLOOM: So, Liv, I have to ask, what are your favorite songs to play or sing?

LIV: Oh, I am a lover of musical theater. So I am-- will break out all my musical theater and karaokes, so pretty most.

MOLLY BLOOM: So favorite-- is it a ballad? Is it an upbeat number? What kind of musical theater numbers do we like to do?

LIV: You know what? I feel like you have to go with something party and scream at the top of your lungs in your car with somebody.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, absolutely. So how did you learn to play so many instruments?

LIV: I think I've always just been interested. And I think I get bored easily. So I'm just like, you know what? Let me try this. My brother played the guitar. And I-- I'm smaller than him. So I was like, let me try the ukulele instead, because I cannot fit my hands around its neck.

So I was like, I'm going to move on to the ukulele. It was super fun. And when I was younger, I got a keyboard for Hanukkah. And I forgot about it. And then I was like, oh, I have a keyboard. Let me try this too.

MOLLY BLOOM: Awesome. That's so cool. So do you have any instruments you're eyeing up for the next one that you're going to learn?

LIV: Guitar, actually.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, OK. You're going to move up to a bigger--

LIV: I think I need to graduate to guitar.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. So do you have any personal connections to lawnmowers or vacuums?

LIV: I'm a vacuum girl.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, really? Tell me more.

LIV: OK, well, I'm allergic to a billion things. I'm allergic to grass. So when we get the lawnmower out, I'm like, goodbye.


LIV: I'm going to sneeze. I'm going to cough. I'm going to run away, actually. And I tried to mow the lawn. And it was unsuccessful.


LIV: I couldn't turn it. But I can turn a vacuum.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. So can we put your allergies aside today--

LIV: Yes.

MOLLY BLOOM: --and look at this? OK, excellent. And do you have any advice for our debaters today?

LIV: Advice?


LIV: Oh, make me giggle.


LIV: Make me laugh. I love a good joke.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Well, will Liv side with Andy or Matt? Only time will tell. Liv, are you ready to judge today's debate?

LIV: Yes, I am.

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 Round, the Sneak Attack, and the Final Six.

After each round, our judge, Liv, 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, Matt, and Liv, are you ready?


LIV: Of course, I am.


MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Then it's time for the Declaration of Greatness.


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, Matt, you're up first. Tell us why vacuums are the chore to adore.


MATT ALVAREZ: Welcome to the pet adoption fair. Are you ready to meet your new best friend?

SUBJECT 1: I sure am.

MATT ALVAREZ: Great. I got one I know you'll love-- super fun, doesn't take up much space, will help around the house, and only needs to empty its waste once a month.

SUBJECT 1: Wow, really? That's hard to believe.

MATT ALVAREZ: Believe it. It's a cordless vacuum.


SUBJECT 1: Did you say vacuum? I'm not so sure I--

MATT ALVAREZ: How about something smaller, cuter? This lap-sized pal is perfect for couch cuddles and cushion cleaning. Meet the Dustbuster.


SUBJECT 1: Another vacuum? This all seems like work.

MATT ALVAREZ: Say no more. You want a pet that's cute but also independent, will roam around your house alone at night, and even feed itself by going to its charging station? Say hello to the cat of vacuums, the Roomba.

SUBJECT 1: [GASPS] It's perfect. Come here, little guy.


MATT ALVAREZ: Wow. I love this job. You might be thinking, a vacuum as a pet? To which I say, yes, because vacuums are humanity's best friend. They make our lives easier, keep us healthy, and they're just plain fun.

The vacuum dates back to the early 1900s. A British inventor by the name of Hubert Cecil Booth is thought to be the first to get the suction part right. His vacuum was the size of a small car. Hubert would pull it by horse to a big house, extend hoses from it through doors and windows, and suck out that dirt.


HUBERT CECIL: Come one and all to see the amazing vacuum, a mechanical beast with an appetite for filth! One look at it, and you'll say bye-bye to your broom forever.

MATT ALVAREZ: People were so into them. They'd host vacuum tea parties to watch this magical machine in action. Even the royal family hired Hubert. At first, his vacuums were just for the rich. But soon, smaller and cheaper ones hit the market. Today, you can buy a vacuum for less than the cost of dinner and a movie.

SUBJECT 2: Honey, let's do something romantic tonight. Want to go vacuum shopping?

SUBJECT 3: Yes. Yes. 1,000 times yes. [SMOOCHES]

MATT ALVAREZ: And vacuums aren't just romantic. They're helpful. Did you know the average house collects 40 pounds of dust a year? That's like the weight of seven actual bunnies and dust bunnies. In the PVE, that's the Pre-Vacuum Era, people had to sweep or mop all that. It could take hours. Now you just fire up your friend--


--and you're done in minutes. Plus, vacuums are critical tools in recovering from natural disasters. When a house is flooded, special vacuums remove water so people can start rebuilding. Other vacuums suck up soot from fire damage. Honestly, vacuums are national heroes.


SUBJECT 4: I present this medal of honor to the Vacuum for always doing the dirty work. When the world is a mess, we can always count on you, Vacuum.


MATT ALVAREZ: Finally, vacuums are just fun. Who doesn't love watching them go back and forth, leaving those satisfying lines in the carpet, or seeing a sea of crumbs vanish instantly? I live in an old house that gets dusty faster than you can say achoo. So every Saturday, I bust out my VFF, that's Vacuum Friend Forever. We hoof it through the hallways, kick it in the kitchen, and line dance in the living room.

When I'm done, the house is immaculate, and I feel relaxed. So vacuums give us clean homes, healthy bodies, and peace of mind. What more could you want from a pet? Now, if you excuse me, I need to take my vacuum for a walk. Who's a good boy? You are. You are. Uh-huh, I love you too, pal.



MOLLY BLOOM: Delightful. And ode to the huggable yet heroic vacuum. Liv, what stood out to you about Matt's Declaration of Greatness?

LIV: I never thought of a vacuum as a pet. So I thought that was really great. I also didn't know that they had a vacuum tea party. I've always wanted to have a tea party. So I think that is a great way to hang out with the vacuum.

MOLLY BLOOM: Pretty appealing. They're very social, the way Matt made them sound. OK, Andy, it's time for your rebuttal. Please tell us--

ANDY HILBRANDS: Fuming over here.

MOLLY BLOOM: Yes. So please tell us why vacuums make you fume. You've got 30 seconds. And your time starts now.

ANDY HILBRANDS: After hearing that, I must say that I am staunchly anti-vac. It was very interesting at the top of that DOG that we heard that dog barking. I have two cats and two dogs. And while vacuuming is a necessary evil, with all their fur, they hate it.

The cats scramble for their dear life. And the dogs feel that they need to defend the house from the evil suck monster. Why must we traumatize our pets for a convenient way to clean?

Also, they rely on a power source. The only powerless vacuum is a straw. And that's a gross way to clean the kitchen floor.

MOLLY BLOOM: And time. Very nicely done.

MATT ALVAREZ: The whole thing about dogs and not liking vacuums, I had an old dog that completely lost his hearing. And vacuuming was never an issue. Never. He just looked at it and smiled. And he was totally chill with it. And I could vacuum my dog as well while he was on the carpet-- while he was on my couch or on the carpet. And he wouldn't mind at all.

ANDY HILBRANDS: So special cases aside, they're still terrified.


MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Andy, it is your turn. Please tell us why it's always greener on the lawnmower's side.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Picture this. It's a gorge Saturday morning. Bill is sipping coffee on his front porch.

BILL: [SLURPS, GULPS] Hmm, hazelnut coffee with a splash of cream.

ANDY HILBRANDS: When suddenly, Bill's next-door neighbor pops out of his house.

SUBJECT 5: Morning, Bill. Just going to do a little lawn mowing.

ANDY HILBRANDS: The social challenge has been issued. Some call it peer pressure. But when it comes to mowing, we call it shear pressure. This friendly competition for the best-looking lawn is a dance that happens all across the country. Every weekend, it's estimated that more than 50 million people in the US mow their lawns.

And mowing doesn't just make your home look prettier. It makes you feel better too. A lawnmower lets you become more intimate with your outdoor space-- basking in the sunlight, feeling the breeze ruffling through your hair, engaging with your local flora. And don't forget the smell. When you mow, your nose will thank you. Because there is nothing like the smell of fresh-cut grass.

A 2015 British survey found fresh-cut grass was the third most popular scent, right behind fresh-baked bread and bacon. And, of course, who's going to dethrone those two? Either way, mowing is a full-body sensory experience, where you can let your thoughts wander to new places, almost like you're in a meditative state.

BILL: I have such a big smile on my face today.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Wow, Bill. What's your secret?

BILL: Well, in college, I used to dress up in a giant hamster costume and fight crime.

ANDY HILBRANDS: No, I mean, what's the secret to your great mood?

BILL: Oh, it's simple-- mowing my lawn. Spending time outside really helps me relax.

ANDY HILBRANDS: And lawnmowers can keep you healthy too. Because not every mower uses gasoline. There are lots of them that you push with the power of your own body. Exercise and a beautiful yard? Sign me up.

Plus, lawnmowers aren't just for backyards. They also benefit the community by making outdoor spaces more accessible for everyone, like parks, walkways, and sports fields, just to name a few. This is especially important in cities, where access to green spaces can be harder to come by. What kind of park would you rather have a picnic in? One with freshly cut grass and a place for you to lie down or one with long, scratchy grass and poor visibility?

DAVE: Pass the ketchup, please.

LINDA: Who said that? Dave? Dave?

DAVE: Linda? Oh, I can't see you through all this tall grass.

ANDY HILBRANDS: And lawnmowers don't just make outdoor spaces more accessible. They make them beautiful. Think of some of the grass designs you've seen watching sports-- diamond, checkerboard patterns, criss-cross. They're all forms of lawn art that people use to express themselves. By mowing in different directions, you can change how the light reflects off the grass, giving you different beautiful shades of green.

TAYLOR SWIFT: It's not just beauty, my dear.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Oh, my stars! A talking lawn!

TAYLOR SWIFT: Aside from beauty, mowing in different patterns can promote healthy grass growth. And that helps my beauty to flourish. Plus, with a little planning and creativity, grass can be a canvas for an artist to create their masterpiece. Just look at my lawn art.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Is that Taylor Swift?

TAYLOR SWIFT: Oh, yes. I'm a huge swiftie. (SINGING) Wildest greens are-- [GIGGLES]

ANDY HILBRANDS: So there you have it. Lawn mowing is more than just a chore. It can be a kid's first job. It can be sunshine, exercise, and even art. As you can see, lawn mowing is simply a cut above the rest.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wow, mowing making spaces welcoming for all. So wonderful. All right, Liv, what stood out to you about Andy's Declaration of Greatness?

LIV: Ooh, I liked that you can make lawn art. I have seen some lawn art. And I thought it was very impressive.

MOLLY BLOOM: Very cool.

LIV: I also liked that-- I never thought about how it could be more accessible for people. So I think that is super cool.

MOLLY BLOOM: Very cool. OK, Matt, it is time for your rebuttal. Tell us why lawnmowers are the weakest of weed whackers. You've got 30 seconds. And your time starts now.

MATT ALVAREZ: OK. So unless the lawnmower actually runs on a pre-charged battery, it's probably going to use some sort of fossil fuel to get going. So even with all that, it contributes to CO2 gases. And I can smell the gasoline over any fresh-cut grass. So that kind of defeats that purpose.

Plus, they suck up a lot of water without really sucking up so much CO2 in the atmosphere. Think about it. More water can go to trees. And also hard labor on the weekends? I don't think so.

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.


MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHING] Yeah, Andy, anything you want to say there?

ANDY HILBRANDS: Yeah, get a push reel, you silly goose. That takes no fossil fuel. And also, I think if you're mowing and your lawn smells like gasoline, you just have what we call a gasoline leak. And you should take that to a technician.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent points. OK, Liv, it is time to award some points here.


MOLLY BLOOM: 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. Both points could go to the same person, or each person could get a point. It's entirely subjective and entirely up to you. Have you made your decision?

LIV: I think I have.


MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. Andy and Matt, how are you two feeling so far?

ANDY HILBRANDS: Oh, I'm feeling great. I'm actually looking online at some lawn mowing Roombas.


ANDY HILBRANDS: So I guess they can do that outside too. Hmm, interesting.

MATT ALVAREZ: I think I'm doing fine. I don't need to look at the internet at this point. I got this.


MOLLY BLOOM: All right. Well, grab your hoovers, mowers, and all the garbage bags you can handle.

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

MOLLY BLOOM: You're listening to State of Debate, home to raging rhetoric and awe-inspiring argumentation.

TODD DOUGLAS: What's up, my debate buddies? This is Todd Douglas. And I'm here with my friend till the end, Taylor Lincoln.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: [SHUSHES] My neighbors are feuding. They've been arguing all week. I can't even handle all the logical fallacies they've been throwing at each other.

TODD DOUGLAS: Oof, those are debate mistakes that make your argument easy to defeat.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Correctamundo! Let's listen in.


BARRY: I'm telling you, Belinda, your lawn flamingos are driving down property values for the entire neighborhood. [CHUCKLES] You really should put up lawn gnomes instead, much classier. I should know. [SIGHS] I had one of the best ones on the block.

BELINDA: And a gorgeous gnome he was.

BARRY: I know you've been sniffing after him to add to your collection.

BELINDA: I have so many gnomes of my own.

BARRY: This one came with its own little shovel. And I loved him.

BELINDA: He sounds like a real sweetie.

BARRY: Belinda, did you take my garden gnome?

BELINDA: You love tacos.

BARRY: What? No, I don't.

BELINDA: I'm pretty sure you do. And why wouldn't you? They're delicious.

BARRY: Tacos? I thought we were discussing garden gnomes.


TODD DOUGLAS: Whoa! Belinda really threw a curveball in that convo.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: She sure did. Belinda was using a red herring fallacy. That's where she changed the subject mid-debate because she was skirting the real issue.

TODD DOUGLAS: Tacos really are the best.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: They really are, even though they had nothing to do with whether she stole Barry's garden gnome.

TODD DOUGLAS: So did she steal it?

TAYLOR LINCOLN: We'll never know. See you next time on--

BOTH: State of Debate!







MOLLY BLOOM: Boom! Smash!



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

LIV: And I'm your judge, Liv.

MOLLY BLOOM: And we love getting debate suggestions from our listeners. Take a listen to this ferocious debate idea from Rosie.

ROSIE: My name is Rosie. And I'm from Eagan, Minnesota. My debate idea is lions versus grizzly bears.

LIV: A harrowing and hairy debate.

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

LIV: And now it's back to our debate-- vacuums versus lawnmowers.

MOLLY BLOOM: That's right. And it's time for round 2, the (ECHOING) Micro Round. For the Micro Round challenge, each team has prepared a creative response to a prompt they received in advance.

For Matt and Andy, the prompt was movie trailer. Both sides must come up with a movie trailer about their side. Matt went first last time. So, Andy, you're up. Take us on a trip to the movies for lawnmowers.

ANDY HILBRANDS: The Buddings thought they would have a normal summer, until one day when their mower broke down. And the lawn kept growing and growing and growing.

ANNIE: Hun, where's little Charlie?

SUBJECT 6: She's playing outside in the long grass.

CHARLIE: (SINGING) The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout.

ANNIE: Sweetie, who are you singing to?

CHARLIE: All the little spiders.

ANNIE: Those aren't spiders. They're ticks!

ANDY HILBRANDS: This summer, prepare to get the heebie-jeebies as one mother does everything she can to save her family.


ANNIE: Is anyone home? Please, help!


SUBJECT 7: Oh, hi, Annie. I see you got the high grass over there. Same thing happened many years ago-- nice family, such as yourselves, mower broke down, lawn grew with reckless abandon. That's when they moved in-- ticks, millions of them.


SUBJECT 7: Here, here. Take this key on my shed. You'll find the only answer to save your family-- my trusty mower. Ticks love the tall grass, appeases them, lets them move around. Take away the tall grass, Annie, and you save your family.

ANDY HILBRANDS: This summer, one woman must do whatever she can to save her family.


ANDY HILBRANDS: Toni Collette's Pest Control. Rated G for Grass.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, my goodness. OK, I am terrified of ticks, so honestly--

ANDY HILBRANDS: Me too. They're terrible.

MOLLY BLOOM: Whoa! That one made my blood turn to ice. OK, Matt, now it's your turn. Let's hear your movie in the making, starring vacuums.

DUSTY: Ever since I was unboxed, people have underestimated me. They said I was overpriced. They said I was too small. They said I'd never get used. They were wrong.

MATT ALVAREZ: This spring, two vacuums come together to clean up their lives.

MINESWEEPER: Hey, what's your name?

DUSTY: You can call me, Dusty. I'm a battery-powered, handheld vacuum. No cord? No problem.

MINESWEEPER: Well, I'm Minesweeper. I'm a robotic vacuum. So I do my best work at night, when everyone's asleep. [WHIRRING]

MATT ALVAREZ: A new generation of vacuums carries on an old tradition.

MINESWEEPER: Hey, Dusty, want to suck up a big pile of cat hair together?

DUSTY: You know it, buddy. [WHIRRING]

MATT ALVAREZ: Their friendship had it all-- a closet, a charging station, and a lot of vacuum accessories. It was paradise while it lasted.

DUSTY: Here, let me suck up those clods of dirt. I was made for this.

MINESWEEPER: We were both put on Earth to suck up dirt. You can't hog it all, Dusty.

DUSTY: Fine, I'll race you to it.

MINESWEEPER: [SCOFFS] I'll show you. [CRACKING] Those clods weren't dirt. They were dog turds!

DUSTY: Minesweeper! Minesweeper, speak to me.

MATT ALVAREZ: A heart-wrenching tale of two vacuums and their unlikely friendship.

MINESWEEPER: [COUGHS] Dusty, when I'm gone, don't forget to clean up those crumbs on the kitchen floor.


MATT ALVAREZ: Coming soon to a theater near you, Dustbusters-- The Quest To Clean Up Your Mess.

BOTH: Wow.


MOLLY BLOOM: A heartfelt, beautiful relationship between two vacuums. Incredible. OK, Liv, what stood out to you there about those two movie trailers?

LIV: Wow, I feel like they had very different themes going on. One was very haunting and eerie and creepy. I don't know, the ticks are kind of creepy. [LAUGHS] The other one was sad. I was like, what is happening to that vacuum? No.

MOLLY BLOOM: Such drama. The intensity.

LIV: I know.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, my goodness. But I'm sorry to say you have to award a point to only one of these amazing trailers.

LIV: I know.

MOLLY BLOOM: The criteria is up to you. Did someone make a trailer that taught you something? Did someone make a trailer that made a movie that you would go to the movie theater to watch, get some popcorn, enjoy yourself? What do you think? It's time to award a point. Have you made your decision?

LIV: I have.


MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Then it's time for our third round, the super stealthy Sneak Attack. This is our improvised round, where debaters have to respond to a challenge on the spot. Today's Sneak Attack is called mystery word.

Matt and Andy, we're going to give you three secret keywords related to your topic. And it's going to be your job to get Liv to guess what they are. You'll have 30 seconds or less to get her to guess all three.

So, for example, if my topic was cheese, and the keyword I was trying to get Liv to guess was goat, I might say, [BLEATS] I have big eyes on the side of my head, horns, I'm adorable. And Liv would say, goat! And I would say, yes! And then I'd move on to the next one. Does that make sense, Matt and Andy?


MATT ALVAREZ: Yeah, perfect.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Matt, you are up first. You've got 30 seconds on the clock. And your time starts now.

MATT ALVAREZ: OK, you walk all over it all day. You probably shouldn't walk on it with any shoes on.

LIV: Cement?

MATT ALVAREZ: No. It's inside your home.

LIV: Oh, carpet?



LIV: Yes! Oh, my gosh.

MATT ALVAREZ: OK, these things roll up into little balls. And we don't call them little balls. But they end up under your bed, under your couch. And we have a super cute name for them altogether.

LIV: Dust bunny!


LIV: Oh!

MATT ALVAREZ: And this is just the sound that it makes when a-- when air goes in--

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.

LIV: Breath?


LIV: What was the last one?



LIV: Oh, so close.

MOLLY BLOOM: That was a tricky one.


ANDY HILBRANDS: It's a tough one.


ANDY HILBRANDS: That's a tough one.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, you got two out of the three. Very good work and excellent guessing, Liv.

LIV: Thank you.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Andy, now it's all on you. The timer is set. You have 30 seconds. And--

ANDY HILBRANDS: Right. Mine meld, Liv. We got this.

LIV: OK, OK, I'm ready.

MOLLY BLOOM: Your time starts now.

ANDY HILBRANDS: It's a weed that looks like a flower. It's yellow.

LIV: Dandelion.


MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent.

ANDY HILBRANDS: You use this to move stuff that falls from trees. It usually has a tube. It's like a reverse vacuum.

LIV: Oh.

ANDY HILBRANDS: It pushes air to move refuse from--

LIV: Oh, my gosh.


LIV: I know what it is.

MOLLY BLOOM: You can always pass.

ANDY HILBRANDS: --during the fall.

LIV: A leaf blower?



LIV: Oh!

ANDY HILBRANDS: This is what you use to help your garden grow. It's usually made of cow poop.

LIV: Fertilizer.



MOLLY BLOOM: And that's time. OK.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Cow poop for the win.

LIV: Yeah.

MOLLY BLOOM: Andy got all three to Matt's two. So, Liv, you can award a point. The criteria is up to you. You can say who got you to guess more, whose clues were better, entirely up to you. Have you made your decision?

LIV: 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. Andy, please give us six words that highlight how mowers are a tool of grass destruction.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Vacuums suck. Long live the mower.


MOLLY BLOOM: Nicely done. OK, Matt, it is your turn. Let's hear your six words to help team vacuum succeed.

MATT ALVAREZ: Cordless, allergy-friendly, and germ-free home.


LIV: Ooh.

MOLLY BLOOM: Very nice. All right.

LIV: I do like the allergy-friendly. That's great.

MOLLY BLOOM: The debaters have given you--

ANDY HILBRANDS: If you clean the filter.


ANDY HILBRANDS: If you clean your filter.


LIV: That's true.

MATT ALVAREZ: I'm very clean.


MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Liv, it is time to award a final point for this Final Six.

LIV: Oh, my gosh. OK. OK, I have awarded my point.


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

LIV: Absolutely.

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

LIV: Lawnmowers!



MATT ALVAREZ: Really? All right.


I accept this.


MOLLY BLOOM: Wow, what a tight debate this was. Liv, please tell me, was there a moment that really pushed things over the edge for lawnmowers?

LIV: Ooh, I don't know. I am a lover of eerie movies and haunting movies. So I would definitely watch the Lawnmower.

MOLLY BLOOM: So that trailer did it for you?

LIV: I think so.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. It was a tight debate, though, right?

LIV: It was. That was tricky, yeah.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Matt, you did a wonderful job. And you know what? I absolutely agree with you. I love vacuums. I feel like a ghostbuster. I have a Dyson. I call it Tyson. It's Tyson the Dyson. And we fight-- instead of crime, we fight dust and pet fur together. Oh, I love the vacuum.

MATT ALVAREZ: Andy, I absolutely loved everything you had to say about lawnmowers. And while I personally do not mow the lawn, I really do enjoy it when my upstairs neighbor does. And I do enjoy the way it looks in the summer. So kudos to you for all those great points.

And I'm just now getting into golf. And there's nothing more that I like than freshly cut golf courses out there. So it looks so nice. And I really do like it.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well, that is it for today's debate battle. Liv crowned lawnmowers the Smash Boom Best. But what about you?

LIV: 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.

MATT ALVAREZ: It's produced by Molly Bloom, Anna Weggel, and Aron Woldeslassie.

ANDY HILBRANDS: Our editors were Shahla Farzan and Sanden Totten.

MATT ALVAREZ: And we had production help from Rosie Dupont, Anna Goldfield, Ruby Guthrie, Marc Sanchez, 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 Marley Feuerwerker-Otto. And we want to give a special thanks to Austin Cross and Taylor Kaufman. Matt, is there anyone you'd like to give a shout-out to today?

MATT ALVAREZ: I think I'd like to give a shout-out to my wife, Aparna Ingleshwar. She is the reason why we got a vacuum-- a very fancy Dyson vacuum, in the first place. The best purchase ever. It keeps our house nice and tidy. So shout-out to my beautiful wife.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. And how about you, Andy? Any special shout-outs?

ANDY HILBRANDS: Well, now I'm absolutely going to shout-out my beautiful wife, Kathryn Huffman. She's currently recovering from a cold. I hope she's doing well.

MOLLY BLOOM: Aw. And, Liv, do you want to give any special thanks or shout-outs.?

LIV: I would like to give a special shout-out to my dog, because I am not married. So she's my baby.


MOLLY BLOOM: All right, before we go, let's check in and see who Rosie thinks should win the lions versus grizzlies debate.

ROSIE: I think lions would win because lions can run 50 miles per hour. And grizzlies can only run 35. Lions that have a big, fuzzy mane that protects them from bites. Lions have a powerful bite. And that's why I think it lions are the Smash Boom Best.

MOLLY BLOOM: 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. And make sure to subscribe to Brains On Universe on YouTube, where you can watch animated versions of some of your favorite episodes. We'll be back with a new Smash Boom battle next week.

LIV: Peace.




(SINGING) Ooh, you're the Smash Boom Best

Ooh, put you through the test

Ooh, you're the Smash Boom Best

Ooh, better than the rest

You're the Smash Boom Best

You're the Smash Boom Best

ANDY HILBRANDS: Get a push reel, you silly goose.

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