Today’s debate is a flavorful feast of deliciousness. It’s a warm, comforting bowl vs. a hearty handful for your soul. It’s soup vs. sandwiches! Actor, writer, and voiceover artist Taj Ruler slurps up success for team soup, while actor, writer and improviser Rita Boersma stands up for team sandwiches! Which delectable dish will be crowned the smash boom best? Vote below for the team you think won.

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MOLLY BLOOM: From the brains behind "Brains On!" it's "Smash Boom Best."

RIVER: 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 flavorful feast of deliciousness. It's a warm, comforting bowl versus a hearty handful for your soul. It's soup versus sandwiches. In one corner, we've got actor, writer, and voiceover artist Taj Ruler ready to slurp up success for team soup.

TAJ RULER: The superior food of choice. Thank you so much.


TAJ RULER: Glad to be here.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK. And in the other corner actor, writer, and improviser Rita Boersma is here to stand up for team sandwiches.

RITA BOERSMA: Oh, get ready to be bowled over soup. My side is stacked.

MOLLY BLOOM: [CHUCKLES] And here to judge it all is, River from Minneapolis, Minnesota. River hates avocados, recently read "Dune," and wakes up at 6:00 every morning to do yoga. Hi, River.

RIVER: Hello.

MOLLY BLOOM: So River, please tell me because I can't do it, What is your trick to waking up so early every day?

RIVER: I have to go to bed on time. I can't stay up late like some of my friends and watch TV.

MOLLY BLOOM: What time is bedtime then?

RIVER: 10:00.

MOLLY BLOOM: It's very impressive. So what did you think of "Dune"? How long did it take you to read It

RIVER: It took me around two years.

- So that's a huge accomplishment. Congratulations.

RIVER: Thank you.

RITA BOERSMA: Yeah. You really stuck with it.

MOLLY BLOOM: So why did it take two years?

RIVER: I'm busy. And it's not boring, but there are some really dense areas.

MOLLY BLOOM: But you did it.

RIVER: I did it.

MOLLY BLOOM: Was it worth it?

RIVER: It was worth it.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Excellent. And so, I have to ask, What is your favorite soup?

RIVER: My favorite soup is just tomato.

MOLLY BLOOM: And what is your favorite sandwich?

RIVER: A grilled cheese.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, and they go together so nicely.

RITA BOERSMA: That's great. That's great.

MOLLY BLOOM: Incredible. So do you have any advice for our debaters today?

RIVER: I enjoy listening to "Smash Boom Best." And I really love when they include some historical facts.



MOLLY BLOOM: So bring the facts. Well, will River side with Taj or Rita? Only time will tell. River, are you ready to judge today's debate?


MOLLY BLOOM: Before we dive in, let's review the rules of the game. Every debate consists of four rounds of argumentation, the Declaration of Greatness, the Micro Round, the Sneak Attack, and the Final 6. After each round, our judge River 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, Taj, Rita, and River, are you ready?



RITA BOERSMA: I was born "bready."



RITA BOERSMA: This is going to be supremely exciting.


RITA BOERSMA: All right.

MOLLY BLOOM: 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 Taj you're up first. Tell us, How is soup going to stir it up?

TAJ RULER: (NASAL) Oh, no, I'm sick. I thought it'd be OK to do this, but I'm sorry. Sandwiches, you win.

SPEAKER: Not on my watch, Taj.

TAJ RULER: (NASAL) Who are you?

SOUPA GIRL: I'm Soupa Girl. That's S-O-U-P-- A Girl. I'm a culinary crusader with a ladle of courage and a heart full of warmth.


SOUPA GIRL: You could also call me the Queen of Broth, the Mistress of Miso, or the Empress of Extraordinary Eats.

TAJ RULER: (NASAL) Uh, Soupa Girl is probably fine.

SOUPA GIRL: Now open your mouth.

TAJ RULER: [SIPS] Oh, um, oh, my gosh. What kind of soup is this?

SOUPA GIRL: It's Paruppu Rasam, a special South Indian lentil soup made with garlic, onion, green chili, curry leaves, and tamarind.

TAJ RULER: That's right, my mom used to make that for me when I was little and feeling sick.

SOUPA GIRL: How do you feel now?

TAJ RULER: I feel amazing. My throat is soothed, I'm less congested, and I'm ready to destroy team sandwiches. [CLEARS THROAT] I mean, thank you so much Soupa Girl!




TAJ RULER: Ah, soup. Delicious and it can sometimes even heal your body. Soup can be a good source of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. And it helps keep you hydrated.

Have you ever been dehydrated? It can give you a pounding headache and make you feel super sick. Not fun. And get this, doctors have been recommending chicken soup to combat a cold for almost a thousand years.

Modern science has proven them right. Soup can be soothing and help you feel better faster.

DOCTOR: Take two cans of chicky noodles and call me in the morning.


TAJ RULER: Besides saving your health, soup can save you money, too. It's one of the most economical ways to cook. Soup can be made in big batches with lots of servings that you can eat throughout the week, freeze for months later, or share with a friend.

Plus, soup ingredients usually have a long shelf life, so you can stock up on things like dried beans, grains, and canned goods when they are on sale without worrying about them spoiling quickly. Have you ever made your own broth from leftover vegetable scraps, bones, or meat trimmings? It's affordable, it reduces food waste, and it's fun, like a very yummy form of witchcraft.

And don't even get me started on the many, many, many types of soups out there with even more variations. Actually, do get me started on it. Get me started on it right now. Hit it!


I'm about to wrap the best rap of my life. Here we go.

(RAPPING) I'm in the kitchen where the broth is a-bubbling

It's a soup party and my meal count is doubling

Miso to minestrone, and chowder with clam

Lentil, gazpacho, it's a culinary jam

Cream of mushroom

Lobster bisque consume

Tomato basil is where I slay

Matzo ball bouncing in a savory sea

In this soupy situation, the winner is me

Pho, ramen, udon in a bowl

Split pea, minestrone

Now we're on a roll

Mulligatawny, black bean, tortilla for two

French onion and gazpacho

It's all gravy, boo

Italian wedding because I'm engaged

Creamy basil Parmesan, perfectly aged

From A to Z, it's a broth barrage

There's no better food than soup potage

Oh, yeah

All right

TAJ RULER: Not to get too dramatic, but my favorite thing about soup is that it doesn't just feed your body, it feeds your soul. Imagine you're playing outside in the snow and you come in for lunch. Is a sandwich going to warm you up from the inside out? No, only soup can do that. [WIND GUSTING]


Soup is warmth and comfort personified. Most soup is served warm, like a hug for your mouth. Sandwiches are busy people convenience food. They don't do anything for your soul.

The book series isn't called Chicken Sandwich for the Soul. But if you do want convenience, just pop that soup in a thermos, put on your coziest sweater and scarf, and drink your lunch out on the town. You deserve a lunch as warm and special as you are.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wow, a very warming argument there--

TAJ RULER: Yes, thank you.

MOLLY BLOOM: --featuring the most delicious rap I've ever heard.



MOLLY BLOOM: River, what stood out to you about Taj's Declaration of Greatness?

RIVER: The waist reduction stood out to me because we do that in my house.


RIVER: And also, the-- the rap was pretty epic.


MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Rita, it is time for your rebuttal. Tell us why soup equals poop. You've got 30 seconds. And your time starts now.

RITA BOERSMA: OK, first let me just point out some phrases like mouth hug--


RITA BOERSMA: --and, uh, other ones that were gross.


TAJ RULER: She couldn't even think of it.

RITA BOERSMA: Because I've erased them. But what I loved most is it's like, oh, it'll make you feel good when you're sick. But, like, if you're feeling really down, do you want, like, some bone water with dried beans in it? No! You want a hearty sandwich that won't make you sadder than you already are.


RITA BOERSMA: And also mouth hug.


MOLLY BLOOM: And time.

TAJ RULER: How dare you emphasize mouth hug so many times. You didn't even have any other things. I don't want to be superstitious or anything, but if you just have enough soup, you will feel better. You're not going to want to eat a hearty sandwich when you're not feeling good. I'm sorry, your argument is flatbread.



RITA BOERSMA: I'm feeling pretty grilled here. Wow, my friend.

TAJ RULER: Wow, wow, wow.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well, Rita, it is your turn.


MOLLY BLOOM: Please, tell us why sandwiches are the best thing since sliced bread.


SPEAKER: Wow, I'm so glad we all decided to take a trip to the beach.

SPEAKER: I know. Hey, did you pack a lunch?

SPEAKER: I sure did. I made three delicious sandwiches for three delicious friends. One for you, me, and Tyler.

TYLER: [CHUCKLES] Thanks, dude.

SPEAKER: [SIGHS] Nothing beats eating at the beach.


Hey, what's that?


SPEAKER: [SIGHS] It's a moose, a rogue beach moose. Everybody, run!


SPEAKER: Thank goodness we got out of there. That beach moose nearly got our sandwiches. Now that we're in the city, we can eat our sandwiches in peace.


Hey, what's that?

SPEAKER: It's a swarm of bees! A rogue swarm of city bees! Everybody, run for your lives one more time!


SPEAKER: What's the deal with animals today?

SPEAKER: Man, I don't know, but it's a good thing we ran into the woods.

SPEAKER: It sure is, but when you think about it, we could have eaten anywhere, whether it's a ferocious beach moose, a swarm of city bees, or alone in the woods, you can always enjoy a sandwich.

SPEAKER: Uh, where's Tyler?




RITA BOERSMA: Wow, those friends sure are enjoying an adventurous day. But if we know one thing for sure, it's that wherever they go, they're able to eat a sandwich, and that's why sandwiches are so great. They're portable, easy to hold, and don't require any utensils to enjoy, unlike a type of very wet and gross food I can think of.

Sandwiches are the traveler's favorite food. And because of that, they can be seen at every activity. Don't take my word for it, just ask Tyler.

TYLER: I ate my sandwich while running from a beach moose, fleeing city bees, then I rode a roller coaster, and now I'm playing the piano--


--all with a sandwich.

RITA BOERSMA: [CHUCKLES] Man, that guy's all over the place. Just like Tyler, the sandwich can go anywhere, even space. Back in 1965, Astronaut John Young smuggled a sandwich on his ship. The first sammie to touch the stars was corned beef.

JOHN YOUNG: Houston, pass the mustard.

RITA BOERSMA: Whether you're an astronaut in space with corned beef or a kid on Earth with a PB&J. A sandwich lets you grab your favorite fillings, put it in between slices of bread, and enjoy. The simplicity of the sandwich means anyone can make it.

There is no special gear or dramatic ingredients, like the ones seen in a very disgusting hot and wet bowl-based dinner. You don't need a special blender or giant pots to make a good sandwich. All you need is your favorite foods and some bread.


Do you like shrimp? Make yourself a shrimp po' boy. Ham and cheese? Whip up a Cubano. Corned beef? Absolutely, prepare a Reuben. Any food you like can fit into a sandwich because the possibilities are endless.

Now some of you might be wondering, What the heck is a po' boy, Cubano, or Reuben? They're all sandwiches. Sandwiches are so wildly loved, there are hundreds of different names and cultural variations on them. Can you imagine being able to order them all?

WAITRESS: Welcome to The World of Sandwiches, home of every kind of sandwich. Can I take your order?

CUSTOMER: Hi, can I get a BLT, a cheese-steak, clam roll, lobster roll, fluffernutter, juicy Lucy, sloppy Joe, Rachel, patty melt, Bob Ross, chopped cheese, and-- oh, and a Diet Coke?

WAITRESS: Sorry, we're all out of coleslaw.

CUSTOMER: Oh, OK. Then, um, please sub the Rachel with a pilgrim.

WAITRESS: You got it.

RITA BOERSMA: Those were all real sandwiches. And there are so many more to try. All over the world, people love sandwiches because they're more than just food, they're a way of life. If you think about it--


--a day is sandwiched between a sunrise and a sunset. A life is sandwiched between a birth and a death. And soup is sandwiched between a spoon and a disgusting slurp sound.



RITA BOERSMA: So whenever you're hungry, don't reach for a ladle or a bowl. Simply grab two slices of bread and your favorite food for a tasty sandwich.



WOMAN: [PANTS] Rita, the bees and the moose have teamed up and they're headed to this very studio right now.




Everyone, grab your sandwiches and run!




MOLLY BLOOM: Wow, an action-packed argument for everyone's favorite action snack.


MOLLY BLOOM: River, what stood out to you about Rita's argument?

RIVER: I got a historical fact about the astronaut. And I loved the, like, inspirational advertisement feeling at the end. It felt like a ad for some medication that's telling you how it's going to--

RITA BOERSMA: Mm, medication.

- [CHUCKLES] --solve your life.

MOLLY BLOOM: Beautiful. It was very beautiful. But Taj, it is time for your rebuttal.

TAJ RULER: Mm-hmm.

MOLLY BLOOM: Tell us why we should ditch the sandwich.


MOLLY BLOOM: You've got 30 seconds. And your time starts now.

TAJ RULER: I mean, the first thing I think of is, uh, a beach moose and bees are not going to really entice my appetite, so even if I-- it felt dangerous to want to bring food along on that adventure. I think that feels pretty stale to me. Um, and so, your whole argument, although, quote unquote, "inspirational" felt really subpar, if I have to say so myself.

So I really wish you were on a roll about it, but, yeah, just again, it just came really flat to me. I don't know. I don't think any of that argument worked.

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.

RITA BOERSMA: OK. OK. You know what's more dangerous than beach meese--


--and city bees? Hot, slappy chin drips when you can't get your soup in your mouth. That is what danger is.

TAJ RULER: That's more dangerous than a beach meese?





RITA BOERSMA: I'm going to have to really hard disagree. Even if I noodled on it for a while, if I chicken noodled on it for a while, I still would not think that would be more dangerous than a little bit of drip. I'm still saying that I'm the PBJ, probably better, jealous? OK.

TAJ RULER: Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, River, 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 awe-inspiring? Ward your points, but don't tell us who they're going to. Have you made your decision?


MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. Taj and Rita, how are you two feeling so far?

RITA BOERSMA: I'm feeling pretty BLT, with Best Little Thing.


TAJ RULER: Oh, kind of like the best little thing. Oh, "broth-er," I think that was a stretch if I do have to say so myself.

RITA BOERSMA: Wheat, just a minute. I am PBJ. I am Perfectly Built and Joyous.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK. OK. It is time for a quick break. Grab a soup spoon and a dollop of mustard--

RIVER: --and we'll be right back with more "Smash Boom Best."

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

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Hi, debate besties. This is Taylor Lincoln.

TODD DOUGLAS: And I'm the Todd to her Douglas, Todd Douglas.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: I have so many favorite things about you, friend.

TODD DOUGLAS: Aw, like what? Name them.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Well, I think you're kind and you're sporty, you're reliable, you're talented just like me. We have so much in common.

TODD DOUGLAS: Well, thank you for those compliments for me and for yourself.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: This reminds me of a conversation I overheard between two best friends the other day.

TODD DOUGLAS: Ooh, did someone use a logical fallacy? They make arguments oh so flimsy.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: They sure did. And it was a banger. Let's listen.


WENDY: Franny, you know, I'm so grateful for this time with you. Things have been wild lately.

FRANNY: Yeah, I always feel so centered when we--

BOTH: --go on our walks.

WENDY: OMG, we said the same thing at the same time, and we both like walks. It's almost like we're the same person.

FRANNY: Yeah, Wendy. I guess.

WENDY: Let's go get a snack, we're hungry.

FRANNY: Uh, I'm actually pretty full. I just ate a big Caesar wrap and--

WENDY: No, no, no, no, no, we're hungry, remember? We said the same thing at the same time just a second ago, which means we're exactly alike, which means we're both really hungry right now.

FRANNY: I don't think that's how it works.

WENDY: Oh, look, a churro stand. Oh, we're so hungry. Let's go.


TODD DOUGLAS: OK, just because Franny and Wendy said the same thing at the same time doesn't mean they're the same person feeling the same things.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Exactly. This is an example of a false equivalency where someone thinks that two things are the same, even though they only share one trait.

TODD DOUGLAS: Even though they have that one thing in common, it doesn't mean Franny wanted a churro.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Correct. But now that we brought it up, I do.

TODD DOUGLAS: Well, we better go get you one. We'll see you next time on--

BOTH: --State of Debate.





SPEAKER: Smash. "Smash Boom--

SPEAKER: --Best"

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

RIVER: And I'm your judge, River.

MOLLY BLOOM: And we love getting debate suggestions from our listeners. Take a listen to this precious gem of a debate idea from Adam.

ADAM: My debate idea is diamonds versus gold.

RIVER: Wow, that debate idea is priceless.

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

RIVER: And now, it's back to our debate soup versus sandwiches.

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

SPEAKER: --M-- M-- M-- Micro Round.

MOLLY BLOOM: For the Micro Round challenge, each team has prepared a creative response to a prompt they received in advance. For Taj and Rita, the prompt was museum tour. Each team needs to pretend like they're a docent working at a museum devoted to their side and give us a tour of the exhibits there. Taj went first last time, so Rita, you're up. Let us know why we should join Club Sandwich.


PICKLE: Hello. Welcome to the Hall of Sandwiches. Now, you might be saying to yourself, but wait, you're a pickle. Excellent observation.

It is my greatest honor to be giving this tour as sandwich's most beloved salty, crunchy sidekick. And if you're thinking, [SCOFFS] I thought that was chips. Well, I'd ask you not to bring him up.

We're fighting. Just let me have this. In this room, you'll encounter influential sandwiches from history. Behind me is a portrait of John Montagu IV, Earl of Sandwich.


Sandwich is an actual place in Southeast England. It's said the sandwich is named after him because he famously asked for a piece of beef between two slices of toasted bread, so he could eat quickly and efficiently. Stories say he was either too busy working or too busy gambling to get up and eat a normal meal.

Either way, genius. Further down the hall, you can try identifying sandwiches with a game of Which Wich is Which? Keep your eyes out for Elvis Presley's infamous Peanut Butter, Banana, and Bacon.


Maybe you'll recognize other global delights like Spain's bocadillo--


--a gyro from Greece--


--a perfect tiny bao from China--


--a succulent Vietnamese banh mi.


Oh, wow, I'm getting hungry. I hope I don't eat myself.


Test your sandwich know-how by correctly assessing which is a sub, hoagie, hero, or grinder. Uh, spoiler, they're all pretty much the same, but folks can get pretty heated about the regional differences, so do tread lightly. Finally, you'll enter the Room of Hot Takes, where controversial entries, such as the hot dog and taco, claim to be sandwiches.

Even lasagna says it's just several sandwiches stacked on top of one another and covered in sauce. Enjoy! And if you see chips anywhere, tell him not to text me.


MOLLY BLOOM: Wow, that Pickle definitely knows their sandwiches. Very impressive. Taj, it is your turn. Ladle us a hearty dish of super good content for your side.

TAJ RULER: Hello, everyone. My name is Taj. Welcome to our interactive exhibit all about soup. You get the exciting opportunity to fully and safely submerge yourself in the soup of your choice.

Before we literally dive in, please, make sure you equip yourself with our "state of the art" wet suit. These wet suits use nanotechnology to absorb the flavor of any soup through your bloodstream without getting you wet or making you feel full. Who's ready to go surfing on the rolling waves of a tomato bisque?


Does anyone want to climb a broccoli stalk in a creamy broccoli cheddar wetland?


What's not to love about using a literal noodle to float in some comforting chicken noodle soup? [SIGHS] And don't let the name fool you, our chili is anything but. Don't worry, your wet suit will keep you warm if you do want to take a chilling plunge in some cucumber gazpacho.

Oh, and please be aware that no lobsters were harmed in the lobster bisque. It's just imitation. If anyone wants to pop the question, our Italian wedding soup is a great venue.


I've only briefly brined myself in our beef and barley, but I'll be honest, it's better than our borscht.


Drop on by the egg drop soup if you have any questions and have a splash.



MOLLY BLOOM: [CHUCKLES] Wow, you get to be the soup. That is very special. OK, River, please tell me what stood out to you about Taj and Rita's Micro Rounds?

RIVER: I got some more historical facts from Rita, like the invention of the sandwich. And then, at first, I was a little bit grossed out of thinking about diving into some soup. But it actually sounded pretty fun and cozy in the end.

MOLLY BLOOM: Very, very cozy. River, it is time to award a point. The criteria are completely up to you and completely subjective. Could it be a museum that you felt like visiting? Did you learn something? Did you feel something? Whatever it is, it's up to you. Have you made your decision?


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

SPEAKER: Ha-ha! Hoo-ha!

MOLLY BLOOM: --Sneak Attack. This is our improvised round where debaters have to respond to a challenge on the spot. Today's Sneak Attack is called Oscar-Winning Moment.


MOLLY BLOOM: For this challenge, you need to pretend your side is the star of a fantastic dramatic movie. And we want you to deliver the award-winning monologue from that movie. Does that make sense?

BOTH: I think so.

MOLLY BLOOM: So Taj, it is your turn.


MOLLY BLOOM: Let's hear your Oscar-winning moment for team soup.

TAJ RULER: Let's see. The title of my movie is going to be called "Supreme." And that's what it's called, "Supreme." And let me-- let me stew on this for just a second.

Um, the setting is pretty. Straightforward somebody is actually in a competition. And it's to have the-- the most puns that they can possibly think of.


TAJ RULER: Um, and so, they're giving their final "pun-orific" um, speech about their selves that they love. It's taking place in a ramen shop. So I have a Boolean puns to share with you all. And I just want to say I hope you all really appreciate this moment because let me remind you that soup is super yummy and delicious and don't forget (SINGING) nutritious.

[GASPS] Do you know what a ghost's favorite soup is? Because it's scream of broccoli. You know what? I have to say one more thing. Because I never got soup as a child and all I wanted was some alphabet soup. [SOBS] You know what font they used? Times New Raman, OK?


And what's a soup's favorite sport, but bowling, you know what I mean? So please, remember all of my puns. And we'll see you on the other side. Goodbye.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wow, very dramatic.


And you know what Oscar voters love? Puns.

TAJ RULER: They love puns.

RITA BOERSMA: They love them.

TAJ RULER: They love them. They love dramatic puns. You know what I mean?



MOLLY BLOOM: There should be more dramatic puns.

RITA BOERSMA: Yeah, there really should.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, now, Rita, it's your turn.

RITA BOERSMA: Yes, mm-hmm.

MOLLY BLOOM: Move us to tears with your monologue for team sandwich.

RITA BOERSMA: OK. Um, not an often-chosen category for the Oscars, but this is an "Animal Planet" feature.


RITA BOERSMA: Yes. And it's just a story of a young kid who, like, was charged with adopting the family pet and couldn't choose. And the title of the movie is "Between Two Slices."


RITA BOERSMA: OK, um, monologue time, which is how, incidentally, she starts it in the movie. Um, she says that, monologue time. You know, when I first came into this shelter and I saw you, Rye Bread, I thought you were the sweetest little puppy I had ever seen in my whole life. But then here you are right next to your kennel, the dearest little brioche I've ever seen.


And I know Mom said we can just have one, but I can't choose just one of you. So I've decided I'm taking both of you. And both of you will live on each side of me for the rest of my days. And monologue.

TAJ RULER: And that's in the movie, too.

RITA BOERSMA: Also in the movie, yes. Also in the movie.

TAJ RULER: OK, all right.


MOLLY BLOOM: Wow, that was beautiful!

RITA BOERSMA: Thank you.

TAJ RULER: Very innocent.

RITA BOERSMA: That actor was only six years old.



RITA BOERSMA: Yeah, first Oscar, so--


TAJ RULER: And what was his name in the movie?

RITA BOERSMA: Ranch Mayonnaise--


RITA BOERSMA: --Salami--

TAJ RULER: Salami. Wow, wow, wow.


TAJ RULER: A sandwich, I definitely don't want.

RITA BOERSMA: That is a lot of wetness. It's practically a--

TAJ RULER: It's practically a soup. Might as well make it a soup.

RITA BOERSMA: I wouldn't put mayonnaise in a soup, though.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, River, please, award a point.


Have you made your decision?

RIVER: Yes, I have.

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


SPEAKER: The Final 6.

MOLLY BLOOM: In this round, each team will have just six words to sum up the glory of their side. Rita, let's hear your six words for sandwiches.

RITA BOERSMA: Six words, OK. [CLEARS THROAT] Bread chomps over slurps every time.


MOLLY BLOOM: Taj, it is your turn. Please, give us your six words for soup.

TAJ RULER: Soup is "soup-sational." Don't ever forget.


RITA BOERSMA: "Soup-sational." Many syllables, one word.

TAJ RULER: It was one word.


TAJ RULER: It was one word, though.

MOLLY BLOOM: Incredible. OK, River, have you awarded all five points?


MOLLY BLOOM: OK. Please, tally them up. Are you ready to crown one team the "Smash Boom Best"?

RIVER: Yes, I am.

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

RIVER: Sandwiches.


TAJ RULER: Oh! I knew it.

RITA BOERSMA: Bam, bam, bam, bam.

TAJ RULER: I knew it.

RITA BOERSMA: Da, da, da. I'm making a stack with my hands which you can't see, but it was a win.

RIVER: It was very, very close.

MOLLY BLOOM: It was a tough debate, so was there a moment, River that really pushed it over the edge for sandwiches?

RIVER: I loved the monologue I loved between the two slices. I loved to see the improv.

RITA BOERSMA: Dear Taj, and I do mean that because you are a good friend of mine--


RITA BOERSMA: --and way you slice it, [CHUCKLES] I think you made some really great points.


RITA BOERSMA: And I appreciate you bringing to my attention the healing nature of soup.


RITA BOERSMA: Because I feel that through the healing nature of your


RITA BOERSMA: But sandwiches are better, so--

TAJ RULER: All right. Congratulations, my dear friend, Rita, on winning. Whether it was a thick and chunky moment or--


RITA BOERSMA: How dare you? How dare you?

TAJ RULER: --or, you know, something really incredibly warm like a mouth hug with your monologue. I really-- I do appreciate your success in this. And I wish you all the best my dear, sweet friend.


MOLLY BLOOM: Well, that is it for today's debate battle. River crowned sandwiches the "Smash Boom Best," but what about you?

RIVER: 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.

RITA BOERSMA: It's produced by Molly Bloom, Anna Weggel, Hans Buetow, and Aaron Woldeslassie.

MOLLY BLOOM: We had engineering help from Alex Simpson with sound design by Anna Wegel and Hans Buetow.

TAJ RULER: Our editors are Shahla Farzan and Sanden Totten.

RITA BOERSMA: 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. Taj, is there anyone you'd like to give a shout-out to today?

TAJ RULER: Honestly, I still have to shout-out Rita for just being so amazing at what she does. She's so good. I like-- I felt moved to sandwiches almost fully, but not completely. But I want to give her a shout-out because it was really amazing.

MOLLY BLOOM: And how about you, Rita, any special shout-outs?

RITA BOERSMA: Yes. Uh, also a forever shout-out to Taj. But I'd love to give a special shout-out to my kiddo Mazie. You're the best.



MOLLY BLOOM: And how about you, River? Any special thanks or shout-outs?

RIVER: Um, to my father, Kyle--

ALL: Aw!

RIVER: --who drove me here.

ALL: Yay!

RITA BOERSMA: Thanks, Kyle!

MOLLY BLOOM: Before we go, let's check in and see who Adam thinks should win the diamonds versus gold debate.

ADAM: I think diamonds would win because they are way more valuable and way harder to break.

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 Debate Battle next week.

ALL: See you later!

MOLLY BLOOM: Bye! Bye-bye.

[THEME MUSIC] Ooh, you're the smash boom best

Ooh, Put you through the test

Ooh, you've smash boom best

Ooh, better than the rest

It's the smash boom best

It's the smash boom best

RITA BOERSMA: Soup is fine. I just also want bread involved.


RITA BOERSMA: On the side.

TAJ RULER: You know you can put croutons in soup, too?

RITA BOERSMA: Sure you can, and then they're a part of the slop, OK? [CHUCKLES]

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