This is a transcript of our episode “Armadillos vs Porcupines”

Listen to the episode: Website | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts

Announcer: From the brains behind Brains On!, it’s Smash Boom Best.

Oscar: 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 between two marvelous mythical legends, it's mermaids versus Bigfoot. In one corner, we've got mermaids, half-human and half-fish. They're known for their super scaly powerful tails. In the other, Bigfoot, the ever-elusive ape-like creature living in forests all over the world. Which creature will win this Smash Boom Best battle? It's going to be a tough one, but luckily, Oscar is here to help us decide. Hi, Oscar.

Oscar: Hi.

Molly: When I say mermaid, what comes to mind?

Oscar: Immediately, Ariel. When I was younger, that was my number one favorite movie. I had little action figures of every character from The Little Mermaid.

Molly: What about Bigfoot? What pops in your head when you hear the word Bigfoot?

Oscar: When I hear Bigfoot, weird TV shows where it's like a bunch of old men going into the forest and setting up traps, that kind of stuff. That's what comes to mind for Bigfoot. Yes, that.

Molly: Oscar, do you find yourself debating or arguing with friends and family?

Oscar: All the time. They hate me for it. I do it way too much.

Molly: Do you have some tactics you use to try to persuade your opponent?

Oscar: I spent some time memorizing a few logical fallacies. People will appeal to common sense all the time as if that's like a fact, but it's just the stuff that everybody tends to agree on, but everybody tends to be wrong a lot.

Molly: Well, Oscar, you are going to be a fabulous judge today. Now, it's time to meet our debaters. Here to defend the fabled and fabulous Team Mermaid, it's Merk Nguyen. Hi, Merk.

Merk Nguyen: Hello.

Molly: Merk, in a single sentence, why are mermaids the Smash Boom Best?

Merk: Ah, they're intelligent, powerful, gorgeous, and just were made to be part of our world.

Molly: (laughs) Here to represent extraordinary and elusive Team Bigfoot, it's Joy Dolo. Hi, Joy.

Joy Dolo: Hi, I'm here. I am ready to be a part of your world. I took your line, you're welcome.

Merk: (laughs) It's okay, you didn't sasquatch my feelings. Not yet, anyway.

Oscar: Oh geez, this is going to be a long show.

Joy: Oh, you just slipped that right through my fingers. Oh, come on. This is going to be a great show. You're welcome ahead of time, Oscar.


Oscar: No, I fully appreciate the mystical puns.

Molly: Joy, in one sentence, why is Bigfoot clearly the cooler creature?

Joy: Bigfoot is the cooler creature because he's a lot like me. He lives on land, he's got a heart of gold, and I haven't shaved during the pandemic so we are both furry and cuddly.


Molly: I think the two of you are going to make all of us believers today. Let's review the rules of the game. First, we've got the declaration of greatness. In this round, each team will present moving, fact-filled arguments for their side. Each team will also have 30 seconds to rebut their opponent's declarations. Then we've got the micro round. It's a creative challenge both debaters have prepared for in advance. Next, we've got the sneak attack, a surprise challenge to see how well our debaters can improvise. Last but not least, we've got the Final 6. In this round, each team will have just six words to capture why their side is the best.

Oscar will award points throughout the debate, but he'll keep his decisions top secret until the end. Listeners, be your own judge and tally your points along the way too. We want to know who you think won. Is everyone ready?

Merk: Oh, yes.

Joy: I was born ready.

Oscar: Yes. Yes, I am ready.

Molly: All right, it's time for the-

Announcer: Declaration of greatness.

Molly: -our debaters are ready to deliver the most persuasive facts and stories about their side. We flipped a coin and Merk, you're up first. It's time to tell us about those mythical, mesmerizing sea-dwelling legends, mermaids.

Merk: Let me ask you this… Would you rather wake up to an alarm clock that sounds like this? 

(Angelic singing)

Or this?


I’m guessing you went for the first one, also known as, mermaids. But hey, I wouldn’t judge you if you chose the second one AKA Bigfoot! It undeniably leaves a big impression.

Person: Yeah! Team Sasquatch! I’d wake up to that voice any day! What the dolphin flipper is a mermaid anyway? 


Well, like Bigfoot, the mermaid is a mythological creature. The word “mermaid” is a combination of two words from Old English: “Mere,” meaning “sea,” and “maid,” meaning “young lady.” That’s not to say mermen and merpeople don’t exist. They did or… do depending on what you believe. Just know when I say “mermaid,” I’m mostly referring to any gender human from the waist up, who’s got a singular powerful fin from the waist down. 

Person: So what makes these mer-people so much better than Bigfoot? 

Bigfoot is a big, old scaredy cat who lives in the woods.


Mermaids are multifaceted symbols who represent power, stunning skill and individual freedom for the good of humankind! 

Person: Ohhh. So they’re like-- pretty brave…?

Merk: Uhh, yeah! Let me show you by diving into their history.

The first recorded mermaid tale dates back to 1000 BC, when, legend has it, Atargatis -- one of the most important goddesses in northern Syria-- dove into a lake and shapeshifted into a half-fish, half-human. 

From there, mermaid myths popped up in different forms all over the world. In South Africa, they were called “Kaaiman,” and were known to mesmerize locals with their hypnotic red eyes. And in Ireland, they were known as “merrows,” beautiful creatures with long green hair.

Throughout Southeast Asia, there’s folklore of a mermaid princess named Suvannamaccha (SOO•panna•MACH•ahhhh), who’s known to bring good luck. And in addition to being stunning to look at, they’re stunningly powerful too! 

A study done by the University of Leicester (LESter) in 2018 showed that based on all the lore there is about mermaids, their tails would have the same kind of power as a bottle-nose dolphin. With that, they found hypothetical mermaids could swim as fast 13 miles per hour. For comparison, Michael Phelps, the world’s fastest swimmer can swim up to 6 miles per hour. Dashing but not as swimmingly strong as mermaids!

And with that speed, they can cover a lot of ground, err… water. 


Right. And one of Bigfoot’s downfalls is that it’s a land creature. Mermaids, however, dominate the ocean, which makes up 71 percent of the earth’s surface. This means merfolx have probably discovered so much more of our own planet than we ever could! Doesn’t that make your brain bubble with awe?

But enough with the numbers! Let’s get into my favorite point... Mermaids as symbols of freedom and self-expression in modern pop culture. One big name in particular.

OH, you’re surprised I waited THIS LONG to FIN-ALLY mention the most POPULAR mermaid story of ALL TIME? AKA The Little Mermaid?! If you’re not as familiar with the Disney version of the story, it goes like this… 

Ariel is a 16-year-old mermaid who dreams of living life on land, instead of under the sea. That’s where she lives with her strict dad, King Triton, and her sisters who basically obey their father’s every wish. Ariel’s not like that. She loves doing what she wants. Swimming around with her friend, Flounder. Visiting Scuttle, her seagull friend. Or you know, making a deal with the sea witch Ursula to get a pair of legs in exchange for her voice! That’s how badly she wants to be human. She really doesn’t feel like she belongs in her mermaid body.

For anyone who has ever felt out of place for being different, Ariel’s story is relatable. Maybe like Ariel, what your body looks like doesn’t match what you feel like on the inside. Maybe you feel like you don’t fit in with your family and that they might not accept you for who you really are.  

You know that iconic song “Part of Your World” that’s in the movie? 

Up where they walk, up where they run
Up where they stay all day in the sun
Wandering free
Wish I could be part of that world

These lyrics encapsulate what it feels like to want to embrace some kind of truth about yourself in order to truly be free. To be your awesome independent self. And when you sing the song, you can get a special kind of joy out of it. 

Joy: Who, me?

Merk: Uhhh, I guess if you’re singing then yeah, you’ll get double the joy! 

In closing, mermaids are the Smash Boom Best because of A) the strong powers they possess B) their aquatic agility and C) how they inspire all of us to just be ourselves. 

Oh yeah and D) since they’re underwater most, if not all the time, they don’t stank like Bigfoot, who hasn’t showered in forever! 

Molly: That declaration definitely made a splash. Oscar, what do you think about Merk's argument? What stood out to you?

Oscar: Overall, I thought actually that at the very beginning, Merk's point about the alarm was very valid. Also, I love the argument about being a symbol of self-expression and freedom. I think that that is very accurate today. Yes, altogether, very good argument on the part of mermaids.

Molly: We had a really good dose of Ariel in there, which I'm sure you enjoyed.

Oscar: Definitely.

Molly: All right, Joy, it's time for your rebuttal. Time to sink some of the facts you've just heard. You've got 30 seconds and your time starts now.

Joy: Okay, first of all, nobody knows what Bigfoot looks like or sounds like. Nobody knows how he sounds like. So he could sound like Ariel, he could sound like a mosquito. You don't know that, nobody knows. Ariel wants to walk on land like Bigfoot. I mean, obviously, she wants to be a part of his world, you're welcome. Also hypnotic, they can mesmerize you. That sounds like they can make you do all kinds of things that you don't want to do. I don't know if I could trust something like that. Then brave, it's brave to live in the forest. It's brave to live on your own and to stay away from society.

Molly: Time.

Joy: Ah, God, I have more facts!


Molly: All right. Joy, I know you have more to say and it's awesome because it's your turn right now. We want to know why Bigfoot deserves to be crowned the Smash Boom Beast.

Joy: It's 3:00 in the afternoon. You and some friends are on an expedition in China’s

Northwest lush Hubei (Hyoo-bay) forest. (Whistling and twigs snapping)

What's that? Probably wood creatures. Suddenly, a hairy figure in the distance running, no walking. Very quickly. Black and red fur covers its whole body as two feet carry an 8-foot human Curious George up the top of a hill. You pull your rifle out.

As you take your aim, your friend says “Wait a minute. What if that's a person? What are you doing, you silly? Guns are dumb. Stop it.” And the creature disappears.

This and thousands of similar stories are what the Chinese legend of the Yeren is all about.

The Yeren are also known as Yeti in the Himalayas, Sasquatch in North America and Canada, Abominable Snowman in Russia, Darryl from Geico, or in this podcast as Bigfoot. Ya’ll, Bigfoot is straight up global. 

No matter the name or the location, these legends all describe a large ape-like creature that lives in the forest. Bigfoot’s size varies, but he is roughly between 6 to 9 feet tall, weighing about 1000 pounds. For reference, I’m 5’7 and weigh...never mind. It’s pandemic weight. Any-weight, the point is: Everybody and their momma knows about Bigfoot Friend hashtag BFF hashtag rebranding.

BFF is the greatest of all time because he is great DESPITE his bad reputation. People are all “Oh Bigfoot takes your kids” or “Bigfoot is scary” or “Oh Bigfoot is stinky”. Well guess what, everybody stinks, at some point. How many times have YOU showered during the pandemic? Huh? HUH?!?


Joy: Did you hear that?

Bigfoot: Joy….it's time to change….your clothes. You haven’t showered for a week.

Joy: See. Everybody stinks.

And besides his smell and negative vibes, Bigfoot is the best social distance-er in the history of social distancing. Sightings are few and far between -- especially when it comes to having documented evidence. One of the most famous reported sightings happened in 1967. These two dudes in California spotted and recorded a film of BFF.

They got tape! A few others have gotten photos and videos from a distance-- but they’re often blurry and hard to tell exactly what’s going on. Is Bigfoot even real???

Bigfoot is real. A real celebrity. He is killin’ the game in the entertainment industry.

He’s the spokesman for Jack Links beef jerky “Messing with Sasquatch”. There was the American film classic Harry and the Hendersons, or Abominable, starring a lovable BFF, and there is even a song called Sasquatch by rapper, Ice Cube.

Mermaids cannot compare! Mermaids have Disney, which is great-- if you’re 5. Bigfoot is for all ages. States use BFF as an advocate for conservation: protecting his forest home against wildfires and litter! Unlike Ariel who collects garbage and hoards it on the sea floor. Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? No! It’s called pollution. And if I had a choice to live in the ocean or live in the forests, I mean c’mon!

When was the last time you walked outside in the rain and you’re like “Oh this is nice, I think I’ll leave my umbrella at home and take off my raincoat and boots and live my life in this H20 nightmare.” Who could live like that?

And not to burst your bubble but mermaids are a lot more not real-er than BFF.

Ok…..Educated scientists, or people of fine book learnin’, believe there is a possibility of a humanoid living in the forests. Grover Krantz was an anthropologist that studied and believed in Bigfoot.

Grover Krantz: You just need one, one real one. And then you know that the species is real.

Joy: His theory was that Bigfoot started in China and made its way over to the US. He pioneered the research for our BFF and collected footprints. Grover paved the way for institutions like BFRO, Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. Even as early as the year 2020, BFRO collects sightings and speculations of the theory that we are not alone in the forest like this one:

Bigfoot Witness: Oh I’d say he’s pretty close to almost 7 feet tall. I thought he was about that. He was big and big broad shoulders. Black furry hair, kind of brown-ish color. Black and brown-ish.

Joy: In some Native American cultures, BFF is not a friend to be recorded for tweets and tiktoks. The Sts’ailes (sayt-sails) First Nation people claim a close bond with Bigfoot, and believe him to be a spiritual being that travels between our physical and spiritual realm. Others say he only appears during a time of change.

Bigfoot:’s time to change.

Joy: I took a shower man, leave me alone.

Bigfoot: No. Change the subject!

Joy: Oh! Yes! All this to say:

There are enough stories about Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, all around the world! There are enough sightings, there are enough scientists looking for proof that you can’t write Bigfoot off. Even if we never meet a Bigfoot Friend, people WANT to believe in it. We all WANT to believe in something larger than ourselves. It’s not about where or what he is, it’s about what he represents. We search our whole lives for something to hold on to so we can belong. But what if the very thing we are searching for is inside of us all along?

Bigfoot: Even if you don’t believe in me, I believe in you.

Joy: What a great way to end, Bigfoot Friend. Hey you, get back in my basement.

Molly: A colossal and inspiring argument for Team Bigfoot. Oscar, what stood out to you about Joy's argument?

Oscar: I think that her point about Ariel and mermaids wanting to walk on land is very, very, observant. It's a smart point because why would we praise mermaids for swimming if they don't even want to be swimming? If walking on land is what we want, then Bigfoot would be better in that sense. I love that Bigfoot can represent the less desirable parts of us, but in a good way. I love that Bigfoot is good at social distancing. I also think that the pollution thing is hysterical. I never thought about it that way. Ariel is totally polluting the ocean.

Molly: Okay, Merk. I am guessing you have a few points you'd like to make.

Merk: Oh, many. Oh gosh.

Molly: It's time for your 30-second rebuttal. What were the weaknesses in Team Bigfoot's declaration? Your time starts now.

Merk: Pollution is not Ariel's fault. That is land peoples' fault, including possibly Bigfoot himself. She's reducing, reusing, recycling. She's not putting it back on land, so you're welcome humans. Ariel is the exception. Most merpeople want to stay underwater. Mermaids are global too. You're talking about BFF having a bad reputation, but you said that mermaids are bad and evil. Well, yes, that's a logical fallacy right there. Mermaids are more appealing in self-expression too. Is that time?

Molly: You have seven more seconds.

Merk: Oh shoot, oh! Yeren rhymes with Karen. We know how we feel about Karens.

Molly: Time.


Molly: Oscar, you have so much to consider here. It's time to evaluate these debaters' deliveries. Who had the stronger declaration? Which rebuttal was the best? Award a point for each. Both could go to the same debater or you can give one to each, depending on what you heard. Have you awarded your points?

Oscar: Yes, I have.

Molly: Perfect. Joy and Merk, how are you feeling about this battle so far?

Merk: I'm heated.

Joy: Oh, goodness.

Merk: Yes, I'm hurt for my girl Ariel and all of the merpeople because yes, yes I am using Ariel as the main focal point, but there's so many other mermaids out there. I feel a little bad for Bigfoot too, not going to lie.

Joy: Yes, that's all right. You know, like I said, Bigfoot's been out here doing his thing, so it's like we're used to getting spit on a little bit. I'm doing okay. I feel like I am very much representing for the Bigfoot culture and I know he's out there listening right now because he's real.

Molly: Well, we'll be back for more debate right after a quick break.

Oscar: Don't go anywhere.

Taylor Lincoln: Taylor Lincoln here with… gosh... I’ve lost track of how many debates you’ve won.

Todd Douglass: At this point, everyone knows I’m a debate genius Taylor. Just introduce me.

Taylor: Okay. (clears throat) Taylor Lincoln here with debate champ, Todd Douglas!

Todd: Howdy doody, debate-heads! Taylor and I just started as coaches for a local debate team...

Taylor: The Great Debaters! 

Todd: That’s right. It’s a group of debaters in training. And they’re actually shadowing us in the studio today. Say hello, debate heads!!

Debate-Heads: Hii! / Woooo! / Yeahhh!

Taylor: We’re going to train these young debaters to sharpen their debate skills, so they can attack with precision.

Todd: And defend their claims with killer facts and logic!

Silas: Yeah! And if you’re not on our team, you’ll never be good at debate!

Todd: Woop! Hold up. Taylor? I think I just heard a logical fallacy. 

Taylor: Yeah, me too. Silas, would you mind repeating what you just said?

Silas: (worried) Uh… yeah. (hesitant, almost whispered) If you’re not on our team, you’ll never be good at debate.

Todd: So Silas, you just used a logical fallacy called a false dichotomy. 

Silas: Oh.

Todd: Can you tell us what a logical fallacy is?

Silas: Yeah. A logical fallacy is a debate mistake that makes it really easy for your opponent to take your argument out.

Taylor: Exactly. And a false dichotomy is when you simplify your argument to an “either or” situation. Do you see how you did that?

Silas: Yeah…I made it seem like there were two options if you want to be good at debate…Like…you could be on our team, and be awesome– or NOT be on our team, and never be awesome.

Taylor: Exactly! Nice work, Silas! 

Todd: Now what are some other ways our listeners can develop their debate skills?

Silas: They can join their local debate league?

Taylor: Yes! And practice with their family and friends-- 

Todd: And follow the news--

Taylor: And even get into arguments with themselves! 

Todd: So, as you can see-- there are many ways to practice debate and become great.

Taylor: It’s true! Let’s give it up for our listeners!

Debate-Heads: Woooo! / Yeahhh!

Taylor: Well, that’s all we’ve got time for today. Great example, Silas. 

Silas: Thanks Two Ts.

Todd: Yeah, and thanks for taking one for the team!   

Silas: Shhh-ure!

Taylor: Keep on honing those debate-skills, and we’ll catch you next time on…


Molly: We're back. You're listening to Smash Boom Best.

Oscar: The show about showdowns.

Molly: I'm your host, Molly Bloom.

Oscar: I'm your judge, Oscar Wolf.

Molly: We get amazing debate ideas from our listeners all the time, like this one from Sam in Lexington, Virginia.

Sam: My debate idea is numbers versus letters.

Molly: Will check back with Sam at the end of this episode to see which side he thinks would win.

Oscar: Now, it's back to our incredible debate of the day, mermaids versus Bigfoot.

Molly: That's right. It's time for Round 2, the--

Announcer: Micro round.

Molly: Today's micro round challenge is called YouTube star. Each team was asked to imagine their side as a YouTube star telling us why they are the Smash Boom Best. Merk went first last time so Joy, you are up. Let's hear your YouTube video about Bigfoot.

Beatrice: Welcome. What’s up everyone? It’s your favorite Bigfoot Friend Beatrice, welcome to my channel It’s a Bigfoot After All. The show where we talk about all things Bigfoot related, brought to you by combs– we need em! Today we’re keeping it green– and I don’t mean money. We are live from the forest.

 Yup we’re in my home, the woods. And it has WiFiiii!

Today’s word of the day is fictitious, meaning not real or true. Here’s an example: mermaids are fictitious. As you know, our anonymity is very important. And this week we’ve reached zero views! Ahhhhh!

And we have 30 dislike down thumb buttons. Thanks for your support.

Today I want to talk to other Bigfoots. What’s it like out there for you? How are you holding up? Woah, woah, woahhhhh. We have a caller.

Caller: Uh…Yeah hi. I’m a first-time caller and long-time listener. And I’m just sick and tired of how people treat us. It’s not fair!

Beatrice: I know.

Caller: We can’t all make it like Darryl from Geico. Some of us are just regular Bigfoot trying to live our big feet lives.

Beatrice: Amen!

Caller: But it’s just so hard out here.

Beatrice: It’s ok, let it out. I know, I can’t even wrap my head around it.

Caller: Oh, I can rap.

(Rapping) My name is Bigfoot and I’m coming to dismantle all that negative info about these huge mammals.

No one can hold a flame to this gargantuan candle.

All for conservation efforts, don’t you change the channel!

They call me Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Yeti.

Clocking in at 9 feet tall and I’m a tad bit heavy.

People think I am scary when I’m really just hairy.

Making me shake my head, no need to be weary.

Bigfoot just likes his solitude. Despite what they say, I’m not a rude dude.

Talking to him will change your own view– that is, if you can find me, in aptitude.

Beatrice: Well I gotta say, I did NOT see that coming. That’s all the time we have for today. I’m Beatrice. Make sure when you’re out there, you throw away your garbage because I’m done picking up all these packets of ketchup! See you next time, don’t forget to subscribe!

Molly: Oh, wow. That was truly legendary. I would subscribe to that YouTube channel for sure.

Merk: Amazing. Oh my gosh.

Joy: What a great rap. Whoever wrote that must be very pretty.


Molly: Wow. All right, well, now, it's time to hear Team Mermaid's YouTube video.

Cheriel: Welcome back MerMates -- to the channel where YOU are reminded of how mer-maidzing you are with my confidence boosts, makeup tutorials and music covers!


It’s Cheriel. You know, the mermaid who loves singing covers of Cher, the pop singer with hits like… (singing) “Do you achieve in life up above?” 

Not gonna lie, IDK if those lyrics are right. 

I’d ask my cousin Ariel, but she spends like allllll her time on land. Anyway, today I wanna get into some real talk to combat rumors from people who say I’m perfect. Because (sigh) the truth is, I’m not.

Fan 1: But Cheriel, you're gorgeous!

Fan 2: You’ve got so many friends!

Fan 3: You’re so bubbly! I could never be like you!

Cheriel: Thanks for the compliments but honestly, I often feel like a fish out of water. 

One: You can’t see ‘em ‘cause I don’t show them on video but my fins are smaller and less colorful than most merpeople I know. Some days, that makes me wish I looked different. I know I shouldn’t think like that, but it’s hard not to. 

Two: A lot of my school friends, like Freddi the Fish, are actually really sick because our waters are so polluted. I use filters to edit my videos so the water looks more blue but for real, the water down here’s gotten a lot murkier. And anyone who knows mermaids knows we don’t live deeeeep under the sea. Most days, I’ve got oil in my lungs or see trash from the surface floating downward towards me and my community. That’s not healthy and it makes me sad.

So let’s protect the (DOLPHIN CHIRP) sea!

And fin-ally, three, my WiFi down here is a bummer. You know how (DOLPHIN CHIRP) long it takes to upload one video from sea level?! I get down on myself when I can’t bring you all videos faster. 

But you know what? It’s all worth it because I’ve got mer-mates like you. Maybe you can relate to what I’ve said or maybe not.

Either way, I don’t think we’re much different-- you and me. I know I’M far from perfect. And you’re more mermaid than you think. After all, you can’t spell mermaid without the “me”-- (whispers) Which in this case, is you. 

Whale, thanks for watching. Don’t forget to scuba-scribe!

Molly: An inspiring video. I would watch that on a daily basis, just for some affirmations. Oscar, you heard some big claims, some fantastic facts, some really beautiful singing in both sides and rapping, so it's time to award a point.

Oscar: For Joy, on behalf of Bigfoot, that song absolutely was amazing. I know that none of you can see me, but I was in my room just dancing to that beautiful, beautiful music. For the mermaids, Cheriel could have been a million actual YouTubers. If I saw that on YouTube, I would not question it for a second, and the puns were on fire.

Joy: Yes, they are on fire.

Merk: Thank you.

Molly: Merk is a very talented pun-stress. Oscar, it's time to award a point. Have you decided on a winner?

Oscar: I have.

Molly: Excellent. It's time for our third round. Secretive, the stealthy--

Announcer: Sneak attack.

Molly: -today's sneak attack is called crayon color. If your side was a crayon color, what color would it be? What would the name of the color be? Describe the shade and then tell us what you would name that crayon. I'll give you a few minutes to brainstorm while we listen to some lovely hold music.


Mermaids, ladies of the sea, tails that look like a manatee.

Sailors love them, seaweed in their hair.

In the shadows, Bigfoot hikes. Some call him Sasquatch, what a sight!

Stomp, stomp, woooo! Creature in the woods.

Molly: All right. Merk, you're up. It's time to make some waves with Team Mermaid's color. What do you got?

Merk: All right. This crayon, which is a high-tech, waterproof audio recording technology is called Rain Boy G. Biv because when you use this crayon, it shows you all colors of the rainbow. Not only do you got Roy G. Biv, you got brown, you got white, and you got black in there too. The reason why it's called Rain Boy G. Biv is to show it's like, well, this color brought to you by the mermaid collection is not just a binary color.

There's a boy in there, there's a girl in there, and there's anyone who's not in that binary too. It's cool because you can record your audio inside the crayon. It's that high-tech and you can use it under water. It just goes to show, however you want to express yourself that day, I mean, all the colors are there.

Molly: I love that. A high-tech, color-shifting crayon. Love it. All right. Joy, it's your turn. Let's hear about Team Bigfoot's color.

Joy: This team, her color is called Bursting Chocolate Tootsie Roll Fireplace Caramel Brownie and Brown. Bigfoot is often mistaken for something gross, right? There's all these wonderful things that brown is-- It's Bigfoot's color, one, but it's also yummy like chocolate. Who doesn't like chocolate? Fireplace, who doesn't like something cozy? Tootsie Rolls, don't get me started.

Not only is it delicious-looking and smelling and tasting, you can eat it. That's right. It's also a GPS. If you get lost in the forest, you can use it. Because sometimes, you don't have WiFi so you can't use all that technology out there. You need something old school, something old school like the Chocolate Fireplace Campfire Tootsie Roll Caramel Brownie.

Molly: A high-tech, edible crayon that shows us the beauty in brown.

Joy: Yes.

Molly: Okay. Oscar, it's time to award a point to the side you like best. Do some thinking and mark it down, but don't tell us who's getting the point.

Oscar: All right. I do love that they both had some pretty sweet high-tech in there. Also, I noticed both of them managed to connect this point back to their original declaration of greatness. With mermaids, Merk was able to connect it back to being something that helps you express yourself and having all things be beautiful. Joy was able to connect Bigfoot back to, in this case, brown, but in general, having something that's typically perceived as negative be something that's actually pretty good. Good job for both teams that time.

Molly: Our debaters are not making your decision easy, but it's time to award a point. Have you decided?

Oscar: I have.

Molly: It's time for our last round.

Announcer: The Final 6.

Molly: Team Bigfoot, you're up. You've got just six more words to make a final impression on Oscar. Let's hear them.

Joy: Bigfoot friend equals big hearts? The question mark there is for free.


Molly: Beautiful. Now, Merk, it's your turn. Let's hear Team Mermaid's Final 6.

Merk: Self-expression activists, part of your--


Oscar: Oh, that's awful, but so good.

Joy: Talk about a cliffhanger.


Molly: We all finished it in our heads.

Merk: Tune in next week, scuba-scribe and you will know what (cross-talk)

Joy: Part of your what? Part of your what?


Molly: Okay, Oscar, the moment has come between these two larger-than-life legendary icons.

Oscar: I have awarded my final point.

Molly: All right. Listeners, feel free to pause and take a moment to talk it over if you need to, but Oscar, it's time to tally up the points you've awarded and let us know who is the winner of today's debate. The winner is--

Oscar: The winner is mermaids.

Merk: (screams)

Oscar: It was extremely close. It came down to the last six words. It was a tie up until then.

Joy: Dear. Really?

Molly: Wow.

Joy: Oh, wow.

Molly: This is a close one. Both debaters did so well.

Oscar: It was really close. Joy, you did a fantastic job.

Merk: You did amazing. You did fantastic. Fin-tastic.

Joy: Oh, Fin-inkly. Thank you. Thank you.


Oscar: Well, just with the last six words, I just thought it was so funny. I had to. Even though Merk was only allotted six words to work with, she effectively used those six words to get at least seven because we were all finishing it in our heads. Even though she only said six, I had to.

Joy: Ah, yes.

Merk: Well, Joy, I think you and I were made to be friends with each other because you have some awesome arguments that proved a lot of great points about Bigfoot, and I don't want to hate on Bigfoot because he and his species seem awesome. And that fire rap was everything. You truly bring so much energy and I loved this debate.

Joy: You know, thanks. I said a lot of smack against Ariel, but I could quote that movie by heart, like still—and I’m 33-years-old.


Molly: Well that’s it for today’s debate battle. Oscar crowned mermaids the Smash Boom Best, but what do YOU think? 

Oscar: We wanna know! Head to smash boom dot org and vote to tell us who YOU think won.

Molly: Smash Boom Best is brought to you by Brains On! and American Public Media.

Merk: It’s produced by Molly Bloom, Rosie duPont Sanden Totten and Jennifer Lai.

Joy: We had engineering help from Veronica Rodriguez and Cameron Wiley.

Merk: And we had production help from Elyssa Dudley, Kristina Lopez, Marc Sanchez and Menaka Wilhelm.

Molly: Anna Weggel is the voice of our hold music, and our announcer is Marley Feuerwerker-Otto. We want to give a special thanks to Austin Cross, Taylor Coffman and David Zha. Joy, is there anyone you want to thank today?

Joy: You know I gotta give a shout out to Jeremy Walton, from Thailand, that was actually the voice of Bigfoot. He did a wonderful job with that rap.

Molly: He did, that was amazing. How about you, Merk? Any special shout outs today?

Merk: So many. Joy, the BFF YouTube channel, my friends Josh, Jo, Juan, Matt, Hunter, Susan, David, Quincy, Alex, Ariel, AND Howard and Allen who wrote “Part of Your World”-- that beautiful song.

Molly: I love that song. Do you want to give any special thanks, Oscar?

Oscar: All of you. Anyone involved in creating this awesome show and anyone listening to it.

Molly: Thank you Oscar, we are so happy to have you back. And before we go, let’s hear who Sam thinks should win in his numbers vs letters debate.

SAM: So I think numbers would win because there are a lot more of them.

Molly: Fair point! Do you have an idea for a debate? Head to smash boom dot org and tell us about it! 

This is the last episode of the season! But don’t despair. We’ll be back later this year with season four. And if you don’t want to wait until then and you want to support the show, you can DONATE to get our super awesome BONUS EPISODE-- Coyotes vs Roadrunners! Head to and you’ll get the bonus episode when it's published on Feb. 25.

Thanks for listening this season! We’ll be back soon!

All: Bye! / See ya!