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YMMV / Psych

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  • Acceptable Targets:
    • Shawn (and possibly the writers) has a vendetta against aloha shirts, and anyone who wears them whether they're a Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist or not. Possibly a Freudian Excuse because Shawn's father often wears them. The writers have a field day with it in "And Down the Stretch Comes Murder" :
    Shawn: Wow, Dad, tell me you're wearing that shirt because someone has to spot you from space.
    Shawn: A little girl outside just started crying when she saw this shirt.
    Shawn: I'm worried someone's going to stare directly at the pattern and have a seizure.
    • Chad Michael Murray.
    • The Mentalist is also one of the show's favourite punching bags.
    • Models in "Black and Tan: A Crime of Fashion" are portrayed as shallow and less than intelligent. Several characters make snide remarks on their airheaded personalities and how none of them had "an IQ over 30".
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  • Accidental Aesop: By repeatedly showing how easy it is for Shawn to convince people he's psychic when his knowledge about them always comes from other channels and his own observation, the show can easily be read as a warning to "Never trust people who claim to be psychic."
  • Awesome Music:
    • The remix of the theme song, Bollywood-style, in the Bollywood episode.
    • Any remix of the theme song, which they do at least Once a Season.
    • According to the reviews, Psych: The Musical.
    • The ending scenes of the season 4 finale "Mr. Yin Presents" is the most heartrending sequence in the entire series, thanks to Band Of Horses beautiful track I Go To The Barn Because I Like The....
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In the episode "Let's Get Hairy," Shawn activates a revolving bookcase by grabbing a book. Gus is taken to the other side of the bookcase. It spins back around when Shawn puts the book back. Shawn never notices, Gus never says anything, and the incident is never heard of again.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Seasons 4 & 5: Mr. Yin, also known as Karl Rotmensen, is a suave, depraved sociopath and one of Shawn Spencer's most personal enemies. After grooming his partner and daughter Yang into becoming a killer like him, the pair would force the police to play twisted games with an innocent person's life on the line. When Yin first appears, he makes his presence known by murdering a waitress and posing her corpse like a yin-yang symbol. He then goes on to stab police consultant Mary Lightly to death before kidnapping Shawn's friend Juliet and his girlfriend Abigail, and forcing him to choose between preventing the former from falling to her death or saving the latter from drowning. When he reappears, Yin lures Shawn and his best friend Gus to his home, where he forces Shawn to watch as he tries to poison Gus while promising him a "special" death afterwards. A heartless madman who kills for the thrill of it, Yin's appearances severely darken the tone of what's an otherwise lighthearted buddy comedy show.
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    • Psych: The Movie: Allison Cowley is the apprentice of Mr. Yin. In her first appearance in the season 5 finale, she passed herself off as a helpless victim of Yin to Shawn, only to lure them into one of Yin's traps. Beaten by Juliet, Cowley returns for revenge in the movie, and proves that even without her mentor's influence she can still be just as monstrous. Ordering her men to gun down Juliet's partner, Cowley later kidnaps Chief Vick's teenage daughter to lure the heroes to Alcatraz. When she reveals herself to the Psych crew, she coldly shoots her right-hand man dead, claiming that his accent was getting on her nerves. Telling the gang that she has strapped a bomb to Vick's daughter that will go off in twenty minutes and kill them all unless they find it, Cowley orders her remaining minions to kill the heroes as slowly as possible before finally getting her rematch with Juliet. Unapologetically psychotic and willing to hurt others just to spite her rival, Cowley managed to darken the tone of the show with each appearance she made.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Woody the Coroner.
    • Ed Dixon, former Army Ranger turned Crazy Survivalist who wears a Bigfoot suit for camouflage and stocks his cabin with medieval weaponry. Not only does he survive an axe to the back, he manages to kill a murderous Serbian mobster while said axe is still embedded in his back. Did we mention he's played by The Big Show?
  • Critical Research Failure: In "You Can't Handle This Episode" a guard at a military base reacts with awe when he sees that Juliet's brother has DOD-TS security clearance. While the mistake is understandable — the acronym stands for Department of Defense-Top Secret — it's not actually a particularly high or exclusive level of security clearance (just working at a company that contracts with the military is enough to get you DOD-TS clearance). The weapons being smuggled out of the armory by the bad guys aren't actual US military weapons - they're visibly H&K G36Ks, which are of German design. While it's possibly an in-character mistake by Shawn, he credits getting caught trying to sneak into the base as being caught on radar. Radar does not work that way. He would likely have been picked up by a guard, on camera, or on a thermal sensor.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Mary, the Mr. Yang expert from "A Night with Mr. Yang" and "Mr. Yin Presents." His creepy acting and penchant for saying the most disturbing things made many people wish he would become a regular character. Unfortunately...He did, however, return no less than three times even after his death.
    • Woody the Coroner, to the point that he was not only listed as a Special Guest Star in later seasons, but also had an entire episode focused on him in the final season and, naturally, returned for the movie.
    • Mr Yin and Mr Yang themselves also count. See Evil Is Cool. Yang even made multiple returns.
    • Among the series' one shot characters, Nigel St. Nigel is a fan favorite: partially due to his hilariously over-the-top assholishness, but also because he's being played by the ever-hammy, scenery-devouring Tim Curry to boot.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: Tony and Joon from "High Top Fade Out," of "Blackapella," who gave out "free biscuits and gravy" after each show. The latter is even played by Kenan Thompson. And the former is none other than Jaleel White, himself.
  • Evil Is Cool: Mr. Yin and Mr. Yang. Especially notable as perhaps the only villains in the series who are played completely straight.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Shawn keeps "hypothetically typecasting" Gus as minor black characters in their favorite movies. This starts when he refuses to let Gus be "Goose" in Top Gun. That's because "Goose" is what Shawn's mother calls him.
    • In "Juliet Wears the Pantsuit" Henry says he's sorry to Juliette about how things went with her and Shawn. He's not just expressing sympathy, he's apologizing for his part in keeping up Shawn's lie. As much as he can with Lassiter present, anyway.
    • Shawn's general tendencies in Season 4 to get a lot of details wrong and generally come off as more of an Idiot Hero than before: he's a lot more prideful after capturing Santa Barbara's most notorious serial killer, and thus has an inflated ego. He then goes through a Break the Haughty thanks to Mr. Yin and his pride returns to pre-Yang levels in the following seasons.
    • How did Allison Cowley know that picture was of Yang and a young Shawn? She only knows Shawn from the news coverage of the Yin/Yang case, which wouldn't have included pictures from childhood. She couldn't unless Yin told her.
    • Remake AKA Cloudy... With A Chance Of Improvement... is widely regarded to be generally a terrible episode, does nothing to improve on the story and keeps the Flanderization present in later seasons. Which is the point. Shawn and Gus often complain about how movie remakes are usually bad copies of the originals, with pointless celebrity cameos and slipshod writing. It's one of the most meta jokes the show's made.
  • Fridge Horror:
    • In "Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark," Gus plays a voicemail from Shawn for the detectives to give them the only clue to what had happened to Shawn. In this voicemail, Shawn mentions that he'd solved the case, but fortunately doesn't give any incriminating not-psychic details. But what if he had? Gus would have been forced to choose between saving his best friend's life by playing the tape, and keeping his secret by withholding potentially crucial information.
  • Fridge Logic:
    • In "Tuesday the 17th," the initial case turns out to be a prank being pulled on Shawn. But those involved continued the prank after Shawn calls in Juliet, who is ready to shoot the killer if he appears...
  • Friendly Fandoms: There's a lot of overlap between fans of Psych and fans of Monk, thanks to both shows' comedic nature and quirky, hyper-observant protagonists.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: During a car chase in the season 4 episode "Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark", Shawn makes a joke that he'd "rather not be Paul Walker right now". Paul Walker died in a car accident in 2013.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: There was an episode arc where Shawn and Juliet broke up. Their actors James Roday and Maggie Lawson broke up after dating during the show's run.
    • Shawn spends a lot of the Season 2 episode "Bounty Hunters" reacting every time someone says they're retiring, because people get shot when they retire. Come Season 6, when Henry retires, he gets shot in the chest by an old partner.
    • In "Christmas Joy", Gus is mad at Shawn for sleeping with his sister Joy ten years ago while Gus was in college. Henry gives Shawn a lecture about the importance of trust between partners, something he learned on the police force. In season 6, Henry would suffer a far more vicious betrayal when he learns that all of the members of his team from his days as a cop were corrupt and one of them actually shoots him.
    • Juliet spends much of the episode "You Can't Handle This Episode" angry at Shawn for believing her brother is involved in the cover-up of a murder, claiming it's because he can't handle someone else having a healthy relationship. A few seasons later and it's revealed that, to Juliet, that was one of the few positive relationships in her family that she had, given her father is a con-man and her stepfather is a degenerate gambler. Her attitude makes a lot more sense.
    • The killer in "Juliet Takes A Luvvah" was a man who murdered women whom he saw as shallow for not being sexually or romantically interested in him. The man's Motive Rant is disturbingly similar to the one in Ellior Rodger's manifesto.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In "Shawn Rescues Darth Vader", Gus is aghast when a kid claims that the Star Wars prequels were better than the original movies. Since late 2010s, the idea of the Star Wars prequels being good is a lot more common in fandom discourse in wake of the Disney Star Wars sequel trilogy.
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • Informed Wrongness: In "One, Maybe Two, Ways Out," Shawn and Gus are chastised for helping Nadia run from the "good guys"... the good guys who opened fire on them on a pier in broad daylight, while Nadia saved their lives.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Yeah, like they were going to kill Henry.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Yeah Lassiter can be a dick but the man suffers so much.
  • Narrowed It Down to the Guy I Recognize:
    • When Saul Tigh shows up as a crusty fisherman about 15 minutes in, you know that he'll be the murderer by the end of the episode.
    • Also in Season 1's "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me, Oops He's Dead", guest-starring Teryl Rothery.
    • Subverted in "Shawn and the Real Girl", about a reality dating show being hosted by Wayne Brady and produced by Matt Parkman. It's the cameraman.
    • Also subverted in the movie. Zachary Levi was well publicized as the villain "Thin White Duke", but in the end the true mastermind was Mena Suvari, returning as Allison Cowley, though they were hidden the whole movie.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Yin and Yang. Yang has been obsessed with Shawn since he was twelve. And her obsession is the only thing that saves his mother in her first appearance.
    • Add to this the fact that Shawn never knew! She's known about him since he was a kid, knows what happened on the pier between him and Abigail in high school,which implies she's followed him in other episodes since this was only mentioned before in episodes Yin/Yang did not appear in, and Shawn, whose powers of observation are so great that people believe he has psychic powers, never suspected a thing.
      • Despite being a parody, "Heeeeeere's Lassie" was pretty scary, especially the part where Lassie goes crazy and tries to kill Gus!
    • "Dead Air" had "Bob" a, Crazy Jealous Guy who was targeting radio hosts who his Ex Girlfriend got too close with. The psych team comes to the conclusion that "Bob" is really just a split personality of his girlfriend (who's bipolar). It turns out there really is a Bob and he shows up at Gus's house with a gun!
    • The culprit in "Juliet Wears The Pantsuit", an abusive husband whose father was a cop, meaning his wife couldn't get a restraining order, forcing her to go on the run, changing her identity until she decided her only option was to steal the identity of a cop, to keep away from him.
    • Gus's nightmares in "A Nightmare On State Street" can be this, especially the first two if you don't handle horror movies very well.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Sort of. Lassiter only gets one scene in the film, owing to Timothy Omundson suffering a stroke but it's been remarked upon as the most emotional scene of the entire film.
  • One True Threesome: Shawn/Gus/Juliet is pretty much confirmed in the series finale when Shawn's proposal to Juliet includes "Will you marry us?" since Gus will always be an important part of their lives. Especially in the movie, where Gus plans to go on their honeymoon with them.
  • Retroactive Recognition: As this is filmed in Vancouver, you see quite a few cameo cases of this, especially from USA and Syfy series.
    • Dale Arden had her ring stolen before her wedding.
    • Henry was a janitor in a planetarium before becoming a werewolf.
    • Vincent went to Shawn and Gus' high school before being a genius cook.
    • Anson Fullerton was a retired anarchist before burning Michael.
    • Rachel, before sharpening her senses, was Mohinder's forbidden lover who didn't see a truck coming.
  • The Scrappy: Harris Trout. Not only does he shake up the status quo of the series in a negative way, but his scenes are typically not as funny, he constantly belittles everyone around him, and is willing to take the risk of killing Woody so long as he gets the bad guy. Pretty much no one likes him in-universe, either, and he bogged the first half of the final season as a result.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • The tower scene in the Season 3 episode "Daredevils!" has a really obvious green screen background.
    • In the season three episode about the arsonist, the heavy-set arsonist sets himself on fire and turns into what's clearly a stuntman who's a lot skinnier than the actor is.
    • The hot air balloon in the Season 6 episode "Neil Simon's Lover Retreat" looks like cheap '90s CGI, and no attempt is made to disguise it.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Harris Trout might be a hardass but his observations about the lack of professionalism from the SNPD and disregard for the rules that Shawn and Gus display (not to mention them lying about Shawn being a psychic) are not wrong.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The episode where Juliet's brother was the culprit escaped ended with a sequel hook that was never resolved. The movie seems to imply that this may, in fact, be resolved should another movie be greenlit.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: In "Lights, Camera, Homicidio" Juliet attempts to befriends a new female cop, which culminates in the cop filing a complaint against Juliet for harassment. This is supposed to be a lesson to the friendly, bubbly Juliet that she needs to be more professional in the workplace, a useful Aesop. However, the cop is unnecessarily rude to Juliet from the beginning, and the complaint seems to indicate that the cop is overly paranoid and shows that she can't healthily interact with her own coworkers.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • The killer in "Shawn Gets the Yips." Wants to avenge his dead son against the drug-lord who sold him a lethal dose? Fine and dandy there. Problem is, the killer also targets the non-corrupt police, seeing them as equally guilty for trying and failing to convict said drug-lord through legal means.
    • In "High Top Fade Out" Juliet and Lassiter don't tell Shawn and Gus that they are working on an undercover case until near the end of the episode, and this decision is portrayed as correct in-episode. However, as Gus points out, they had no real reason to not tell them based on their stellar track record assisting the police department. In addition, Lassiter and Juliet lock Shawn and Gus in the police interrogation room all night with bags over their heads (claiming it was "for their protection") and act like jerks the entire time (at one point, Lassiter jokes that they should take the bus right after they almost got blown up by a car bomb).


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