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 and 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 breaks the tree stalk, causing it to slingshot the clubhouse into the forest. Squidward attempts to escape but ends up getting lost. He finds light and runs to it, believing that he's finally free only to realize that he returned to the clearing. Giving up, Squidward 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 will not allow him to, nearly making him starve to death and making him angry. Eventually, a Forest Ranger arrives to save them and Squidward runs to him, happy that he's finally saved and tells him that he's stuck in the forest for weeks with SpongeBob, Patrick, and their Magic Conch Shell. Unfortunately for Squidward, him mentioning the Magic Conch Shell prompts the ranger to bring out his own Magic Conch Shell, to his surprise and SpongeBob and Patrick's delight. The conch tells the three to do nothing, and they comply; Squidward, still dumbstruck, complies as well.
Kelp Forest appears again when Mr. Krabs tries to get SpongeBob to take a day off from work. When Krabs has had enough of SpongeBob's schemes to sneak back into the Krusty Krab, he tells him that he will take him home. However, Mr. Krabs purposely drives past SpongeBob's house and they 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 has already driven away.
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 will not give it to them, as the Krabby Patty is for the Food Con. When they chase SpongeBob, they run out of Kelp Forest and end up at the Food Con.
Kelp Forest appears as the location in the second level titled "Meeting Sandy Cheeks."
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 seen in the episode "Bummer Vacation," when Mr. Krabs drives SpongeBob far away from the Krusty Krab in an attempt to keep him from coming back until after his vacation time is up.
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 is rising out of Kelp Forest, called "Sublime Seafoods."
It is mistakenly referred to as "the middle of nowhere" on The Complete 3rd Season DVD.
Due to the thickness of the kelp and the size of the forest, it is very easy to get lost here.