Season 9 is the first of four seasons to have Mike Scully as showrunner. For many people, these four seasons see the show completely fall apart by the time Season 12 concludes, and features for nearly everyone an episode that "jumps the shark" for them whether its this season or sometime before the 12th season. A few of these episodes are holdovers from last season and as such are ran by people other than Scully, so his complete influence won't take hold until next season.
For many people, the "Golden Age" of the Simpsons usually starts at Season 3, then ends at either Seasons 8 or 9. Now, Season 9 does have a few moments where you can tell its about ready to fall apart, notably Miracle on Evergreen Terrace, and everyone seems to like to point to The Principal and the Pauper as the moment the series jumped the shark and died, but I consider Season 9 to be part of the 'golden age' as well, as there are still a fine quantity of episodes that make me laugh just as well as most of the episodes from the previous six seasons.
Season 9 Overall Score: 8.87
Favorite Season 9 Episode: Natural Born Kissers
Least Favorite Season 9 Episode: Miracle on Evergreen Terrace
01) The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson
After a very sober Barney runs off with Homer's car, it winds up in New York. Despite Homer's past experiences there, the family convinces him to go there once more to retrieve his car.
02) The Principal and the Pauper
Celebrating his 20th anniversary as principal, Principal Skinner is shocked to see Seymour Skinner come back. Confused yet?
03) Lisa's Sax
After Lisa's saxophone is busted, Homer and Marge tell the story of how Lisa first got it, along with Bart's difficulties in kindergarten.
04) Treehouse of Horror VIII
The HΩmega Man: After a nuclear blast, Homer is believed to be the last person left.
Fly vs Fly: Bart uses a matter transporter to merge himself with a fly.
Easy Bake Coven: In the 1600s, Marge was a witch who helps start up Halloween.
05) The Cartridge Family
As a soccer riot extends across town, Marge fears for her family's safety and Homer comes up with a solution: gun ownership.
06) Bart Star
Homer takes over a pee wee football team Bart plays for. Not wanting to be like his father, Homer treats Bart well, making him the team's quarterback even though Bart is terrible at it.
07) The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons
Just now enjoying bachelorhood, Apu is saddened to learn its time for his arranged marriage. With Homer's help, Apu tries to worm out of it.
08) Lisa the Skeptic
With a mall being built over land where fossils where found, Lisa requests to do one last dig. What she finds gets everyone angry!
09) Realty Bites
Marge takes an interest in real estate, but after getting a job in it, she finds that telling the truth about houses sells less houses than one would like. Also, Homer buys Snake's hot rod at a police auction.
10) Miracle on Evergreen Terrace
Waking early, Bart accidentally melts the Christmas tree and the presents under said tree. Able to hide the evidence in time, his lie to save his own ass spins way out of control.
11) All Singing, All Dancing
After renting Paint Your Wagon, Homer states his hatred of musicals. Marge tries to prove him wrong, via a musical, all while Snake interrupts with his criminal shenanigans.
12) Bart Carny
Bart wrecks Hitler's car at a carnival. As punishment, he along with Homer work at the carnival, where Homer is in awe of the "Carny Code".
13) The Joy of Sect
Homer along with most of Springfield become brainwashed converts of the Movementarian cult. The few who resisted, like Marge, try to fight back.
14) Das Bus
Some children, including Bart and Lisa, go on a field trip, but the bus crashes into the river, stranding them on an island somehow.
15) The Last Temptation of Krust
Years of selling out leaves Krusty's jokes and material dated. He is able to make a comeback, though, as an insult comic.
16) Dumbbell Indemnity
Moe somehow gets a girlfriend, but as he runs out of money, comes up with a crazy scheme to get more. Poor Homer gets involved in said scheme.
17) Lisa the Simpson
Grampa tells Lisa about the Simpson gene, a genetic defect which makes Simpson members dumb. Lisa fears for her mind.
18) This Little Wiggy
On Marge's insistence, Bart becomes friends with Ralph Wiggum, something Bart doesn't enjoy until he remembers he's Chief Wiggum's son.
19) Simpson Tide
After being fired for incompetence, Homer joins the Naval Reserve where his incompetence reaches new levels.
20) The Trouble with Trillions
After being caught for tax fraud, Homer is put to work for the FBI. Among his assignments: retrieve a trillion dollar bill from Mr. Burns.
21) Girly Edition
Lisa is put in charge of a kids news program, but Bart and his human interest stories are the real show. Also, Homer gets a helper monkey and promptly ruins it.
22) Trash of the Titans
200th episode. Homer gets into a feud with the sanitation department that ultimately leads to him becoming head of said department after making some crazy promises.
23) King of the Hill
Homer gets fit to earn Bart's respect. Then he decides to climb a very dangerous mountain to earn Bart's respect.
24) Lost Our Lisa
Desperate to see an Egyptian display at a museum, Lisa takes a bus but gets lost. Homer rushes over to find her.
25) Natural Born Kissers
Homer and Marge get a spark in their relationship by making out in public. Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa have fun with a metal detector.