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The cast of Psych are a colorful and strange collection of crimefighters with memorable personalities.

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    Shawn Spencer 

Shawn Spencer
"I wouldn’t say crazy. Maybe an eccentric who looks good in jeans."
Played by: James Roday Rodriguez (Adult), Liam James and Skyler Gisondo (Child)
"The best way to convince people you're not lying to them is to tell them you are."

The main character, a Brilliant, but Lazy Phony Psychic running the eponymous detective agency.

  • Agent Scully: Downplayed. On cases that have a hint of the supernatural (such as a client who believes he's a werewolf he's just troubled and his mental issues exploited by his psychologist, the real criminal or a girl who believes her best friend was possessed before being possessed herself she fakes it and her friend was drugged by her), Shawn shows skepticism toward it while Gus ends up buying into it wholeheartedly. On the other hand, he does genuinely believe in extraterrestrials along with Gus, and the episodes "This Episode Sucks" and "Heeeeere's Lassie" show how he's perfectly willing to believe in vampires, and haunted buildings respectively (albeit temporarily in the latter's case).
  • Alliterative Name: Shawn Spencer.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Frequently quite flirty with ... pretty much everyone. Plus many (many, many) other behaviors.
    Shawn: Hey, this guy has a ticket to a Michael Damian concert!
    Gus: Why would you take that?
    Shawn: Because it has a picture of Michael Damian on it.
    • He once unironically told Lassiter "You are so sexy right now!" when the latter decided to buck protocol to help out Gus.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: One episode has him claiming that he played football in the Israeli League, and another episode shows him getting wedded by parachute; the wedding is being officiated by a rabbi.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: It is all but outright spelled out throughout the series that Shawn has some kind of ADD / ADHD-style behavioral disorder. He demonstrates many of the symptoms, including inattentiveness, hyperactivity and — ironically considering his ability to pick up and memorise tiny details — a general inability to focus or concentrate on a given situation. He claims at one point in Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark that his inability to concentrate may be due to his ADD, although in this particular case it may also be a sarcastic comment because he's both been shot and one of the of the men he's talking to is pointing a gun in his face.
  • Attention Whore: Shawn is not exactly shy and retiring from the spotlight. In some episodes he gets salty when other people steal (what he thinks is) his thunder.
  • Awesome by Analysis: His analytical skills have been honed to a frightening art by his father and was able to solve cases just by minute evidence around the start of the show. They even have their own sound effects.
  • The Barnum: Charismatic and charming, he is quite capable of fooling people in a somewhat showman-esque fashion and often applies it in his case when undercover work is needed.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Frequently gets access to things that he wants/needs by fast-talking a witness or a low-level employee. He's quite successful at it.
  • Berserk Button: In the 11th episode of Season One, he delivers a furious The Reason You Suck speech to the scammers for exploiting the speed dating service, as it indirectly led to their victims losing an opportunity to find love. This is one of the only times in the series where he does this.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Shawn Spencer may be a Manchild who has a tendency for acting silly and relying on unorthodox means, but he is still a very brilliant detective with a powerful analytical mind and eidetic memory. In fact, his silly nature and odd tactics mean he's often underestimated... and then he proceeds to pull the rug from out of them. He has sent many dangerous, insane, and notorious criminals to jail.
  • Book Dumb: He's never been much for academia, being more of an active learner. Usually Played for Laughs since his ignorance will often lead to Gus, who is academically gifted, to correct him.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Spelled out pretty well by Declan Rand, who profiles him as highly intelligent but shameful of that fact, so he downplays it using immature behavior.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Loud, dramatic, snarky and outright childish on every case. Expertly solves each one.
  • Catchphrase: Has several.
    • "I've heard it both ways."
    • "Wait for 'iiiiiiiiiit'."
    • "Gus, don't be _____________."
    • "Suck it!"
    • "You know that's right."
    • "My name is Shawn Spencer and this is my partner [ridiculous name for Gus]."
    • "I can't do this with you right now."
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • His earliest appearances had him much more of an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist and his relationship with Gus a lot more vitriolic. Later episodes took note of his nicer traits and flaws.
    • 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. He's also more than willing to believe in spirits haunting buildings in the episode "Heeeeere's Lassie", though he changes his mind on the matter halfway through the episode.
  • Characterizing Sitting Pose: In one of the posters, he is crouching on a table-like structure while fist-bumping Gus, which perfectly showcases his off the wall personality.
  • The Charmer: One of Shawn's greatest assets is his ability to charm people. This is likely the result of analyzing them to know how he should approach them to get what he wants along with his easygoing nature. Hilariously enough, he also has a singular talent for being tactless and irritating (though this is often on purpose).
  • Childhood Friends: He and Gus have been best friends together since elementary school and Henry himself mentions Gus has been one of the few constants in Shawn's life.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He's goofy, makes a lot of pop culture references, and uses his "psychic power" as a excuse to act as over the top as possible.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Shawn isn't really a serious threat, but people do seriously underestimate him due to his Manchild antics. He's able to hold his own long enough that he can survive until help arrives. One time he drew out a fight with a Federal Marshal for several minutes. He managed to keep from being completely and immediately curb stomped by a martial arts expert. He escaped a pursuer in the woods with a bullet wound in his shoulder. We never see any real coaching in martial arts, but since Henry taught him how to escape if locked in the trunk of a car by a bad guy, we can assume he at least got some basic instruction in personal violence.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He is not afraid to dish some hilarious snark, often at his dad or Lassiter.
  • Defective Detective: Played with; he's not defective in the typical "brooding, tormented and socially withdrawn" sense that this trope is often used to describe, as he's generally very upbeat and outgoing, if somewhat obnoxious. However, it is heavily implied throughout the series that he has some kind of behavioural disorder such as ADD or ADHD.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: If there's a young woman involved in the case, Shawn can't keep his eyes off her, at least until he gets serious with Abby and, later, Jules.
  • 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.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: In season 7, thanks to a clue in the jacket he lent her, Juliet finally figures out Shawn is a fake psychic. After an episode of mulling it over, Shawn says that "if I just hadn't given you my jacket, it would all be okay." Shawn believes that it's the way Juliet found out that made her upset, not grasping that the reason she's mad is because he's been lying to her all this time.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Downplayed. 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 police force 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. Granted, it's really Lassiter that does this and most of the police are pretty okay with Shawn. Heck, while drunk, Lassiter confesses he's impressed by Shawn's detective work and he's really only annoyed by his flippant behavior (though Lassiter's insecurities and issues play a big part).
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • He is willing to put Gus in many an embarrassing situation, but he draws the line somewhere, as seen in the Civil War Re-enactment episode. He also would never deliberately put Gus in a situation where his life would be at risk.
    • For all his cavalier attitude towards everything, he takes women seriously and looks down on sexist behavior. He also dislikes Casanova Wannabe behaviour.
    • Shawn is usually quick to dismiss supernatural occurrences, and episodes centered around such are the only episodes where he is saner than Gus.
    • He is willing to let other people take credit for solving his cases if its highly important for them. He has done this twice with Lassie (the first time was to give him a confidence boost, the second time was to help him regain the respect of his sister) and once with Gus (When his uncle thought that Gus was the psychic).
    • In the pilot episode, while he is willing to pretend to be a psychic to get himself out of a jam with the police and clearly enjoys the performative aspects surrounding it, he makes a point of persuading a particularly credulous police officer to stop spending money on (obviously phony) psychics, heavily suggesting that he disapproves of confidence trickery and taking advantage of people.
    • He enjoys trolling and annoying Lassie, but he is genuinely offended when Lassie asks him if he stole his car in "Zero to Murder in 60 Seconds", saying that he would never do anything that could taint the reputation of the SBPD and its officers.
  • 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.
  • Extremely Protective Child: Shawn may sometimes have a vitriolic relationship with his father, but when he learns that he was shot, by a family friend and former partner no less in the Season 7 premiere, he goes on a rampage for the man. To a lesser extent with his mom since a large reason for his and his father's relationship issues in the first two seasons was because he viewed Henry at fault for the divorce (though it's later revealed Henry purposefully took the blame so Shawn wouldn't resent his mother for leaving).
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: As a manic talker, extroverted charmer, and huge egotist, Sanguine.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In "Bounty Hunters," two old piercing holes in his left earlobe are visible.
    • Similarly, there's occasionally a hint of a scar visible on his chest. note 
  • Freudian Excuse: Everything about him, from his Photographic Memory to his immature personality comes from his Control Freak father forcing him to grow up at the expense of a normal childhood, the rebellion in his teen years onward to spite him.
  • Genius Ditz: He's an eccentric manchild whose behavior wavers between that of a 7-year-old and a 20-something, but he's an utterly brilliant sleuth who has put away many dangerous criminals and solved seemingly unsolvable crimes.
  • Good Feels Good: Despite having purposefully sabotaged his chances of becoming a cop, Shawn legitimately enjoys his detective work because of being able to help people, especially if in unorthodox cases or situations.
  • Guile Hero: Solves cases, apprehends criminals, and gets out of prickly situations using only his fast thinking and his wits.
  • The Heart: Thanks to his ability to analyze people, Shawn is able to form get people to bond with him very quickly. Fortunately, he's also very definitely The Hero, and also uses this to help those people (even when it means he, for example, will not be getting laid, because he's reconnecting a woman with her fiancé).
    O'Hara: How does he make friends so easily?
  • The Hero: Our main character, everyone!
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He has been best friends with Gus since elementary school, their bromance has been lampshaded more than a few times, and when he proposes to Jules, it's with the caveat that Gus is pretty much part of the deal (which both she and Gus exchange a humorous nod in agreement to Shawn's statement).
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Usually seen via flashback.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: In the pilot, he quickly fires five rounds that hit so close to Detective Barry's that she initially thinks that he missed entirely.
    • The next time we see him use a gun (which isn't until season 4's "Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark"), he shoots out the engine block of his kidnapper's pickup truck—left-handed, while clinging to the hood of a speeding car, with a bullet hole in his other shoulder, and the sun in his eyes to boot. It's so impressive that even Lassiter compliments him.
  • It's All About Me: Not even his inner ego manages to change his delusion that he is the greatest gift to everyone around him except Lassiter. Granted he may be playing this up just for comical value.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Downplayed in regards to the jerk part, as the 'jerk' part tends to be him being silly, annoying or obnoxious more than anything truly mean-spirited or unkind (except with Lassiter or, at their worst, Henry). Nevertheless, for all his erratic, impulsive, and selfish tendencies, he cares deeply about all of his friends and genuinely loves using his talents to help people. His entire reason for having become a detective in the first place is because he loves to help others out and doing good.
  • Karma Houdini: Played With. While he often does many unscrupulous things, they are either for the sake of the case or he does pay for them in some form later.
  • Large Ham: He is quite possibly the hammiest Phony Psychic in all of network television.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Shawn hates the idea, but people frequently point out many similarities between him and Henry. Usually traits they find annoying.
  • Lovable Rogue: Sure he's a trickster with a penchant for being annoying, but it's hard to stay mad at him and he does a lot of good for a lot of people.
  • Magician Detective: While he's a fake psychic, his theatrics and guile give him the air of this.
  • Manchild: He's a big silly goofball often coming up with catchphrases and indulging in childish behaviors like snacking, watching cartoons, and napping. It's implied that some of his childishess is a backlash from his father's often strict and controlling parenting.
  • Malaproper: He's heard it both ways.
  • Missing Mom: His parents divorced when he was an adolescent and his dad maintained custody. This divorce was what led to the hidden tensions toward his dad to come out and for him to act out.
  • Narcissist: To where that may be the closest psychological condition he may have (though to what extent depends).
    Dr. Elliot: Your departmental profile suggests that the closest psychological identification for you would be narcissistic personality disorder.
    Shawn: That's handsome disease.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Shawn shows a lot of goodwill and respect toward people doing basic and common jobs, contrasting how he tends to flaunt authority figures. While this is often to give him a way in, it's worth noting that he spent several years abroad and working at odd jobs so he probably has a good idea of what they go through.
  • The Nicknamer: Once per episode Gus is saddled with a ridiculous nickname by Shawn. Jules and Lassie are nicknames Shawn gives and actually sticks with.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Underneath the exterior of a clownish and somewhat clueless fun-loving guy is a very well-trained sharp mind and a drive to succeed when the chips are down. People who underestimate him pay for it.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Shawn tends to be cavalier at inappropriate times, so when he drops his attitude and becomes fully serious, you know things are serious. Bonus points if he is yelling at Lassie and Jules.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In-universe example, Shawn accidentally breaks his psychic shtick by admitting he scored 100% on the detective's exam when he was 15. Lassiter and Juliet are too taken aback to notice.
  • Perma-Stubble: Usually seen with it. Develops a proper beard during the movies
  • 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 and was inherited from his mother. He was even able to recreate scenes with this, such as the military model map of Lassiter's Civil War battle reenactment (Gus notes his surprise since Shawn only had a minute) or able to recreate his elementary classroom in trying to find out if he may have accidentally framed their elementary school bully for a spitwad incident.
  • Police Psychic: Invoked. Shawn Spencer is a consultant to his local police department as a 'psychic', because he has helped them crack difficult cases on more than one occasion. However, he doesn't actually have psychic powers, but instead a Photographic Memory and supreme deductive reasoning skills. He does not really try to shed the psychic label, however, as he does enjoy crime solving but couldn't make himself become a police officer.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Always sprinkles references to movies, TV shows, and music, to the annoyance of others (besides Gus).
  • Private Detective: Currently the main private detective of his business.
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: Puts his hand to his head even when he's alone with people who know better. Both Gus and Henry get very annoyed when he does this around them.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Usually the Red Oni to Gus' or Juliet's Blue Oni.
  • Refuge in Audacity: How he gets away with anything: make every scheme ballsy and over-the-top and act with utter conviction. It works.
  • Sad Clown: A lot of his antics stem from his unique childhood and his offbeat humor, especially during cases, serves as a coping mechanism. Shawn actually mentions that he needs to do this to function and keep his cool, best exemplified in the first part of the Yin-Yang trilogy, where the sick game of cat-and-mouse begins to get to Shawn, so Gus has to play the clown to keep Shawn from losing it.
  • The Scully: Usually whenever a supernatural case comes up.
  • 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. While Shawn is naturally rebellious, he does also take cases that the police won't because he wants to do right.
  • 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.
  • Sherlock Scan: His way of gaining information.
  • The Slacker: Somewhat; he doesn't have a traditional job and may act like one, but he's a highly competent detective with an impressive record.
  • Sweet Tooth: He and Gus frequently take breaks from their investigations for cakes, cookies, ice creams...
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Makes some really stupid mistakes in later seasons. Henry notes this as him not being challenged enough by the work that he does and getting sloppy. Shawn does realizes this and proceeds to get himself back up to snuff.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Occurred in the later seasons before evening out and going back to his nicer one.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Pineapples.
  • 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 — which isn't saying much) to be hyper aware of his surroundings with a powerful eye for detail and supreme deductive reasoning, combined with his natural eidetic memory (inherited from his mom).
  • Undying Loyalty: Most of all to Gus, but also to Juliet, Lassiter, and Vick.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Depending on the Writer, Shawn's antics can easily qualify.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Frequently, as part of his antics.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • He and Gus argue and mock each other over pretty much everything, especially during the earlier seasons. From relationships, to personal interests, to how to handle a case. But they've been best friends since childhood and when matters get serious, always have each other's back.
    • He and Lassiter may snipe at each other a lot, but when push comes to shove they do respect each other and are willing to rely on each other if they're forced to. It helps that Shawn is more willing to acknowledge they are friends and help him out (in the first season, he took on a case for free and without credit all to help build Lassiter's confidence back up after seeing how Lassiter's marital troubles have been weighing him down).
  • "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. Combine this with how alike they are and a lot of Shawn's problems are seen.
  • 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 Despereaux calls him this. Yin calls him his "most admirable foe."


Burton "Gus" Guster
"You hear about Pluto? That's messed up, right?"
Played by: Dulé Hill (Adult) and Carlos Mc Culler II (Child)
"I'm nobody’s pawn, Shawn. I'm a queen."

Shawn's best friend since elementary school, Gus is a pharmaceutical salesman who has his life turned upside down by the return of his best friend to town, who convinces him to become a private detective.

  • Agent Mulder: Whenever he and Shawn encounter what seem to be supernatural cases, Gus is the one who believes in the supernatural explanation and has to be proven wrong by Shawn.
  • Badass Driver: He and Shawn get around with Gus' car ("It's a company car!"), so Gus always drives it for the cases that require it.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Frequently exasperated with the things that Shawn makes him go along with.
  • Berserk Button: Never ever steal food from his plate. Shawn has gotten the back of his hand slapped many times trying.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Like Shawn, he can be dangerous when provoked, especially when he starts getting used to the new action.
  • Big Eater: Reaching Flanderization levels in season six. Though the season finale drops a line about Gus trying to do a cleanse so it may have been the result of an unsuccessful lifestyle change.
  • Black and Nerdy: Gus is a pharmaceutical sales rep who has a passion for spelling bees, comic books, and tap dancing. His knowledge of medicines also comes in handy from time to time.
  • Casanova Wannabe: If there is a readily available young woman that is somehow involved with the case, expect Gus to throw away caution or reason and put the moves on her. While Shawn isn't above flirting with every woman he sees, Gus will genuinely try to act smooth around them and it will always end with him failing to woo them by the end. This happens so often that Shawn can identify the moment it happens and will try to end it before it starts.
  • Catchphrase: Like Shawn, Gus also has a few.
    • "You hear about Pluto? That's messed up, right?"
    • "You must be out of your damn mind!"
    • "I hear that."
    • "Suck it!"
    • "You know that's right."
    • "It's a company car, Shawn."
    • "I'm a sympathetic crier."
  • Characterization Marches On: In earlier episodes, he was firmly the Straight Man to Shawn, and frequently protested his inane behavior. As the series progressed, while he still acts as the voice of reason on several occasions, he became nearly as goofy as Shawn, if not moreso at times, and far more willing to be involved in his antics.
  • Childhood Friends: With Shawn. They've been best friends since elementary school and remains strong to this day.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: "Romeo and Juliet and Juliet" reveals that he believes the deaths of both Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley were fabricated, and that Elvis hid his identity as a shoe shop cashier until dying in 2008.
  • Cowardly Lion: Gus is utterly terrified of corpses and doesn't react well to blood. However, he can be brave when the time calls for it and has had some genuine moments of badassery in the show, such as carrying and arsonist out of a burning building, saving Jules from a death trap by holding the long hand of a clock, and tackling a killer who was threatening his girlfriend.
  • Cowardly Sidekick: He usually screams and runs away when he and Shawn find a corpse.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Related to his Casanova Wannabe status, this was exploited in "Last Night Gus" and it's this flaw that forces Shawn to play straight man several times.
  • Distressed Dude: Alongside Shawn in some of the case wrap-ups, though Shawn's had to pull him out of the fire a couple of times.
  • The Drag-Along: Reluctantly goes along with Shawn's wild plans, but will make sarcastic comments about how dangerous or stupid Shawn's ideas are. He is more receptive in later seasons.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic, although he's really much more emotional than the temperament is. But he's also willing to let Shawn take charge, while being an absolute sweetie.
  • Flanderization: In earlier seasons, while he certainly displayed interest in a few women here and there, he was nowhere near as flirtatious as Shawn. Starting around Season 5 however, Gus will try and hit on nearly any attractive woman involved with a case, even during very inappropriate times such as when said woman is reporting a murder that she witnessed.
  • Genre Savvy: Usually Lampshaded by his catchphrase "You must be outta your damn mind."
  • Grammar Nazi: In "Disco Didn't Die. It Was Murdered!", Gus says "Now, that's the one that bothers me. Why do people say, 'I could care less' when they really mean, 'I couldn't care less?'" This characteristic is also displayed in other instances throughout the series.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Very much so with Shawn. To the point where Gus' nightmares in the penultimate episode were caused by fear of being without Shawn. Their relationship is often commented on and even Juliet knows that marrying Shawn means that Gus will be part of the deal.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: While Gus has always been smart, the depths of his intelligence were never touched upon until the episode "If You're So Smart, Then Why Are You Dead?" Said episode has Shawn and Gus investigate the murder of a teacher at Meitner School for Gifted Students, an elite private school, when two students suspect that the murderer was actually another teacher. Shawn suspects Gus applied there and during the investigation of paperwork, Gus discovers that he actually got accepted into the school. The end of the episode has him complain to his parents in regards to the fact that he could've gotten much further ahead in his life and was pretty shocked the main reason was because of the commute.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: When provoked to tears, he is not a graceful weeper.
  • Interdisciplinary Sleuth: Gus's day job as a pharmaceutical rep occasionally helps solve the Mystery of the Week. He also has various dorky and esoteric interests (such as his interest in safes in "Speak Now And Forever Hold Your Piece") that at times come in handy.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: Very few people ever call him Burton. Apparently, he was named after his uncle and said uncle was annoyed with Gus never really going by Burton.
  • Last-Name Basis: The nickname "Gus" is derivative of his last name, and those that don't use it refer to him as Guster.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: A sentiment shared with his family.
  • The Nose Knows: He has a very keen sense of smell. He calls his nose the Super Sniffer.
  • Not Good with People: Played With. On the one hand, he's a pharmaceutical sales representative where he has exceptional people skills and he's part of a few social groups and communities. On the other hand, he doesn't do that well undercover or dealing with clients, with Shawn being the smooth talker. Essentially, he seems to have good people skills when surrounded by people he's familiar with within situations that he's comfortable in, but starts to struggle when removed from them.
  • Not So Above It All: Despite being the saner member of the Psych duo, there are times where he is as nutty and excitable as Shawn (They are best friends after all). In fact, there are episodes where he does something that Shawn would normally do, such as a Bavarian Fire Drill in the season 5 premier, and going after the killer himself when Shawn is hospitalized (for unrelated reasons).
  • Only Sane Man: At least when compared to Shawn, though there are times it has switched, usually when Gus is distracted by a woman or swept up in a seemingly supernatural case.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Gus is normally the cautious and skeptical one of the pair. However, in "COG Blocked" Gus becomes very invested in proving that a man's supposed suicide was actually a murder to the point of obsession. Gus even starts doing things Shawn would normally do like stealing an employee's security card to get into the building the victim worked in. This also causes Shawn to take the role of the cautious one, concerned over how out of it Gus is acting. It's implied that this is the result of projection; the victim and Gus shared a surprising amount of similarities and saw himself in it (with Lassiter's comments about the supposed suicide and not being memorable setting him off.) It also serves as a moment of Character Development as it has Gus reevaluated the kind of life he wants to leave and finally leaves his job in a slow-mo spectacular fashion.
  • Pluto Is Expendable: His standard pick-up line is "Have you heard about Pluto? That's messed up right?" referencing Pluto being declassified as a planet.
  • Private Detective: Usually juggles this job with his other job as a pharmaceutical rep.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Zig-zagged between him and Shawn. He's far more prone to losing his cool than Shawn is, but he's also smarter, coherent and (occasionally) less childish.
  • Safecracking: In "Dis-Lodged", it is revealed that Gus is subscribed to a magazine for amateur safecrackers.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: He often does this when faced with the killer of the week or if he just sees something that scares him.
  • Secret-Keeper: To Shawn. Along with Henry, one of the only people to know the secret starting from the pilot.
  • The Smart Guy: Provides much of the book smart knowledge that Shawn needs, particularly in regards to pharmaceuticals, law, the business world, and spelling.
  • The Straight Man: Played straight in most episodes. However, the title goes to Shawn when Gus is under the belief of supernatural cases or distracted by women.
  • Sweet Tooth: He and Shawn frequently take breaks from their investigations for cakes, cookies, ice creams...
  • Took a Level in Badass: Well not "badass," but Gus manages to pull off a Shawn-style "cover" on his own in the season 5 opener.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Shawn argue and mock each other over pretty much everything, especially during the earlier seasons. From relationships, to personal interests, to how to handle a case. But they've been best friends since childhood and when matters get serious, always have each other's back.
  • Vomiting Cop: Usually mentioned at a crime scene or at the autopsy.
  • The Watson: A surprisingly classic example. Rather than just follow along Shawn’s investigations, Gus much like the original Watson is extremely knowledgeable about many subjects on which Shawn is ignorant, mostly medicine but also other technical topics, and thus while he rarely take point his role is usually to make conclusions and provide context that Shawn can’t yet.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He scares easily but he does not want to be near corpses. Mummies and ghosts are even worse.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Attempts to beat up a bratty kid named Mason in "Shawn Rescues Darth Vader", but Shawn stops him.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Uses a camel clutch and a fail tombstone on Shawn at one point. Given how they appear to be wrestling fans, he probably learned it there.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: One gets the feeling that Gus operates under the mentality that he's the cool and calm-headed lead of a show where he is dragged into antics by his zany best friend who he constantly needs to keep in check. While not entirely wrong, he's more the easily stressed lancer to Shawn who's very often Not So Above It All.

    Henry Spencer 

Henry William Spencer, Jr.
"Don't be an idiot. I'm not one of your fans. I barely even like you."
Played by: Corbin Bernsen
"Shawn, these things are a fantasy. Real heroes do not wear a cape and they don’t wear their underwear on the outside. The guys who wear capes? They’re on angel dust."

Shawn's father and a retired policeman. He devoted Shawn's childhood to sharpening his skills to a powerful degree though it did lead to a strained relationship. He's well-meaning, but a bit of a control freak.

  • Amicable Exes: With Shawn's mother.
  • Control Freak: Not just with Shawn, he once drove Lassiter to frustration critiquing his fishing technique. A psychologist who was sent to talk to Shawn actually said he was there for Henry for his control issues.
  • Crazy-Prepared: What drove him to prepare Shawn for police work.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: He starts out the series retired from police work and it's implied that he becomes bored during that time. Best seen in the episode regarding possession where he actually gets hooked into playing a cop game on Shawn's Xbox to deal with his ennui. Shawn points out Henry's behavior about it. It's implied this is a reason why he rejoins the police (albeit in an office position), specifically overseeing the police's outside consulting (basically taking the job to keep a better eye on Shawn and Gus). The end of Season 6 has him retire after returning to field duty to solve an old case, likely when he discovered that his partners were all Dirty Cops. He ends up going to teaching into the series finale.
  • Expy: While Shawn can be seen as an expy of Sherlock Holmes, his father can be scene as one of Holmes' older brother, Mycroft Holmes.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: In one flashback, he refuses to allow Shawn to read comic books because they depict police officers as useless, inept and dependent on vigilantes. In general, he seems to disapprove of Shawn's more creative and eccentric tendencies.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic, having extremely high standards for Shawn, still being hung up on Shawn's mother, and being a very stern but principled and excellent leader who misses policing.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Has hair in all the flashbacks. Doesn't in the present.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Downplayed, but present. For the first few seasons he's rarely seen outside of casual everyday wear, mostly Hawaiian shirts and cargo shorts. However, once he takes Chief Vick's offer to rejoin the force, he switches to tailored business suits, and becomes quite the Silver Fox.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He does genuinely love Shawn and is committed to doing the right thing, but he can be cold, distant, unyielding and very hard to please. Between that and his Sink or Swim Mentor tendencies, it's not hard to see why Shawn grew up equally resenting and trying to please him. The divorce between him and his wife was just what finally caused all the issues to boil over.
  • The Mentor: To Shawn, both as he was growing up and in his career as a "psychic" detective. He even gave advice to Gus on several occasions.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: When put in charge of hiring consultants for the SBPD, though this is downplayed.
  • Papa Wolf: Played with. He cares for Shawn deeply when Shawn isn't costing Henry too much money. However, when the matter is personal, this trope comes into full effect. He gives Shawn an angry rant about the motorcycle a few episodes after Shawn's accident, but the biggest example came during the Yin-Yang trilogy when he was against Shawn facing Mr. Yang and then coming to assist with Mr. Yin.
    • In "Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark," Henry showed more fear and concern than any of the other characters, including Gus.
      Henry: If Shawn has been shot, there's no room I won't bust open to find my son!
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Believes he qualifies for this, such as when Shawn gives him crap about taking a bubble bath and trying to take care of his hygiene. He claims that John Wayne took baths as a defense.
  • Retired Badass: Starts out as such in the series before becoming hired by the SBPD once more. He was offered to go back into full-time duty, but given the case saw him learn his team was corrupt, it sucked the wind out of his sails.
  • Retirony: Happens in the season six finale, as he retires once more out of police life after working on a last case, only to be shot almost immediately afterwards by an old friend of his. Subverted, as he survives it.
  • The Scapegoat: Henry took the blame for his divorce so Shawn wouldn't resent his mother (since it was her choice). This did cause Shawn's bottled up resentment of his dad's Control Freak tendencies to spill into the open and have him openly rebel against the path his dad was guiding him on in life.
  • Secret-Keeper: The only person other than Gus to know Shawn's secret for most of the series.
  • 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.
  • Tough Love: He was pretty rough on Shawn, but everything he did was out of love for him.

    Carlton "Lassie" Lassiter 

Detective Carlton Jebediah "Lassie" Lassiter
"I've got guts and cellulite. I don't even need a warrant."
Played by: Timothy Omundson
"Unlike everyone else around here, I'm not fooled by the fact that you wear grownup clothes, have mastered the rudimentary levels of communication, and somehow manage to feed yourselves. I see you for what you are: children. So do me a favor and let the grownups do their work."

Shawn's most vocal critic on the police force, Detective Lassiter is the show's resident Inspector Lestrade. While a perfectly competent and efficient detective in his own right, Lassiter's rigid demeanor means he often needs the more intuitive Shawn to complete the case for him.

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Downplayed, but on the occasions he isn't the butt of Shawn's jokes, he does show some amusement at the antics and snark. Especially if the target is someone he dislikes.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Played with. A villain doses him with chloroform at one point, but while it knocks him out, he wakes up well ahead of schedule, revealing he's spent years building up a resistance to the chemical.
  • Amazon Chaser: In a way. He and Marlowe originally connected over their shared loneliness, protectiveness of others, and love of Clint Eastwood. Then, Marlowe punched him to help him out with a case, and he was so adorably grateful. In a later episode, she escaped from some men who kidnapped her, and thinking he might be one of the kidnappers, punched him again when he showed up to rescue her. He happily bragged their children would be SEAL Team 6 members.
  • Agent Scully: Initially the most vocal opponent of using a psychic in police work, as he (rightly) believes Shawn is a phony.
  • Berserk Button: He doesn't take kindly to people saying Ronald Reagan was a bad president.
  • The Big Guy: When compared to the rest of the main cast.
  • Butt-Monkey: Shawn, and occasionally other officers, enjoy teasing him. For example, one Christmas, everyone gifted him snow globes, due to Shawn telling the department to do so (since Shawn learned Lassiter has a fear of snow globes).
  • Catchphrase: "I would rather _____________."
  • Character Development: He opens up quite a bit over the course of the series. He remains a grumpy stoic, but is more trusting and caring.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: He is usually reduced to a frazzled babysitter to two out of control boys in his interactions with Shawn and Gus.
  • The Comically Serious: Part of what makes him so lovable is that his stoicism, grumpiness and humorlessness is often played for laughs (or at least is often used to make him the butt of the joke).
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Lassiter is consistently dismissive of Shawn and Gus despite their frequently proven track record as valuable assets to the police department.
  • Control Freak: He needs to be in charge and it plays into his ego. It's caused him a fair bit of problems.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He keeps guns everywhere in his house, including in a bowl of almonds. And that's just the start.
  • Defective Detective - You'd think the head detective would be less quirky than fake psychic Shawn Spencer, but... as detailed under Inspector Lestrade, Lassiter has enough personality flaws and lack of cooperation skills that it's somewhat amazing that he got to where he was at the beginning of the series, not to mention his Hilariously Abusive Childhood. He actually works past a lot of these issues as the series goes on and by the series finale he's taken over Karen's position as Chief of Police.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: No matter how logical Lassiter's conclusions about a cause of death will be it will always end up proven wrong by Shawn. Subverted in one episode when he tries proposing an outlandish reason for a victim's death and ends up a laughing stock in the media. It turns he was actually right, but his need to be taken seriously means he doesn't follow through on it and thus Shawn and Gus save the day.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Choleric, being grumpy, stoic, and a very condescending, rude, but confident workaholic.
  • Flanderization: Definitely a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, but he does go through this over time.
  • 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. It's also played a bit more seriously as it was impeding his work.
  • Freudian Trio: The aggressive, gun-toting id among the police officers, to Juliet's superego and Vick's ego.
  • Friend to All Children: Subverted. He thinks he's good with kids. He's terrible with them.
  • Glory Seeker: Lassiter is occasionally depicted this way.
  • Has Two Mommies: His mom is bisexual and was seeing another woman by the time he's an adult. It's implied he was a bit iffy on the matter, but he comes around and both walk him down the aisle during his wedding. Ironically, he's pansexual.
  • Happily Married: As of season seven's "Deez Nups".
  • Hidden Depths: He's a film buff. He just doesn't usually appreciate Shawn's references. When they're references he gets or likes, he's usually far more receptive than otherwise.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Concerning Shawn dating Juliet, Lassiter threatens to shoot him repeatedly if he doesn't treat her right, and connects himself to the polygraph machine just to prove how dead serious he is.
  • Inspector Lestrade: Played With. He is actually a very competent and skilled detective, deserving of his title as Head Detective and usually can keep up with Shawn. However, his deductive reasoning and investigation skills are impeded due to his attitude, personality and approach:
    • He has a rigid and inflexible perspective. He's admitted on not being able to function without the facts. He usually refuses to go on hunches or instinct, unlike Henry and Shawn. A good example is in the episode "Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Episode," where he had a hunch telling him the shark was set up. However, public pressure and his ego made him retract the statement, despite ultimately being right (Shawn lampshades this near the end when he and Gus solve the case.) The comparison of this to the Spencers was seen in "Nip and Suck It," where he bashes Henry and Shawn's feeling on the suspect's innocence (of course they end up being right). Interestingly enough, in the Season 1 episode, "From the Earth to the Starbucks," his hunch on the suspect being murdered is right (although Shawn had to secretly help him get the evidence he needs, in order to build up his confidence).
    • Furthermore, he tends to go toward the simplest solution and not consider alternate possibilities. When his younger sister came to visit, she pointed out that Lassiter tends to ignore ideas or hunches that aren't his. His ego in his competency means that he refuses to look foolish, which is why he goes with the simplest solutions and why he doesn't go on his hunches or whims a lot (or those of his colleagues for that matter).
    • Lastly, his mild misanthropic streak makes him suspect the wrong people and his tendencies as a jerk influence his reasoning decisions quite a bit. Juliet points that she was disturbed by him and his theory (and him again) in regards that an older woman killed off her rich husband to date a younger man and killed him too when he supposedly realized this. He was of course wrong and serves as an example of his negative attitude and perspective hindering him several times.
  • Informed Attribute: Lassiter is mentioned on at least two occasions to have fired his gun more than is expected of an officer but he is rarely if ever actually seen firing his gun throughout the show.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lassiter has a large ego and few social skills, coupled with his mild misanthropic moments and serious demeanor along with being ungrateful, especially to Shawn and Gus. However, he's pretty nice when he wants to be and when the chips are down, he shows he cares about his friends and loved ones.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While he's not exactly tactful about it he's not wrong that Shawn is both (a) not a psychic and (b) very immature and flippant.
  • Last-Name Basis: He's usually called Lassiter and very few call him Carlton.
    • He also usually refers to everyone by their last name. Which causes some confusion when he's around both Shawn and Henry seeing as the two are father and son.
      • Though he does call Shawn by his first name for the first half of “Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark”, partially to differentiate him from Henry, but also out of worry.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: While he is usually inept and awkward with social interactions, he jumps at the chance to do field work, and is frequently successful at it.
  • Noodle Incident: The specific circumstances behind the Great Secret Santa Debacle of 2005 that Chief Vick tries to use to convince Juliet not to try and throw a birthday surprise for him.
  • No Social Skills: He once gave Jules a friendly speech about how other people were only sources of misery to be avoided at all costs-and he meant every word of it, thinking it would actually help her.
  • Not Good with People: He is very awkward when dealing with people and this attitude and approach actually impedes his work as a detective. Also makes him a contrast to Shawn.
  • Not So Above It All: In "Bollywood Homicide" he pranks Shawn by making him think the victim is a dangerous and unstable killer.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Given his vocal disdain for Shawn and Gus, people tend to be surprised when he does ask them for help.
    • After learning that he will be a father, he becomes extremely cautious and downright terrified of death. Shawn, Gus and Jules even assume that he is dying.
  • Phrase Catcher: "You disturb me", usually said when Lassie reveals a quirk of his that creeps people out.
  • The Rival: To Shawn. He's a very competent detective, such that when he's doing his job very well, Shawn tends to get less work.
  • Sour Supporter: Very vocal in his distate for Shawn's methods and general demeanor, but when push comes to shove he acknowledges his efficiency and always follows through on his leads. In the series finale, he watches the DVD Shawn left for him as a goodbye and ejects it just before Shawn can confess he's not a psychic, then breaks it in half.
  • Supporting Leader: Sometimes. Being Head Detective makes him the highest ranking member of the team (excluding Chief Vick). This means he technically should be in charge and everyone should be reporting to him. But more often than not, everyone disobeys him, goes behind his back, and then just go over his head to Chief Vick so he can't really enforce his authority. While the police do respect him, they also find him difficult to deal with due to his problems.
  • Sweet Tooth: His standard coffee order is four creams and three sugars.
  • 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. Justified since the early seasons had him endure the end of his marriage; specifcially, he was trying to salvage it while his soon-to-be ex-wife was ready to move on. He drunkenly confesses this to Shawn in the beginning of the episode where Shawn helps him on his case. So it's less taking a level in badass and more going back to his normal level after resolving his emotional turmoil.
  • Trigger-Happy: So much so that the department eventually had to send him to a psychiatrist (Shawn's mother). Internal Affairs also has quite the file on him.
  • Unknown Rival: He spent years using his free time hunting down Pierre Despereaux, convinced they were in a grand cat-and-mouse game and considered Pierre his top rival. Naturally, he was stunned when, upon meeting, Pierre revealed he had no idea who Lassiter was.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Shawn may snipe at each other a lot, but when push comes to shove they do respect each other and are willing to rely on each other if they're forced to.
    • Heck, Season 1 has Lassiter drunkenly confess to Shawn he admires his deductive work and reasoning skills while Shawn clearly has Lassiter's best interests in mind.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He is afraid of snow globes, related to nightmares of being trapped in a dome with burning snow melting his flesh. Shawn doesn't hesitate to exploit this during the episode "Gus' Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy" when he has the department give Lassiter snow globes for Christmas.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Tries too often to play cases either as simple affairs that aren't or massive conspiracies when they really are as open and shut as they seem. It's a big part in why he's an Inspector Lestrade.

    Juliet O'Hara 

Detective Juliet Lynn "Jules" O'Hara
"God I used to be a detective, now I'm a babysitter!"
Played by: Maggie Lawson
"Honesty is everything to me, Shawn. It's the only thing."

A kind-hearted, dependable detective who has some Unresolved Sexual Tension with Shawn throughout the series.

  • Action Girl: She doesn't always get to show her chops, because Lassiter is so action-happy, but when she does she kicks ass.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": When Lassiter's sister was filming a case, Juliet hit this hard.
  • Badass Adorable: People can't hate her; she claims to get Christmas cards from people she arrests. She can also hold her own in the notoriously harsh sport of the Roller Derby.
  • Badass in Distress: After getting kidnapped by Yang, she finds herself Bound and Gagged to a chair, dangling precariously from the top of a clock tower.
  • Becoming the Mask: Juliet runs into this problem when going undercover. Played for Laughs when she gets into too much character when helping Shawn and Gus on how to dance.
  • Berserk Button: Her main one is lying to her, due to her father being a bit of a con man. She was also furious when Shawn accused her brother even though he was ultimately proven to be right, much to the sorrow of both Shawn and Juliet.
  • Character Development: In the first few seasons, she develops from a wide-eyed, perky and almost Girl Friday-esque attache to Lassiter to a sharp and levelheaded (if not the Only Sane Man) officer in her own right as she gains more experience.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: A mild example, she never seems comfortable when another girl is interested in Shawn by season 3 (though Shawn also acts the same).
  • Cute Bruiser: She's the tiniest of the main cast, but must know Muay Thai or Krav Maga or something because she is also the most physically active when she needs to be.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Commonly; for instance, she overpowers the killers that have their eyes on her in "Scary Sherry, Bianca's Toast", "Juliet Takes a Luvvah", and "Juliet Wears the Pantsuit".
  • Declaration of Protection: To Shawn during the season 5 finale.
  • Dirty Cop: While she is a fundamentally good, honest person, "Psych: The Movie" reveals that she has occasionally Framed The Guilty Party and broken protocol to catch the bad guys. The manifesto spelling out her crimes (the truth of which she confirms to Shawn) include things like "Illegal search" and "Planted weapon."
  • Disappeared Dad: As her father was a con man. When we see him (played by William Shatner no less), he points out several of her childhood moments in vivid details. He confesses that he was there, but did not reveal himself after seeing her step-dad make a good home for him and out of fear she was ashamed of him.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When Yin was going to have her fall off a clock tower, instead of freaking out. She just keeps quiet and closes her eyes. Luckily Gus and Lassiter save her.
  • Facial Dialogue: Displays this on many occasions, usually in the form of funny expressions whenever Shawn or Gus make asinine comments.
  • Fair Cop: And without being stripperific! There's a reason Lawson and Roday have been going out since day one. Well, probably like a dozen reasons, but this is one of them.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Being the most balanced out of the cast, she's Leukine, although being more neutral and able to follow the situation rather than being apathetic.
  • Freudian Trio: Among the police officers, the sweet, hopeful, optimistic superego.
  • Girly Girl: On the outside; she's pretty darn girly and the tiniest of the cast. Also an Action Girl and Cute Bruiser; beware the girly one.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Juliet is blonde and very kind and sweet, although also very strong.
  • Hypocrite: Juliet is furious when Shawn rightly suspects her brother might not be fully honest with them about the case he is helping them with. Gus reminds her that she and Lassiter once arrested his parents (on Christmas no less) when they believed they'd committed a murder.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: In the Tuesday the Seventeenth episode. She shoots the bad guy in the hand, disarming him.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: A non-romantic example, in 1967: A Psych Odyssey. She decides to join Karen in San Francisco so Lassiter will take the chief job.
  • Lost in Character: Has a tendency to let herself get carried away in her roles while she's undercover. She forgets that she's not actually part of the sorority she's investigating for the majority of "Scary Sherry: Bianca's Toast", and Chief Vick outright expresses concern for this happening in "Talk Derby to Me".
  • Master of the Mixed Message: She, herself lampshades this in the season 3 finale.
  • Mistaken for Gay: She tried to be nice to a new girl on the force. It ended with said girl suing Juliet for sexual harassment.
  • More Hero than Thou: When Yin has kidnapped both her and Abigail and forces Shawn to choice between the two of them. Juliet tells Shawn to rescue Abigail before the loss of connection.
  • Naïve Newcomer: When we met her in the second episode, Shawn noticed she had trouble drawing her gun. She grew out of it.
  • Nice Girl: She is kind, polite, and sensitive.
  • Official Couple: She and Shawn finally get together in "Extradition II: The Actual Extradition Part".
  • 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. Though Shawn eventually tells her the truth.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: She and Lassiter become this.
  • Plucky Girl: Although the first meeting with Yin traumatized her for a while. She picked herself up.
  • Scotireland: Despite the Irish last name she's actually Scottish, with the family hailing from Inverness.
  • Refusal of the Call: In the Season 5 premier, she would rather do desk work in the City Hall, than help Lassie, Shawn and Gus solve the Case of the Week. This is obviously due to the trauma brought about by Mr. Yang dangling her from a clock-tower in the Season 4 finale. She does get better by the end of the episode, even pulling of a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Is brought in when Lassie's old partner is relocated because Shawn outed their affair.
  • Secret-Keeper: As of Season 7.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When she started, she was new. As we know, she is pretty badass.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: She is noticeably colder towards Shawn and Gus in Season 4, leaning towards outright hostility in "High Top Fade Out" and "You Can't Handle This Episode." Her attitude is due to Shawn rejecting her at the end of Season 3 (though she claims this isn't true) and she becomes much friendlier after Shawn and Abigail break up at the end of Season 4.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Don’t harm Shawn or else.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: When her father started missing her birthdays all the time, she eventually stopped waiting for him to come.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Shawn. They do, eventually for good.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: SO much between her and Shawn.

    Chief Vick 

Chief Karen Vick
"I can sit here all night, Betty. I have a six-month-old who still has colic. I consider this a repreive."
Played by: Kirsten Nelson
“It's just that laws keep changing. It's getting very challenging to keep up with them all. For example, did you know that it is now illegal to give a possum a perm?”

The Police Chief of Santa Barbara. Like Lassiter, she's often distrustful of Shawn's methods, though she's less outright belligerent than he is.

  • Could Say It, But...:
    • In "Santabarbratown 2", she acts like she's forbidding Shawn to investigate Henry's shooting due to Shawn being too emotionally involved, but clarifies to Shawn through her tone and by saying this conversation never happened that she's fully willing to allow Shawn to get involved.
    • She does so again in This Is Gus when Shawn wants to investigate Selene's then current husband. When Shawn brings up that he might be dangerous if they don't know anything about him, Vick again says no to Shawn... before saying that she's leaving her office unattended and to do with that information as he will.
  • Da Chief: Until season 7, and the end of season 8
  • Freudian Trio: The ego balancing out Lassiter's id and Juliet's superego.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: She'd have to be to deal with Shawn and Gus. She's not only very accepting of their eccentricities, she's also totally fine with following up on seemingly vague hunches and wild tangents if it helps solve the case.
  • Mama Bear: Don't mess with her daughter or she will bring her force on you. Best seen in The Movie.
  • Not So Above It All: Constantly. Especially in the earlier seasons, the show had her appear just as much as a friendly, human character with her own quirks as she did as the hardline chief.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In "Psych: The Movie", she complains about the lack of action that comes as a result of being the Chief of the San Francisco Police Deparment, and eagerly tells Shawn and Gus that she's going to shoot some bad guys when they believe criminals broke into her home. Vick was never one to complain about desk work, and it was unlikely for he to get involved in shoot-outs unless as a last resort, let alone be so excited to shoot someone. It's likely that this scene was intended for Lassiter, only for the last minute rewrite of the script due to Timmothy Omundson's stroke resulting in it being given to Vick instead.
  • Put on a Bus: For most of Season 8, after she makes a Heroic Sacrifice in Season 7 to save everyone else's jobs.
  • Pregnant Badass: Early in season 1, she entered a hostage situation, and held a perp at gunpoint, while pregnant.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Starts appearing in the opening credits during season 2.
  • 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.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Has this with her sister, a member of the Coast Guard. They even fight over Shawn in her debut episode though they do patch things up.

Santa Barbara Police Department


Officer/ Junior Detective Buzz McNab
Played by: Sage Brocklebank

A normal officer that Shawn and Gus befriend and often a supporting character.Click here to see spoilers 

  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Downplayed. He's a pretty competent cop, enough to where new Head Detective Betsy Brannigan chooses him as her partner, but he's always quite chipper and in a good mood.
  • Fair Cop: In "Deez Nups", it was revealed that McNab 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 McNab after he heard about his job as a stripper. When Trout is ousted out and Lassiter is restored to head detective, one of the first things he does is rehire McNab.
  • Meaningful Name: He's a police officer called McNab.
  • Nice Guy: While on crutches, and in response to Shawn saying that he was slightly thirsty. It wasn’t even Sarcasm Mode - he really was being genuine.
    McNab: I’m sorry Shawn, here I am going on about being blown up and here you are dying of thirst.
  • Shipper on Deck: He ships Shawn and Juliet.

    Dr. Woody Strode 

Dr. Woodrow Juniper "Woody" Strode
Played by: Kurt Fuller
The mortician of the Santa Barbara police department and quite an odd friend. He's also a furry, at least according to his choice of websites and the furry head he left in the morgue.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: He's hit on Chief Vick a few times, and pretty brazenly. It annoys her but she just lets him off with a warning.
    Woody: I guess it'll just be in my dreams that you are the Chief of doing me!
  • Ambiguously Bi: He's married, but in "Last Night Gus" he seems perfectly unfazed by the possibility that he and Lassiter got up to something during their blackout drinking, and is in fact mildly offended by Lassiter freaking out over the subject ("I have feelings, detective.").
  • Ascended Extra: He quickly went from being a guest star to a recurring character and the only non-regular cast member to have a major role in the reunion films.
  • Autopsy Snack Time: Probably more due to being a Cloudcuckoolander than being jaded.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's more than fairly eccentric, but he is apparently quite good at his job.
  • 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.
  • Creepy Mortician
    Woodrow: [to Shawn] I'd be honored to saw through your chest and remove your good-natured heart from its cavity.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Despite doing quite a few weird and somewhat unprofessional things around the bodies in the morgue, he seems to draw the line at defacing them - in the shark episode, he starts drawing a jagged blade on the shark attack victim before realizing that "this was a living person", and later tries rubbing it off.
  • Expansion Pack Past: See Noodle Incident. His past is full of bizarre incidents.
  • Fake Guest Star: He appeared in far more episodes in the final season than Chief Vick or Juliet, but was still billed as a guest star while they were in the main credits.
  • Genius Ditz: His status as a Cloudcuckoolander is undeniable... but he is a mortician, which requires some intelligence. Hell, he was apparently near the top of his class.
  • Kavorka Man: Apparently he is a demon in the sack and has seduced any number of wildly differing women.
  • Noodle Incident: When Lassie's sister starts recording the police procedure for a case, Woody expresses some concern that it might air in the Philippines. And then starts trying to distort his voice for legal reasons.
    • In the episode "Last Night Gus," he awoke to white powder on his mouth (assuming it to be cocaine when it was actually powdered sugar), he asked if there was a small Colombian with a hook for a hand.
    • In the same episode where he, Lassiter, Shawn and Gus tested their urine for drugs, Woody first points out that he didn't know peyote (a cactus native to southwest Texas and Mexico with hallucinogenic properties) remained in the system for that long (implying he may have been a teenager or near the age when took it), blaming himself and his "then-girlfriend, Lollipop."

    Betsy Brannigan 

Head Detective Betsy Brannigan
Played by: Mira Sorvino

Introduced in the last third of the final season, she's the new Head Detective after Lassiter is promoted.

  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: She is very competant as her job, being able to keep up with Shawn, but she is also very bubbly and loves crafting. Her second episode even had her knitting on the job (something for her young nephew specifically.) She also likes to roll with Shawn and Gus' antics.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Besty is forcibly hired by Lassiter as the new Head Detective in the final season and only shown in the last three episodes.
  • Girly Bruiser: She's basically an adult version of this While she does display a very bubbly personality and indulges in arts and crafts like scrapbooking and knitting, she is also as ruthless, persistant and threatening as Lassiter can be and once even nabbed the perp before Shawn and Gus did (though that the time, Gus was undergoing a psychological crisis).
  • I Work Alone: A variation. She is perfectly all right with working with Gus and Shawn and treats them amicably, but she insists on working without a partner. Ironically enough, Lassiter of all people is the one to convince her to get a partner, showing the Character Development he has gotten with Jules. She decides to do so... choosing McNab much to everyone's surprise.


    Marlowe Lassiter 

Marlowe Lassiter (née Viccellio)
Played by: Kristy Swanson

    Mr. Yang 

Ms. Rotmensen aka Mr. Yang
Played by: Ally Sheedy

  • Affably Evil: Genuinely likes Shawn and later tells him not to feel bad for Mary's death.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: She's the Mr. Yang to her father, Mr. Yin.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Gives off this vibe in brighter moments, especially when it's revealed she's not quite as Ax Crazy as initially believed.
  • Criminal Mind Games: Deeply enjoys challenging opponents with long strings of riddles and clues - the price for failure being the death of whichever victim held hostage. This seems to extend even to being a personal obsession as she prefer to speak to Shawn in riddles and obscure clues for fun even when genuinely trying to help him save someone she was relatively close to in "Psych: The Musical," and in situations where being clear would be more helpful to her in general.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Implied, hitting on both men and women. Though she's not quite depraved so much as severely troubled.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: But ultimately subverted. Not only does she save Shawn and Gus from her father, but it's also implied some, if not all the murders attributed to her were done by Yin. Nevertheless she still believes that she could have done more to stop her father.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Shawn. Both have a tendency to snark, flirt, and act childishly, and both have a complicated relationship with their fathers who raised them to follow in their footsteps.
    Shawn: He raised you. You never had a chance.
  • Freudian Excuse: Was raised by a murderous sociopath.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Saves Shawn and Gus from her father in her third appearance.
  • Killed Off for Real: Dies from a knife wound in "Psych: The Musical". As per her request, her ashes are released over her Chief Psychiatrist's car.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Every appearance is marked by a massive shift in tone towards the darker side.
  • Leitmotif: A short, eerie flute-and-drum combination shared with Mr. Yin, but a little heavier on the flute in her case.
  • Samus Is a Girl: She's Mr Yang.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Ended up killing said sociopath.
  • Trickster Mentor: An interpretation of her actions post-Heel–Face Turn. It's more of a hassle for everyone and generally portrayed as another part of her instabilities.
  • Wild Hair: Even before she went to an asylum, her long hair was a total mess.

    Mr. Yin 

Karl Rotmensen aka Mr. Yin
Played by: Christopher Turner and Peter Weller

  • Abusive Parent: He's Yang's father.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Is fooled into ranting about his motive.
  • Contractual Genre Blindness: Is able to be stalled after his prize victim insists on a Just Between You and Me speech, pointing out that it's in his nature to do so, otherwise he wouldn't be satisfied.
  • Criminal Mind Games: Same as Yang, though his methods are different (despite being implied to have actually done all of Yang's crimes) - he prefers to fool adversaries into walking into deadly traps and sadistic choices, rather than focus primarily on the chains of clues themselves.
  • Death by Irony: Yang gets Yin to drop his guard by pretending to be contrite for betraying him. This mirrors how his new apprentice Alison pretended to be a victim to get to Shawn
  • Disproportionate Retribution: He went out of his way to torment Shawn by kidnapping his mother and two women Shawn was in love with simply because Yang developed an obsession with the Spencers whom she saw as the perfect family.
  • Eviler than Thou: To Yang, who is until he appears, the biggest villain Shawn has ever seen.
  • Evil Is Petty: Hates Shawn for turning Yang against him, even though by his own admission he never cared for them (it's more "how dare you take my tool away from me".)
  • Evil Old Folks: Fairly odd and pretty evil.
  • Faux Affably Evil: When he and Shawn come face to face in their final confrontation, he acts polite, but it's plainly obvious that he's pure malice.
  • Final Boss: Of Season 4 and Season 5 (Season 4 technically ends in a draw)
  • For the Evulz: He admits that there's no reason that he kills people other he wants to and he could have been perfectly normal if he wanted to.
  • It's All About Me: Utterly selfish to the point of even raising his own daughter to be a tool in his murder spree.
  • Karmic Death: Yin is killed by the woman he tried (and failed) to turn into a murderer. She even does it using the very poison he was going to kill Gus with.
  • Killed Off for Real: Rather than being taken in alive like Yang.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Like Mr. Yang, the show gets much darker when he makes appearances. Also one of the few villains Shawn is genuinely scared of.
  • Leitmotif: A short, eerie flute-and-drum combination shared with Mr. Yang, but with more emphasis on the drum in his case.
  • The Sociopath: Doesn't even care about his own daughter.
  • Wicked Cultured: He's a very intelligent professor...and a serial killer.

    Pierre Despereaux 

Pierre Despereaux aka Royston Cornwallis Staley
Played by: Cary Elwes

  • The Ace: Makes himself appear to be a master thief who can pull of any heist, do anything and get anywhere he wants to whenever, wherever. In his first appearance, it's an act. In his later appearances, it's genuine.
  • Affably Evil: Pleasant, friendly, polite and an actually fairly nice guy when he's not playing you for a fool or robbing you blind. Most of the time, he even treats our heroes like friends - even when they're supposed to be hunting him down.
  • Becoming the Mask: The last episode he was in revealed that he is actually a government agent who once held a desk job. However, he was chosen to go undercover as a criminal to be able to catch the bad guys easier. While he has proven very effective, it's implied that he may have committed legitimate crimes during his time as Pierre.
    • The ending of the episode, however, leaves it ambiguous as to whether he was ever really an agent or if this too was simply a very elaborate ruse.
  • Broken Pedestal: After Shawn deduces that he's a fraudster rather than a thief, he's very disappointed. Surprisingly enough, this actually inspires him to become a real thief.
  • Con Men Hate Guns: He hates all forms of physical violence, and won't touch guns if he can help it. He'll use them as props, certainly, but not for their intended purpose.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He hates killing, and even mentions to Gus that if he were to attack him or Shawn he would so as painlessly as possible with minimal lasting damage. As it is, he tends to limit dealing with his enemies to merely humiliating them.
  • Evil Is Cool: In-Universe - Shawn thinks Despereaux, as a real-life gentleman thief, is one of the coolest people he's ever met. Despereaux is surprisingly appreciative of that.
  • Friendly Enemy: He and Shawn are very close, much to Gus' chagrin. They even send each other birthday presents.
  • Gentleman Thief: Though in his first appearance it's mostly an act, he does become a more traditional one in his subsequent appearances.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Easily uses Shawn and Gus as patsies in some way or another in every appearance he has, and tends to do so with his enemies in general. When the tables gets turned on him, he's remarkably surprised.
    Despereaux: I'm the pawn? I can't be the pawn!
  • Worthy Opponent: Considers Shawn to be one, and actually invites Shawn to try and solve his crimes because of it.
    • Played with in how Lassiter is convinced he's Pierre's arch-rival as he's been hunting the man down for years. However, when they finally meet, Pierre reveals he has no idea who Lassiter is.

    Allison Cowley 

Allison Cowley
Played by: Mena Suvari

  • The Apprentice: After Yang's capture and Heel–Face Turn, she takes on the role of Mr Yin's prodigy.
  • Arch-Enemy: She developed an intense hatred of Juliet for besting her in "Yang 3 in 2D" . She teamed with Goldrick to gain revenge.
  • Bad Boss: She kills her right-hand man partly because she didn't like his accent.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She pretended to have been a victim of Mr Yin's to lure Shawn and Gus to him.
  • Designated Girl Fight: With Juliet. Twice.
  • Dragon Ascendant: She becomes the Big Bad of Psych: The Movie.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Her politeness and friendliness towards the heroes in the movie is laced with venom and malice.
  • It's All About Me: Unless you're Allison Cowley, don't expect her to care about you.
  • Laughably Evil: In the movie, she has a much stronger sense of humor than she shown in her debut appearance, regularly making wise cracks, and sharing Shawn and Gus' habit for movie references.
  • The Resenter: Her dialogue after her true colors are revealed indicates she hates that Shawn was seen as a Worthy Opponent by Yin.
  • Smug Snake: Is not as competent as she thinks, which leads to Juliet beating her twice.
  • The Sociopath: Much like her mentor, Allison care for no one but herself.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The other reason she kills Goldrick is because she no longer has any use for him.

    William Goldrick 

William Goldrick aka The Thin White Duke
Played by: Zachary Levi

  • The Heavy: He is the villain for the first two thirds of the movie before Allison reveals herself.
  • Evil Brit: Subverted. He isn't actually British but is using a fake accent to imitate David Bowie. The "Evil" part is definitely genuine though.
  • The Informant: He was this to Juliet before she sent him to jail.


    Mary Lightly 

Dr. Marion "Mary" Lightly III
Played by: Jimmi Simpson

  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite being pretty creepy and strange, he was quite useful in the episodes he appeared and Juliet even called him a genius.
  • Creepy Good: No doubt one of the good guys, but has plenty of bizarre habits and strange mannerisms that creep people out.
  • Friendless Background: When Shawn and Gus attend his funeral, his mother is the only other person to show up.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Like his father and grandfather before him.
  • Killed Off for Real: By Mr. Yin.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: He's one of the good guys, but his utter lack of social skills and very intense personality make the other characters very suspicious of him. He even has the dark, creepy, poorly-kept house to go along with the trope. Unfortunately, by the time his heart of gold is discovered, it's too late.
  • Psychopomp: After Yang's death, Mary appears as an angel to escort her to the afterlife. Which afterlife this is isn't entirely clear.
  • Red Herring: Shawn suspects on two events Mary is the killer. With Mr. Yang, it was Played for Laughs while he was serious with Mr. Yin, especially when Shawn and Gus investigate his house. He was actually tracing the killer on his own and ended up dying trying to confront Mr. Yin
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Canned sardines with olive oil. When Shawn and Gus enter his house, his sink has a lot of opened cans along with some unopened ones.

    Father Westley 

Father Peter Westley
Played by: Ray Wise

A Catholic priest that Shawn and Gus knew since when they were young. Became involved in their lives again when he returns to Santa Barbara just in time to get involved in a murder / exorcism case.

  • As the Good Book Says...: He often does this.
  • Badass Preacher: Was well-known before his return for performing exorcisms. In his second appearance he saves both Shawn and Gus from a burning building. Made more awesome because Shawn and Gus were in another town and the only reason Wesley knows to look for them is the hint of a two-rider bike.
  • Casting Gag: Played by Ray Wise, he also appears again in their Twin Peaks episode.
  • Confess in Confidence: Shawn has his first confession in over fifteen years and uses it to promote a jingle he's working on. Father Westley takes it in relative stride.
  • Friendly Enemy: While he did accidentally lead to a girl's death via a suicide, he and Shawn and Gus seem to genuinely like each other.
  • Hollywood Exorcism: Performs one on a girl he believes to be possessed She's covering up her accidental murder of a fellow Catholic schoolgirl.
  • Preacher Man: He especially likes to be an active one.

    Declan Rand 

Declan Rand
Played by: Nestor Carbonell

A criminal profiler who uses psychology to solve cases. He made investments after the housing crisis which made him a multi-millionaire. He's developed his skills by studying and reading but lies about his credentials because he was bored and thought profiling looked fun.

  • Foil: To Shawn. Declan is lying about his abilities but uses profiling instead of psychic visions. He's more than a little narcissistic, if the giant painting of himself over his fireplace is any indication. Also becomes romantically interested in Juliet but unlike Shawn, comes clean about his past.
  • Non-Idle Rich: He does criminal profiling for fun.
  • Put on a Bus: Doesn't last very long and last the show mentions, he was going to take Juliet to Barcelona for a vacation.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: A profiler who works with the police department and is lying about his abilities and is kind of a jerk. Yes, it's basically the main character and Take That! of The Mentalist.

    Curt Smith 

Curt Smith
Played by: Curt Smith

One of the members of Tears for Fears, hired on by Declan Rand for private entertainment. And then randomly appears again in later episodes.


Played by: Parminder Nagra

Gus's one and only long-term girlfriend throughout the show starting in Season 7. She turns out to also have a son named Max.

  • Genre Savvy: Almost as much as Shawn.
  • Love Interest: For Gus.
  • Only One Name: Her last name is never known.
  • Put on a Bus: Needed to go to England for six months. While she's briefly mentioned afterwards, she never comes back. It's implied that she got back together with her ex-husband, Max's father.


Played by: Jazmyn Simon

Gus's new love interest introduced in the movies.

    Abigail Lytar 

Abigail Lytar

Shawn's high school fling turned girlfriend during seasons three and four.

  • High-School Sweethearts: Shawn had a crush on Abigail during high school and actually once set a date with her, but he was very nervous, so he bailed out on it. By the time of the reunion she still didn't completely get over it, being unimpressed by either his excuse (that he was a midwife) or his psychic abilities. After he impresses her by solving a crime and telling her the real reason she bailed out on their date, they both share a kiss. They officially start dating after Gus convinces him to call her by stating that that he will be eighty years old and still hitting on waitresses and that his game is tired.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: In "You Can't Handle This Episode" she leaves for Uganda in order to teach and they start one of these, which is over by "Mr. Yin Presents..." because she wants to get away from the danger of being killed (she was kidnapped and Shawn was almost killed by Mr. Yin) in order to do more with her life.
  • Love Triangle: After Juliet ended things with Luntz, she tried to go on a date with Shawn, but he already met Abigail back at his high school reunion and rekindled his love. Juliet and Shawn eventually date after Abigail breaks with him.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • In "You Can't Handle This Episode", for Uganda.
    • In "Mr. Yin Presents...", when she breaks with Shawn and never shows again (except for "Psych After Pshow").
  • Satellite Love Interest: Abigail was Shawn's girlfriend and all her plots were centred around that fact.
  • Will They or Won't They?: At first, after Gus convinces him to call Abigail, they do (even though he was then solving the Mr. Yang case, which caused disruptions on their first official date). However, after she goes to Uganda and their relationship starts fraying (due to Shawn's still latent feelings for Juliet and Abigail's fear of being killed and wasting her life), she breaks up with him.