|Time is Money|
|Airdate||September 20, 2002|
|Next||Raise the Oozy Scab|
"Time is Money" is the seventh episode of season 1.
The episode starts with Jimmy, Carl, and Sheen watching a show on TV about the brain and how it works. No one likes the show because it's boring, so Jimmy is about to change the channel, but then they see a commercial for a product called "The 1000 Volume Set of the Encyclopedia of Infinite Knowledge," which is an 1000-volume set encyclopedia that has all the information in the universe. The commercial also says that if the viewer buys the set, they get a new volume every week for 19.23 years. Jimmy decides to get the set, he tells his mom about it, and she calls, but it costs too much ($500.00).
Jimmy talks to his dad about how much he wants it and how he desires to be rich. Hugh tells Jimmy about an investment that he almost made with the owner of McSpanky's (which wasn't that famous at the time), which he ended turned down at last minute, but would have made them very wealthy had he done so. He also tells Jimmy to be thankful for what he has.
Jimmy realizes he has a time machine, so he uses it with him, Carl, and Sheen in order to go back 15 years ago in order to get Hugh to invest with McSpanky in McSpanky's Burger Factory and get that money.
Jimmy, Carl, and Sheen travel back in time 15 years. They arrive in the basement of the house, though it looks unfamiliar at first: the basement, where Jimmy's lab would later be, is a simple unfinished utility room. The three go upstairs to the living room, where they find Jimmy's parents (who appear as hippies) dancing to a groovy disco tune.
Glancing around, the kids notice numerous lava lamps, a turntable stereo, a disco ball, and a number of other items common in the 1970s. The decor of the living room is a stereotypical 1970s design: green carpeting with orange rugs, yellow wallpaper with flower designs, "PEACE" posters, and wood panelling on the other walls.
Jimmy introduces himself and his friends, claiming that they came in due to an unlocked door. Hugh and Judy don't recognize the three kids, as they don't actually exist in that time yet. Upon talking with them, Jimmy realizes that his parents aren't even married yet.
Jimmy then has a little talk with his dad, and convinces him to invest in McSpanky's. He also tells him to get "his son" the 1000 Volume Set of the Encyclopedia of Infinite Knowledge to give to him when he's older.
Jimmy, Carl, and Sheen head back to the present, and find that Hugh took Jimmy's advice and invested in McSpanky's, resulting in the Neutron family now being incredibly wealthy, with their house is now made of silver, has fancy chairs, gold bricks, solid gold statues, and even antique duck statues (probably for Hugh). Jimmy is initially very excited, but unfortunately discovers that both Hugh and Judy have been corrupted by their wealth and have become selfish and materialistic snobs who are more interested in their possessions than their son (or other family members, as shown with Hugh refusing to give his own father money for a life-saving operation purely out of stinginess), not even remembering his name. They also put down Carl and Sheen and bribe them to leave with some goldbrick. Once they leave, Judy summons Hilgo, a man-woman, to take Jimmy to his room so he will no longer pester them, and makes Goddard leave the house.
Upon entering his room, Jimmy finds that he has every volume of the 1000 Volume Set of the Encyclopedia of Infinite Knowledge, just as he wanted. Jimmy is excited for a brief moment, but quickly realizes that having the set (or being vastly wealthy in general) is not worth the cost of his parents’ unconditional love and dispensed affection, so he and Goddard go back in time to prevent Hugh from the investment, and turn the alternative world back to the original.
Jimmy and Goddard return to the present to find Hugh and Judy back to their original non-wealthy but loving good-hearted selves. Judy tells Jimmy that she and Hugh have decided that since the encyclopedia set will be beneficial to his education, they will postpone their family vacation and use the money to buy it for him. But Jimmy declines, claiming that he heard the set isn't that great, but thanks them anyway. The episode ends with Hugh talking endlessly about what life would be like if his family had $100.00 at the time of the investing.
- During the scene 15 years in the past, a pendant light fixture hangs near a zebra-skin chair and shelf of albums. This light fixture remains in the same spot beside the stairs throughout many other "present day" episodes, despite the rest of the room being largely remodeled since.
- Hugh comments about how he loves "those three guys with the high-pitched, female-type voices". He is talking about the Bee Gees.
- This episode gives a possible explanation as to why Hugh's father has never appeared in the series. We learn at that time, Hugh's father needed money for a lifesaving operation. Hugh in the parallel universe coldheartedly declined to fund it, despite having more than enough money to do so, while in the actual universe, Hugh probably could not have afforded it, despite his far more kindhearted demeanor. Thus it's implied that in this universe, Hugh's father never had any means of paying for the surgery and died.
- Rich Hugh exclaims on the phone, "He has two lungs sell them for God's sake!"
- Hugh and Judy have been living in the same house for at least fifteen years.
- When the boys go to the past, it resembles the 60s and 70s, which ironic, since Retroville is supposed to resemble the 50s (as you can probably tell from the town's name) and the fact that it takes place around present time, besides the 60s and 70s fashions being different.
- This is the first episode where Cindy and Libby don't appear.
- This is the first episode to feature time travel
- In this episode Jimmy, Goddard, Carl, and Sheen travel 15 years in the past. In The Tomorrow Boys they travel 15 years in the future.