This explains everything about it: the cartoonish portrayals of history, the fact that nothing Peabody and Sherman do seems to actually matter, and even the Translator Microbes. Peabody just wants Sherman to think it's a time machine because he [Peabody] thinks it'll seem more interesting that way.
- So it's like the Internet Archive Wayback Machine then?
They're the only way to tell the Wayback machine to turn off; the saying of the bad pun returns them to the time they departed from. Trying to figure out why he built the machine this way seems to me like trying to figure out why the Garbageman is a garbageman even though he's the world's smartest human; because we are not Peabody, we will never truly find out.
- Perhaps it's Peabody's way of stranding anyone who steals or forcibly commandeers the machine in the past (until he rescues them, if he ever does). He was already in the habit of telling that kind of joke, and he could think of no better way to hide a trigger method than in something he always did anyway.
- It would also mesh well with his inevitable passing of the machine to Sherman. There's only two ways Sherman could find out about the return system: either by being told by Peabody when he thinks the boy is ready, or by figuring it out on his own and successfully triggering it, which would require so much cleverness and wit that, in Peabody's eyes, he would most certainly be ready anyway.
- This is handwaved in the Wossamotta U. story arc. At first, a member of the faculty says that college rules state that a moose cannot play on the football team. Upon second look, the rules say a mouse cannot play, thus making Bullwinkle eligible.
- ...because he's a squirrel?
- He's supposed to be a characterization of a little boy (or boy scout). Jay Ward's other animal heroes, Crusader Rabbit and Hoppity Hooper, also had female voice talents (Lucille Bliss and Chris Jenkyns), so it's all based on what the producers want in the characters' voices.
- Or Vladimir Putin. Recents memes and political cartoons have pointed out that He and Natasha were involved in the 2016 election meddling.