Instead of trees, there are huge kelp plants. It appears to be more like a jungle than a forest. It is inhabited by a large range of plants & animals. Inside, there is a meadow that SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward used as a camping area when they were trapped here in "Club SpongeBob."
Role in series
Kelp Forest is the main setting of the episode. SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward land in it after Squidward tries to leave SpongeBob's clubhouse and accidentally causes the tree that it was on to bend and fly the clubhouse into the forest. Squidward attempts to escape. When he gives up, he tries to survive. SpongeBob and Patrick follow the advice of a toy called the "Magic Conch Shell." They do nothing until a conveniently timed airplane crash causes them to gain food because the pilot dropped the load, which were picnic supplies.
Squidward attempts to eat the food, but the Magic Conch Shell won't allow him to, nearly making him starve to death and making him angry. Eventually, a Forest Ranger arrives to save them, but he also follows the advice of the Magic Conch Shell, which leads the four to do nothing.
Kelp Forest appears again when Mr. Krabs tries to get SpongeBob out of sight. When Krabs has enough of SpongeBob's schemes to sneak back into the Krusty Krab, he tells him that he will take him home. However, they drive past SpongeBob's house and end up in Kelp Forest. Using SpongeBob's spatula, Mr. Krabs tells SpongeBob to go fetch it and SpongeBob does, but before he can get back, Mr. Krabs is gone.
Kelp Forest is the main setting of the episode once again. SpongeBob and Patrick try to survive after falling out of Sandy's truck. In the end, Sandy reveals that it was a test to see if they were strong enough to survive.
After a run in with some sea urchins, SpongeBob is tasked to get rid of them. He goes farther away from the Krusty Krab and eventually comes to the Kelp Forest. He calls Mr. Krabs, who tells him to go farther.
When SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs are trying to get to the Food Con. SpongeBob and Patrick grow tired, and Squidward suggests to Mr. Krabs that they stop at the forest for the night. They only have one Krabby Patty left, and Patrick, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs want to eat it, but SpongeBob won't give it to them, as the Krabby Patty is for the Food Con. When they chase SpongeBob, they run out of Kelp Forest and make it to the Food Con.
Although this is not known for sure, the history of Kelp Forest may have began in the prehistoric times.
In "SB-129," there is a small area in which the Primitive Sponge either ate or lived. This area might be where Kelp Forest began.
Kelp Swamp is a large swamp in the middle of Kelp Forest. It consists of various islands alongside the swampy waters.
Kelp Caves are a large cavern in the middle of Kelp Forest. To get here, one must go across the bridge that is located in the Kelp Swamp. It is slightly maze-like in design.
Kelp Vines are an area outside of Kelp Caves, consisting of a large vine slide. Mermaid Man is the world record owner of the slide for reasons unknown.
Club SpongeBob Camping Area is a clearing in the middle of the forest, which was briefly inhabited by SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward after they were hurled here by SpongeBob's kelp tree.
Kelp Forest Road is a road that runs through Kelp Forest. It is only seen in the episode "Bummer Vacation," when Mr. Krabs drivez SpongeBob far away from the Krusty Krab in an attempt to keep him from coming back until after his vacation time is up. It is most likely the road that is used for hikers.
Kelp Forest is displayed on the boot-up/installation window for the Employee of the Month game, although it is not a location in the game. There is also a restaurant located on top of a quaint hill that's rising out of Kelp Forest, called "Sublime Seafoods."
Due to the thickness of the kelp and the size of the forest, it is very easy to get lost here.