It should be noted that the pilot shows shades of his nicer traits such as: using his ability to figure out the positive Character Depth of the girl he has a crush on, feeling guilty when he thinks his psychic act may have led to murder, trying to stop a police officer from listening to another fake psychic, and both young and adult Shawn referring to older women and authority figures as "ma'am."
In earlier episodes he would immediately rule out any supernatural phenomena usually dragging Gus back down to earth, yet later on, most notably in "This Episode Sucks", he is perfectly accepting of the culprit being a vampire.
The Charmer: Shawn's greatest asset (excepting his attention to detail) is his ability to charm people, which is odd since he also has a singular talent for being tactless and irritating.
Distressed Dude: In ''Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark, and in any situation where he confronts the murderer or gets caught without backup. It's usually Jules bailing him out.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Shawn's unorthodox methods have been the deciding factor in arresting murderers, thieves, con artists, and even serial killers. Many times over the course of the series the Santa Barbara police would have imprisoned the wrong person, and many people would be dead, without Shawn's help. Despite this, every week the cops (mostly Lassiter, really) say they don't have time for his "hunches," his help is not needed, and please get out of the way so the "real" cops can do their jobs.
Expansion Pack Past: Shawn, in partial rebellion to his father, has had fifty-seven prior jobs and has spent time in Argentina and Thailand among many other places.
Phony Psychic: Cannot reveal the 'phony' part without serious legal consequences.
Photographic Memory: He was able to look back on something that happened while he was in elementary school and remember a new detail that he'd missed before. This is standard procedure for him gaining evidence.
Popcultured Badass: Always sprinkles references to movies, TV shows and music, to the annoyance of others (besides Gus).
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Partly why he goes above and beyond police protocol when he thinks the wrong person is being prosecuted. Not that Shawn has a problem bending the rules in the first case.
Screams Like a Little Girl: Usually done at the same time with Gus, when faced with the baddie of the week or horror-movie situation.
Training from Hell: A watered down version to be sure, but Shawn's father Henry relentlessly drilled Shawn from very early in his childhood (to the exclusion of a normal childhood, save Gus ó which isn't saying much) to have the uncanny attention to detail and eidetic memory which now allows Shawn to convincingly fake having psychic abilities.
Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Lassiter may snipe at eachother alot, but when push comes to shove they do respect eachother and are willing to rely on eachother if they're forced to.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: Henry isn't the easiest guy to impress and doesn't exactly conceal when he's disappointed, meaning that Shawn has spent most of his life either trying to impress his father or actively rebelling against him.
Wouldn't Hit a Girl: He doesn't really have to hit anyone most of the time, but whenever the culprit is female and he's pushed to it, he makes specific mention of this.
Worthy Opponent: To many criminals, but Desperaux calls him this. Yin calls him his "most admirable foe."
Burton "Gus" Guster (Dule Hill (Adult); Carlos McCullers II (Child))
Papa Wolf: Subverted, he cares for Shawn deeply when Shawn isn't costing Henry too much money.
Retired Badass: Although he may occasionally assist the Santa Barbara PD.
Retirony: As of the season six finale. Subverted, he survives it.
The Scapegoat: Henry took the blame for his divorce so Shawn wouldn't resent his mother.
Secret Keeper: The only person other than Gus to know Shawns secret.
Sink or Swim Mentor: To teach his son to escape a locked trunk, he actually locked him in a trunk. Somewhat justified as Henry's police work made him Properly Paranoid about the dangers a young boy could get into.
The Watson: Whenever he joins Shawn and Gus on a case he may have a personal interest in.
Detective Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson)
Adorkable: He had some moments that could be called this before, but any moment he's on screen with Marlowe makes it unquestionable.
Foot Dragging Divorcee: Lassiter was in denial about his separation from his wife, and thought they were getting back together when she asked for dinner at their first-date restaurant. She confronted him with divorce papers and he gave a long, foot-dragging speech, but eventually admits he was aware he'd never been good for her. Having gotten that off his chest, he immediately signs the papers.
Took a Level in Badass: In season 1, Shawn needed to set up Lassiter solving a case to boost his confidence. By season 5, he's had many notable moments of awesome and can outpace Shawn for the majority of an episode.
Trigger Happy: So much so that the department eventually had to send him to a psychiatrist.
Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Shawn may snipe at each other alot, but when push comes to shove they do respect each other and are willing to rely on each other if they're forced to.
Only Sane Man: Sometimes, but notably in "This Episode Sucks:" While the rest of the cast is convinced that they are hunting a vampire, she doesn't buy it. The subversion would be that she may be the only member of the main cast to genuinely buy into Shawn's psychic powers.
Screaming Birth: Averted, when she gives birth over the course of several hours, without screaming, on a properly angled table.
Secret Secret Keeper: It's been implied a few times she may know more than she lets on, and just doesn't say anything so Shawn's cases won't get thrown out.
Officer Buzz McNab (Sage Brocklebank)
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He has an extraordinarily happy attitude to his work, and has remained a loyal officer throughout the series.
Fair Cop: In "Deez Nups", it was revealed that Mc Nab is working as a stripper at a hotel so he can have extra money to buy himself and his wife a new condo. In No Trout About It, interim SBPD Chief Harris Trout fired Mc Nab after he heard about his job as a stripper.
Cloudcuckoolander: He does things most coroners wouldn't dare to do, such as eating during an autopsy and being somewhat irresponsible with the bodies, but is good enough at his job to keep his bosses happy.