The time machine is a machine that appears in the episode "SB-129" and the video game SuperSponge.
The time machine initially appears to be a room with a grayish-chrome door on the right side of a Krusty Krab hallway. When entered, though, the room has blue-striped pinkish wallpaper, a lamp light, green ceiling, and interestingly, a lever with the words "Future" and "Past." When the lever is pulled in a direction, it sends the user to the future or past, respectively. When the person travels through time, green flashing lights appear the moment they disappear.
Role in episode
When Squidward asks SpongeTron and his clones for a way to return to his own time period, the robot leads Squidward to the time machine. When he enters, Squidward decides to flick the switch to the past, ending up in the Prehistoric Era.
Once there, Squidward meets the primitive ancestors of SpongeBob and Patrick, Primitive Sponge and Primitive Star respectively. Their meeting is somewhat calm, but when Squidward finally gets his alone time he desired and starts to play his clarinet, the prehistoric ancestors become territorial. They chase Squidward down to attack him, so Squidward runs back into the time machine. In a frenzy, Squidward accidentally breaks the lever off the switch on the time machine, leading it to warp from the prehistoric era.
The time machine malfunctions and ends up in a computer area with random things flying across the screen like "Asparagus" and "Huh." Then the machine folds itself like paper while flashing in different colors and finally disappears altogether. This is where the climax occurs.
Squidward finds himself in an empty white void called "Nowhere;" nothing appears to exist there but colored squares that can be lifted when touched. At first, Squidward finally feels that no one can bother him as nobody can be found here, but when he says "alone," speech bubbles containing the word randomly appears. Weird voices then start to echo "alone" in rather disturbing ways. After hearing the voices, Squidward becomes hysterical and searches for a way out of Nowhere. First, he sprints across the screen around four times, but realizes that by doing that, he just ends up back into the same spot as before. He then jumps around crazily, but luckily he ends up back in the time machine by breaking the floor.
When he enters the time machine, Squidward begins to admit that he misses Bikini Bottom, and even SpongeBob. Upon saying SpongeBob's name, the time machine warps him back to the present time period.
Squidward feels happy to reunite with SpongeBob and Patrick, summarizing his trip to them.
Role in SuperSponge
In SuperSponge, when SpongeBob travels back in time to the Primitive Bikini Bottom, it is mentioned that he used Plankton's time machine and shows a background picture of the time machine in "SB-129." This is incorrect because the time machine did not belong to Plankton, but instead to the Krusty Krab in 4017.
When PatTron, Patrick's robotic descendant, teleports inside of the futuristic Krusty Krab, the animation has a similar effect like the time machine when it warps through time.
It is located on the opposite side of a can opener room, as Squidward stumbles inside the latter in his attempt to find the former.