Today’s debate is a friendly debate between two groups of special besties. It’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vs. My Little Pony! Putting on the bandana for team Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is actor and improviser Alsa Bruno, while playwright and performer Heather Meyer is ready to sparkle for team My Little Pony. Which buddy bunch will be crowned the Smash Boom Best? 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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MOLLY BLOOM: From the brains behind Brains On, it's Smash Boom Best.

HUGO: 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 friendly argument between two groups of special besties, a crime-fighting quartet of reptile martial artists versus a tight knit crew of Earth ponies, pegasuses, and unicorns who know friendship is magic. It's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles versus My Little Pony!

We've got actor and improviser Alsa Bruno ready to Cowabunga for team Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

ALSA BRUNO: Heroes in a half shell. Sewer turtles smell better than ponies.

MOLLY BLOOM: And playwright and performer Heather Meyer is here to sparkle for team My Little Pony.

HEATHER MEYER: It's no baloney. Everyone loves ponies.

HUGO: How cute.

MOLLY BLOOM: And here to judge it all is Hugo from Plymouth, Minnesota. Hugo loves to sing is a fiend for dumplings and knows that his three-year-old dog, Olive, is the true head of the family. Hi, Hugo.


MOLLY BLOOM: So, Hugo, what kind of dog is Olive?

HUGO: She is a cavapoo.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK. Is she a snuggler or a wrestler?

HUGO: She's definitely a snuggler. She loves being a lap dog.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, I love that. So she's the head of the family. That means she's a little bossy, too?

HUGO: Yeah, she is. She demands attention. She demands pets and love.

MOLLY BLOOM: And you're free to give it. And you want to give it.

HUGO: Absolutely.

MOLLY BLOOM: Because she's the cutest dog ever.

HUGO: She's so cute.

MOLLY BLOOM: How long have you been singing?

HUGO: I've been singing since I was about eight years old. And as well as singing, I've been doing dancing and acting as well.

MOLLY BLOOM: Cool. What style of singing do you like best?

HUGO: I love musical theater because it's just amazing, and it's super energetic and fun.

MOLLY BLOOM: So what is your dream role that you'd love to perform but haven't had the chance to yet?

HUGO: I think I'm going to have to go with Simon from Little Shop of Horrors.


HUGO: I love that musical, and that role just has a special place in my heart.

MOLLY BLOOM: That is a wonderful musical. OK, we're here in Minnesota, but you don't have a Minnesotan accent.

HUGO: I don't.

MOLLY BLOOM: Where is your accent from?

HUGO: My accent is from my parents. My parents are from Manchester in England, and they moved here with my brother when he was little. And they had me and my sister, and we just had the accent all our lives, so.

MOLLY BLOOM: That's so cool. Do you have any advice for our debaters today?

HUGO: Be energetic. Make me laugh. I love a really compelling story, so yeah.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well, will Hugo side with Alsa or Heather? Let's find out. Hugo, are you ready to judge today's debate?

HUGO: I am.

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 six. After each round, our Judge Hugo will award points to the team that impresses him the most. But he'll keep his decisions top secret until the end of the debate.

Listeners, we want you to judge too. Mark down your points as you listen. At the end of the show, head to our website,, and vote for whichever team you think won.

OK, Alsa, Heather, and Hugo, are you ready?


ALSA BRUNO: Absolutely.

HEATHER MEYER: --yes horse ponies.

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, Alsa, say you're up first. Tell us what makes you flip for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

ALSA BRUNO: As a kid, the Ninja Turtles felt like home. Like the four turtle brothers, I come from a big family.


Four boys, two girls, two parents, and the loudest laughs in Texas. Both me and the turtles were raised to love and protect our family. We were taught both to be kind, even when it sometimes felt like we didn't have any kindness left in us, and to stand up for what we believe in. So I'm honored to rep team Turtles. But to help me make my case, I brought someone who's both an expert at arguing and a mutant. It's middle-aged Mutant Lawyer Seagull.


(SINGING) Middle-aged Lawyer Seagull. Rah.

SUBJECT: Yeah, I will defend your case with as much passion as I did the case of Turtles v. Pizza Hut, where I proved without a doubt that four turtles can indeed out pizza the brat hut.

ALSA BRUNO: The four turtles are Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo.


They were regular turtles till they got slimmed with special ooze, and that turned them into mutants. A mutant rat named Splinter raised them in a sewer, taught them to be ninjas. Normal stuff.

Donnie is a tech whiz. Raph has big muscles and bigger feelings. Mikey is the playful youngest, and Leo is their sometimes selfless leader.

SUBJECT: For our first argument, I present to the court this outrageously handsome piece of evidence, me. I am a mutant seagull with the power of the law. I was welcomed by the turtles.

ALSA BRUNO: Right, because they are kind and welcome everyone who wants to do good. They're friends with an impish skateboarding gecko, a group called the punk frogs, and a giant talking cow head with the ability to teleport.

SUBJECT: And they don't just make pals with mutants. I've even seen them make friends with those other creatures. What do you call them? The ones with no feathers, claws, or shells?

ALSA BRUNO: Oh, you mean humans?


ALSA BRUNO: Even for a superpowered turtle pals, making friends with humans wasn't easy. People are often scared of things that are different. And let's be real. When humans are scared, we sometimes make scary decisions. So our heroes hid in the sewers away from humans.

But eventually, they met April O'Neil, a brave human who was willing to stand up for others. She inspired them to stand up for themselves and taught them how to make friends with anyone, no matter how different they are.

SUBJECT: Precisely. Now, for our next argument, Your Honor, these turtles and their friends do what's right, even when it's tough, unlike a certain serial crazed bunny I'm defending next week who won't stop stealing. Silly rabbit.

ALSA BRUNO: Right. They'll fight pigman and sharks and slimy transdimensional belly button brain aliens, all without expecting praise, because it's the right thing to do.


SUBJECT: Oh, jeez. The whole neighborhood was almost destroyed by shredder's alien atomizer.

SUBJECT: Yeah, almost. But we were saved by, well, someone. Did you catch who it was?

SUBJECT: I think it was those green guys with the colorful headbands.

SUBJECT: Those monsters? If it was them, then why didn't they stick around?

SUBJECT: Maybe because they are selfless Ninja Warriors who save the world without expecting praise because it's the right thing to do.

SUBJECT: So selfless. Let's all return the favor and be selfless just like them.

SUBJECT: And lastly, the turtles are masters of mutating, not just from tiny turtles to teenage ones, but mutating to fit the times.

ALSA BRUNO: Right. When I was a kid, the turtles would fight their way out of trouble. These days, the turtles are just as likely to save the day by talking things out. Plus, they teach us how to deal with real world problems like being ignored, bullied, misinformed. And they do it all with humor and style.

The turtles are helping build a future where kindness to everyone is the norm.

SUBJECT: In closing, Your Honors, the Ninja Turtles are quite cool. Little ponies, in fact, drool. But fear not, because drooling ponies of every size are welcome in the world of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I rest my case.

MOLLY BLOOM: A sound legal argument there for turtles. Wow. OK, Hugo, what stood out to you about Alsa's declaration of greatness?

HUGO: I love the emphasis on family and how all of the turtles love each other so very much and also the fact that they're outcasts. And they don't necessarily fit in, but they're still fighting for everyone else. That's really cool.

MOLLY BLOOM: Very true. OK, Heather, it is time for your rebuttal. Tell us why Ninja Turtles are meh mutants. You've got 30 seconds, and your time starts now.

HEATHER MEYER: Thank you. I am excited to be the center of attention right now. And speaking of attention, I want to point out the wonderful argument that they are selfless Ninja Turtles. But it's interesting that after they do something good, people are always just talking about how selfless they are. And isn't that, in fact, just a marketing ploy to get them to talk about them? Ooh.

HUGO: Whoa.

HEATHER MEYER: Also, they live in the sewers. They don't have to anymore, apparently, but they choose to. And that doesn't seem very sanitary.

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.

ALSA BRUNO: OK, there is a housing crisis. The turtles are trying to make room.

HEATHER MEYER: They could invite people to live in the sewers then.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Heather, it is your turn. Share with us why. My Little Pony is filled with magic fabulosity.


SUBJECT: It's the Super PB Talent Show. Next up, Flame Smith, fire dancer, opera singer, and gymnast.

HEATHER MEYER: This is intense competition. I only balance a spoon on my nose. Why did I enter this talent show when I could be watching the My Little Ponies have adventures? Those ponies are super talented.

Rainbow Dash is athletic. Twilight Sparkle has magic. Fluttershy talks to animals. Pinkie Pie makes everything a party.

Pinkie Pie. That's it. She has a good time no matter what. She looks for laughter.

SUBJECT: Next up, Heather, the spoon balancer.

HEATHER MEYER: Be like Pinkie Pie. Hello, look at the spoon on my nose. Ta. It fell off. Uh-oh.

Be like Pinkie Pie. Be like Pinkie Pie. Look for laughter.

Hey, it's all part of my act. I was testing gravity, and it passed. A+ for gravity.



My Little Pony can help you with anything. They teach you to believe in yourself, celebrate your special uniqueness, solve problems, learn to accept others for who they are, and most importantly, that--

(SINGING) Friendship is magic.

My Little Pony is all about building a strong community and working to get along with everyone, even when it's hard. And how do they do it? They choose friendship over fear, because friends are awesome. Sleepovers with giggle fests, they brighten your mood. Chatting with your bestie, it helps you through tough times. A regular hang with your gang, this can actually make you healthier, for real.

Research shows that people who have friends are more satisfied with their lives, less likely to have physical and mental health problems, and can live longer. How's that for medicine?

Doctor, I stubbed my toe.

SUBJECT: You need a prescription for friendship.

HEATHER MEYER: Can I get friends at the pharmacy?

SUBJECT: Yes, ask for Madison. She's fun. And she loves baby animals.

HEATHER MEYER: I love baby animals. Wow. I'm feeling better already. Like I said, friendship is magic.

(SINGING) Friendship is magic.

And the ponies create friendships across generations. My mother is a cowboy mountain woman, so, of course, she got me the original 1980s, My Little Ponies toys. They helped us connect, because even though I'm not a doll person, we're both into horses.

Plus the Ponies show us that you can have adventures and solve problems without hurting anyone. When a swarm of magical bugs invaded the land, eating all the food, instead of exterminating them, Pinkie Pie created a one pony band with a banjo, harmonica, and tuba, and then she Pied Piper them away.


When the villain Discord kept making trouble, some ponies wanted to turn him into stone, not Fluttershy. She starts up a friendship with him, but when he does something bad, Fluttershy stops being his pal. Rather than lose his only friend, Discord decides to go good.

My Little Pony is all about celebrating your uniqueness. There are dragons, buffalo, yaks, changeling, centaurs, even a creature called a draconyx, like a dragon horse. Because everyone can benefit from friendship. And My Little Pony is not just girl stuff, because what is that even mean? Everyone is welcome.

And don't forget the Bronies, those groups of mostly young men who are My Little Pony superfans.

BRAD: Dude, my favorite is Applejack. Sorry, I love Twilight Sparkle. She's so studious.

GNARLY: Brad, let's hang and talk about our feelings.

BRAD: Gnarly, that is so Fluttershy of you.

(SINGING) Friendship is magic.

HEATHER MEYER: Also, ever heard of a Cutie Mark? Every Pony has one. It's a super cool design on the horse's flank, which is basically the side of their butt. Each mark is a fun little design with colors and pictures that represents that Pony's special strength. It's a lesson that we are all important and our uniqueness is awesome, amazing alone, even better together.

This is what the Ponies are all about. They don't need Ninja skills or Mutant muscles to be amazing. They have all they need in each other because remember--

(SINGING) Friendship is magic.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wow. A heart warming declaration of greatness there. Hugo, what stood out to you about Heather's argument?

HUGO: I love the importance of friendship. As we know, friendship is magic. And I just love the fact that you mentioned about that they don't use violence, and that's just like really cool of them.

MOLLY BLOOM: It is indeed.

HEATHER MEYER: Peaceful Ponies.

ALSA BRUNO: I don't want to overuse my seconds right now, but it's not a word.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Alsa, it is time for your rebuttal. Tell us why My Little Pony is more like my little nony? You've got 30 seconds, and your time starts now.

ALSA BRUNO: OK, first things first, bugs deserve land and space. The Turtles are in the sewers, hanging out, being gross, and they make friends with gross people. Gators fly face mouth people, bugs. And also the Turtles, because they're gross, they encourage others to be honest in their own shell, huh?

Heroes in a half shell, honest with the whole shell. You can be as gross as you need to be, and we will love you and make friends with you. Whereas the little Ponies--

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.

ALSA BRUNO: --just care about having friends, and the Turtles care about making friends.

HEATHER MEYER: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

ALSA BRUNO: Ponies still drool, even though, Turtles accept them--

HEATHER MEYER: Because they're vegetarians and they have to chew a lot more, and their saliva is more productive.

MOLLY BLOOM: Hmm. OK, Hugo, it is time to award us some points. Please give one point to the Declaration of Greatness that 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 appeal to your emotions? Was another team's logic the absolute most?

Award your points, but don't tell us who is getting them. Both could go to the same person. Each person could get a point. Have you made your decision?

HUGO: I have.

MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Heather and Alsa, how are you two feeling so far?

HEATHER MEYER: Like a cult of lightning.

ALSA BRUNO: Hmm, yeah, I'm feeling chill, tubular, laid back. I feel like we could all have a nice pizza pie together and learn about each other.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, it's time for a quick break. Grab a pizza or a bushel of apples.

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

TAYLOR LINCOLN: You're listening to State of Debate, home to rage and rhetoric and awe inspiring argumentation. Oh, hey, debate buddies. I'm here with the exquisitely dressed Todd Douglas.

TODD DOUGLAS: It's me. And I'm with the swellest smiler, Taylor Lincoln.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Oh, thanks, pal.

TODD DOUGLAS: Did you do something different with your hair? It looks divine.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Oh, yes. I tried washing it. And, Todd, your nails are so well trimmed.

TODD DOUGLAS: Nail hygiene is my passion.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Aren't compliments the best. But you know what's the worst? A logical fallacy.

TODD DOUGLAS: Those are bad arguments that hurt your case. And we saw a nasty fallacy dealt by one of the sweetest people in the world, the compliment fairy.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Oh, the Complement Fairy used the ad hominem fallacy. That's when you attack someone's character instead of their ideas. Let's listen.

COMPLIMENT FAIRY: Hello, Sarah. Your curls are a ray of sunshine. Mac, did I tell you I love your singing voice? Oh, Charlie, I heard you aced your math test. You are the smartest kid in the world.

CHARLIE: Thanks, Compliment Fairy, but don't be silly.

COMPLIMENT FAIRY: Silly? Oh, heavens, no. I'm just telling you how you're the most intelligent little tyke.

CHARLIE: Yeah, but how would if I'm the most intelligent? Have you surveyed all the little tykes in the world? Plus, how are you defining intelligence? Even education professionals struggle to define intelligence.

Furthermore, what constitutes a little tyke or a kid, for that matter? Are you comparing my intelligence to that of a teenager or a baby? Because that hardly seems fair.

COMPLIMENT FAIRY: See, all of your quibbles just serve to emphasize how incomparably smart you are.

CHARLIE: Frankly, your lack of insight into the complement you gave me calls into question the authenticity of your compliments in the past.

COMPLIMENT FAIRY: Well, of course, you wouldn't agree you're the smartest kid because you're just a know it all, aren't you?

TODD DOUGLAS: Ouch, not cool.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Yeah. And even with the best intentions, you can still make a fallacy. By the way, the Complement Fairy did apologize to Charlie right after this. And trust me, it was the most sincere apology ever.

TODD DOUGLAS: Good to hear. But can we be sure it was the most sincere ever?

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Drop it, Todd. We'll see you next time on State of Debate.

SUBJECT: Brain On Universe is a family of podcasts for kids and their adults. And since you're a fan of Smash Boom Best, we know you'll love the other shows in our universe. Come on, let's explore.

SUBJECT: Entering Brains On Universe.

SUBJECT: Oh, so many podcasts.

SUBJECT: Brains On Smash Boom Best forever ago. Picking up signals.

SUBJECT: Brains On.

SUBJECT: Brains On a science podcast.

SUBJECT: About a hundred bolts of lightning strike the Earth's surface every second.

SUBJECT: But there are all different types of lightning. You can have lightning bolts between clouds, from the ground up to a cloud, even lightning that looks like glowing balls.

SUBJECT: Lightning ball. Zorb, where did the signal go? Must find Brains On Pod.

SUBJECT: Search for Brains On wherever you listen to podcasts.

(SINGING) Boom, boom, boom. Boom. Boom, boom, boom. Boom, Smash, Best.

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

HUGO: And I'm your Judge Hugo.

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

ELIANA: My debate idea is bunnies versus kittens.

HUGO: That debate is just too cute.

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

HUGO: And now it's back to our debate, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles versus My Little Pony.

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

SUBJECT: Micro Round.

MOLLY BLOOM: For the Micro Round challenge, each team has prepared a creative response to a prompt they received in advance. For Alsa and Heather, the prompt was advice columnist. Each of our debaters had to craft a response to Tanderson, who wrote in with this plea for advice.

"I just started a new school, but I'm having trouble making friends. Please help." Alsa went first last time. So, Heather, you're up. Help Tanderson with the power of Ponies.

HEATHER MEYER: Dear Tanderson, thank you for asking a question of this equestrian. Making friends can be tricky. It can really make you feel unstable at a new school. But you don't have to be as beautiful and charismatic as celebrities like David Hasselhoff or Marilyn Monroe to make friends.

Who are they? No time for that now. Ask your parents or grandparents. I will quit fooling around and get you out of this nightmare.

The Ponies have six things they call the elements of harmony. These are laughter, honesty, generosity, kindness, loyalty, and magic. Stick with these and you'll be main deep in friends in no time.

Like Fluttershy, she's a soft spoken and shy Pony, but because of her kindness, she befriends all wild animals. This helped her make friends with Twilight Sparkle, who needed help with her baby dragon.

The Pony named Rarity is all about generosity. So why not channel her and bring a treat that you can share with a new friend to start a conversation. Or be like Applejack, who is awesome at asking questions. It's a great way to start conversations.

And, of course, there's Pinkie Pie, who reminds us of the importance of laughing. It's OK to make mistakes. Having a sense of humor will help Ponies and people connect with you. Sincerely, My Little Ponies.

MOLLY BLOOM: So many good personalities and powers to draw from in that advice. Alsa, now it's your turn to teach Tanderson some turtle tips.

ALSA BRUNO: What's up, Tanderson. My name is Mikey, and I have made loads of friends, so I'm glad you asked for help.

There's really three things to know. First, say hi. It could feel so cringe to introduce yourself to someone, but every friend I've made has heard me say hi, and now I say hi to my friends all the time. And some of us even have secret handshakes.

Numero 2, join people who don't look like you. My best friend, April O'Neil, looks nothing like me. She's not even green. When we first met, my adopted mutant rat dad told me that we shouldn't be friends. But after hanging out with April, I've made so many more human friends. And now I have friends who look like her and friends with wings, fins, wheels.

Friends are like pizzas, dude. I've never met one I didn't like.

And lastly, always ride that wave. Dude, have you ever been cruising around in a sewer on your sickest board and then you almost wipe out on a banana that should have been composted? But you ride that momentum, shift your weight, stay upright and keep going?

I know. Happens all the time, right? Making new friends is like that. Stay true to yourself. And when someone throws you a curve ball, roll with it. Soon enough, you and that person will be riding the wave of friendship together.

Stay tubulars, Tanderson. You got one new friend already. Me.

MOLLY BLOOM: Another amazing slice of advice there. Hugo, what did you like about Alsa and Heather's macarons?

HUGO: I loved the variety of the My Little Pony advice because there was just so many different things to choose, so many different tactics to use. But I also loved the just sheer confidence of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one. And just the amount that he was just willing to say, I say hi to all my friends, that's advice that I'll take with me.

HEATHER MEYER: I mean, I say hi to people who aren't even my friends.

ALSA BRUNO: But you didn't say it. But you didn't say it, though.


ALSA BRUNO: Oh. Wow, it really works. Hi.

HEATHER MEYER: Yeah, it really does. It really does.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Hugo, it is time to award a point. Don't tell us who it's going to. The criteria are totally up to you. Did someone give better advice? Is something going to stick with you?

HUGO: Was Humira a stretch?

MOLLY BLOOM: Or was it perfect horse. Yep, perfect horse. Or was it perfect horse? We all say that. That's a thing people say.

HUGO: Yeah, or perfect tortoises.

MOLLY BLOOM: Yes, or the turtled. Yeah, all right. Hugo, have you made your decision?

HUGO: I have.

MOLLY BLOOM: Fantastic. Then it's time for our third round. The Super Stealthy Sneak Attack. Today's sneak attack is called mystery sounds. We've given you three mystery sounds related to your side. And it's going to be Hugo's job to guess what sounds you're making.

For example, if my side is bowling, my first sound might be thunk.


And Hugo would say, that was the sound of making a strike, Molly. And I would say, yes, Hugo. Good ears. And Hugo would say, thank you, Molly. I appreciate the complement.

So, debaters, this makes sense? Are you ready for your sneak attack?



MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. All right. We're going to start Alsa. Let's hear your first Teenage Mutant mystery moment.


ALSA BRUNO: Oh, sick.

MOLLY BLOOM: What do you think, Hugo?

HUGO: My first guess is a skateboard.


HUGO: I think he was probably skateboarding and then doing a trick. And then one of the other turtles went, nice.

MOLLY BLOOM: Absolutely. Correct. Now, Heather, it's your turn to give us my little mystery sound.


What do you think, Hugo?

HUGO: Hmm. I think that that is probably a Pony, strutting, walking into a strong gallop.



HUGO: My gosh.

MOLLY BLOOM: Hugo does have excellent ears.

HEATHER MEYER: Yes, well done.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Alsa, what is your next sonic surprise?


Hugo, what do you think?

HUGO: I think that's a subway train.


MOLLY BLOOM: Correct. Nice work, Hugo.

HUGO: I know. I'm on a roll.

ALSA BRUNO: Puns, you got turtled.

HEATHER MEYER: Ah, turtled once again. I'll get ponied yet.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Heather, let's hear your second sound.


HUGO: Hmm. I think is that a Pony taking a bite out of an apple?

HEATHER MEYER: Yes, it is. We got pony. Yes.

HUGO: I've got turtled, then I've got ponied.


MOLLY BLOOM: Hugo, truly amazing guessing. Oh, wow. OK, Alsa, it's time for your third turtle tone.


HUGO: Is that a rat noise I hear?

ALSA BRUNO: That is a rat noise.

MOLLY BLOOM: Awesome. You know, classic rat noise.


HUGO: Yes.


HEATHER MEYER: Skitter, of course.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Heather, please take us home with your final Pony sound sample.


HUGO: Well, I feel like that's a Pony galloping into a lift-off because it's a Pegasus.


ALSA BRUNO: Those ears.

HEATHER MEYER: Hugo oh, so good. So good. 100%

HUGO: I'm so proud of myself.

HEATHER MEYER: You're turtled ponied. Oh.

MOLLY BLOOM: Folks at home, he did not have the answers. He got all of those on his own. Holy cow. Amazing. OK, Hugo, they both did a great job. You did a great job guessing. But only one of them can get a point for this round. The criteria are totally up to you and totally subjective. So have you made your decision?

HUGO: I have.

MOLLY BLOOM: Perfect. Then it's time for our final round, the final six. In this round, each team will have just six words to sum up the glory of their side. Heather, let's hear your six words for your magic friends.

HEATHER MEYER: Friendship is magic. Turtles are tragic.


HEATHER MEYER: Oh, I know, a diss that rhymed.

ALSA BRUNO: And I really thought we had gotten past that by now.

HEATHER MEYER: You think, but I'm trying to really raise the Ponies up and not just the Pegasus.

ALSA BRUNO: Very Pinkie Pie of you.

HEATHER MEYER: Thank you. That was very rarity with your generosity.

ALSA BRUNO: Come on. Come on, now.

MOLLY BLOOM: Mm-hmm. Beautiful. OK, Alsa, it's time for your six words for the turtle bros.

ALSA BRUNO: Suddenly turtles are fighting beside you.


HUGO: Amazing.

MOLLY BLOOM: A musical final six.


MOLLY BLOOM: That was a melody from Little Shop of Horrors.

HUGO: Oh, was it?

MOLLY BLOOM: Hugo's dream musical.

HUGO: Yes.

MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, interesting.

HUGO: Brownie points, I mean.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Hugo, it is time to award a final point for this final six. Have you made your decision?

HUGO: I have.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right. Tally up those points. Are you ready to crown one team The Smash Boom Best?

HUGO: I am.

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

HUGO: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.



ALSA BRUNO: Cowabunga tubal tastic. I wish I had better words. I'm so filled with the coolness of this.

HEATHER MEYER: This is a nightmare.

HUGO: There's no way you have a third pun for what this feels like.

HEATHER MEYER: Stop stalling.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, my gosh. So, Hugo, was there a moment that really decided it for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

HUGO: It was really close, actually. It was pretty even until the end. And then with that song that you did, I was like, that was really creative. So I really enjoyed that.

ALSA BRUNO: That was an inspiration straight from the Leonardo above.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, oh, OK. Not from Broadway at all?

ALSA BRUNO: No, no, no, no, no, no. I actually have never heard of Rick Moranis.

MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, yeah. OK, all this seems factual.

ALSA BRUNO: Heather, it's really fun. This is my first time meeting you, and I'm glad that-- I feel like we in real life made friends. So I look forward to seeing you out in the real world like turtles and ponies do, and your wordplay is top notch. I cannot hoarse enough.


ALSA BRUNO: See? That's how I pun. I'm not good at that.


ALSA BRUNO: You're an inspiration. Thank you.

HEATHER MEYER: I'll say I am a big fan. You did so great. The turtles are fantastic. And we didn't even talk about their theme song.


HEATHER MEYER: It's so good.

ALSA BRUNO: It was too strong a point.

HEATHER MEYER: It was too strong a point. And I was having a hard time. I mean, I do like, anyway. You were great. And you're right. The ponies and the turtles have so much in common that they service the same goals.

ALSA BRUNO: Here, here, turtle, turtle.

HEATHER MEYER: Pony, pony. To pony, pet turtle.

MOLLY BLOOM: And that's it for today's debate battle. Hugo crowned Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Smash Boom Best. But what about you?

HUGO: 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.

HUGO: It's produced by [LISTING HONOR ROLL]

MOLLY BLOOM: We had engineering help from [LISTING HONOR ROLL] with sound design by [LISTING HONOR ROLL].


HUGO: And we had production help from [LISTING HONOR ROLL].

MOLLY BLOOM: Our executive producer is [LISTING HONOR ROLL]. And the APM Studios Executives in charge are [LISTING HONOR ROLL]. Our announcer is [LISTING HONOR ROLL]. And we want to give a special thanks to [LISTING HONOR ROLL]. Alsa, is there anyone you'd like to give a shout out to today.

ALSA BRUNO: Yeah, my family. Go, Bruno's, especially my mom. She made us all and when I get married really soon, my brothers are going to dress like all the turtles. It's going to be so great.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, my gosh. That sounds amazing. OK, Heather, how about you? Any special shout out?

HEATHER MEYER: I'm going to shout out my mom. Also, the Pony I had growing up named Ginger. She was amazing. And my dog and cat. Ernie is my cat and Murray is my dog.

MOLLY BLOOM: Ernie and Murray.

HEATHER MEYER: And they listen to podcasts all the time, obviously.

MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah. And how about you, Hugo? Any special things for shout outs?

HUGO: I'm going to shout out my sister, because she was the one that I was growing up watching these shows with and who I feel like is going to love this podcast episode.

MOLLY BLOOM: Very nice. Before we go, let's check in and see who Eliana thinks should win the bunnies versus kittens debate.

ELIANA: I think bunnies would win because they can hop. They're hypoallergenic, and they're vegetarians.

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 Best debate battle next week. Ta-da.


(SINGING) Oh, your Smash Boom Best. Oh, put you through the test. Oh, your Smash Boom Best. Oh, better than the rest. It's natural best It's natural best.

MOLLY BLOOM: A crime farting quartet-- a crime farting?


ALSA BRUNO: I thought they were silent but deadly than ninjas.


ALSA BRUNO: They're ninjas.

HEATHER MEYER: Yes, they are ninja farts.

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