List of Psych characters

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The cast of Psych.
left to right: Maggie Lawson as Juliet O'Hara, Corbin Bernsen as Henry Spencer, James Roday as Shawn Spencer, Kirsten Nelson as Chief Vick, Dulé Hill as Burton Guster, and Timothy Omundson as Carlton Lassiter

This is a list of characters in the USA Network original comedy-drama TV series, Psych. The principal cast of the series has remained the same throughout the series. However, various recurring characters have appeared over the course of the show's run.

Main characters[edit]

Name Portrayed by Occupation/Status Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Shawn Spencer James Roday Fake psychic; private consultant to the SBPD Main
Burton "Gus" Guster Dulé Hill Former pharmaceutical salesman; private consultant to the SBPD; Shawn's best friend Main
Carlton "Lassie" Lassiter Timothy Omundson SBPD Head Detective (2006-2014); SBPD Chief (2014-present) Main
Juliet "Jules" O'Hara Maggie Lawson SBPD Junior Detective and Lassiter's partner (2006-2014); Shawn's love interest Main
Chief Karen Vick Kirsten Nelson SBPD Interim Chief (2006–2008); SBPD Chief (2008–2014) Recurring Main
Henry Spencer Corbin Bernsen Shawn's father; former SBPD sergeant/detective; SBPD Head of Consultants (2010–2012) Main

Recurring characters[edit]

Young Shawn[edit]

Young Shawn (portrayed by Liam James and Skyler Gisondo in the majority of appearances) is the younger version of Shawn Spencer. He is almost always shown learning life lessons from his father, usually tying in to the main events of the episode. The character usually appears in flashbacks to the late 80s or early 90s. Young Shawn first appeared in the pilot episode, and has appeared in nearly every episode since.

In "The Polarizing Express" (5.14), Young Shawn appears in adult Shawn's dream in 2010. The character makes light of the rotating actors in the role when Tony Cox comments that Shawn and his younger self look nothing alike. Young Shawn (portrayed by Skyler Gisondo) replies, "Well, we changed!" Then, looking at adult Shawn he says, "Sometimes from week to week, huh?," which adult Shawn confirms.

In "And Down the Stretch Comes Murder" (2.05), Young Shawn occurs in multiple flashbacks in which Shawn tries to find the culprit that shot a prop at the teachers head, ending in getting Jimmy (Bully) kicked out of school. Jimmy, now a horse jockey, returns in the beginning of the episode, to hire Psych to talk to his horse.

Young Gus[edit]

Young Gus (portrayed by Carlos McCullers II in the majority of appearances) is the younger version of Gus. He almost always appears with Young Shawn, occasionally learning life lessons from Henry as well. The character always appears in flashbacks to the late 80s or early 90s. Young Gus first appeared in "Spellingg Bee" (1.02) and has appeared in many episodes since.

Buzz McNab[edit]

Officer (Junior Detective (season 8)) Buzz McNab (Sage Brocklebank) is a member of the SBPD, who occasionally works with Detectives Lassiter and O'Hara, as well as Shawn and Gus. McNab is a naive, lovable cop who is always eager to please Lassiter, even though Lassiter doesn't always treat him well. He first appeared in the pilot episode, and has appeared in nearly every episode since.

He has a wife, Francine, whom he marries in the first season, and a pet cat.

In the first season episode "9 Lives" (1.05), McNab, in preparation for his wedding, calls a 1-800 stress-line, leading to an attempt on his life. By the fourth season, he has already had two more brushes with death, including being wounded by an exploding mailbox in "Shawn Gets the Yips" (4.05) and knocked unconscious by a serial killer in "Mr. Yin Presents..." (4.16).

In the seventh season episode "Deez Nups", It is revealed that McNab has been moonlighting as a stripper. At the end of Season 7 he is fired by interim Chief Harris Trout.

After Lassiter is promoted to SBPD Chief, McNab is rehired in the seventh episode of Season 8. In the series finale McNab is promoted to junior Detective.

Woody the Coroner[edit]

Dr. Woodrow "Woody" Strode (Kurt Fuller) is the quirky coroner for Santa Barbara. He shares many character traits with Shawn. He first appeared in "High Top Fade Out" (4.07) and then became a frequently recurring character.

In "Shawn 2.0" (5.08), he reveals that he had a wife. Shawn soon points out that she was cheating on him with her personal trainer, and Woody responds that he had approved. When Shawn points out other men in her life, Woody states that he hadn't approved those particular men.

He is apparently wanted in the Philippines, as made evident in "Dead Bear Walking"' (5.15). While being filmed for a documentary by Lassiter's sister, he attempts to alter his voice for "legal purposes."

Madeleine Spencer[edit]

Dr. Madeleine Spencer (Cybill Shepherd) is Shawn's mother and Henry's ex-wife. She has an eidetic memory, which she passed on to her son. She first appeared in a cameo appearance in "Shawn (and Gus) of the Dead" (2.16), and made her first major appearance in "Ghosts" (3.01).

In her first main appearance, "Ghosts" (3.01), she returns to Santa Barbara as a police psychologist. She explains to Shawn that she left his father in 1992 to pursue a job opportunity, a surprise to Shawn, who had always believed Henry left her. By her second appearance, in "Murder? ... Anyone? ... Anyone? ... Bueller?" (3.02), she has begun to spend more time with Henry; they even attend their son's high school reunion together.

In the third season finale, "An Evening with Mr. Yang" (3.16), she is kidnapped by Yang and almost killed by a car bomb. However, she is saved when Shawn identifies Yang and has her arrested. After the ordeal, she shares a brief kiss with Henry.

In the sequel to "An Evening with Mr. Yang," "Mr. Yin Presents..." (4.16), she is revealed to be at a conference in New York, where she is safe from Yin's murderous rampage. However, she does not appear in the episode.

She appears in "Yang 3 in 2D" (5.16), where it is revealed that Yang lived three blocks down from the Spencers, and that she had taken a picture of Shawn with Yang.

Abigail Lytar[edit]

Abigail Lytar (Rachael Leigh Cook) is Shawn's ex-girlfriend. She is an elementary school teacher. She first appeared in "Murder? ... Anyone? ... Anyone? ... Bueller?" (3.02) and most recently in "Mr. Yin Presents..." (4.16).

She first appears in "Murder? ... Anyone? ... Anyone? ... Bueller?" (3.02) at Shawn and Gus's high school reunion. It is revealed that she had been stood-up by Shawn at a high school dance, when he left her standing alone on a pier. Together, they solve the murder of one of their former classmates. In "An Evening with Mr. Yang" (3.16), Gus accuses Shawn of not being able to keep a steady relationship. He then proceeds to call Abigail, immediately asking her on a date. Over the course of the episode, however, he is forced to keep pushing the time back as he struggles to capture Yang. Finally, the two share their first real date at a drive-in theater in Gus's car (though Gus stays in the backseat the entire time).

Abigail returns in the fourth season in the episode "He Dead" (4.02), wanting to meet Henry for the first time. However, Shawn attempts to prevent it, claiming that his relationship with his father is already strained. Despite his attempts, the two finally meet, and get along very well, much to Shawn's surprise. Abigail returned again in "Bollywood Homicide" (4.06), in which Shawn invites her to a crime scene. When Lassiter embarrasses Shawn in front of Abigail, Shawn becomes determined to solve the case, and eventually does. In the summer finale, "You Can't Handle This Episode" (4.10), Abigail reveals to Shawn that she is moving to Uganda for six months, and that she wants to put their relationship on hold until she visits in February.

When Abigail returns from Uganda in "Mr. Yin Presents..." (4.16), she is met with an unwelcome surprise. Upon her arrival at the airport, Officer McNab picks her up, due to Shawn's preoccupation with catching Yin. Immediately, McNab is drugged, and Abigail is kidnapped by Yin. After Yin ties her to the bottom of the pier (where Shawn stood her up in high school), Shawn is issued an ultimatum: rescue Juliet or rescue Abigail. He chooses Abigail, and barely succeeds in saving her life. However, immediately afterward, she tells Shawn she can't take the stress of his job any longer, and breaks up with him. However, she did tell Shawn to call her if he ever gave up "Chasing psychos."

Winnie Guster[edit]

Winnifred "Winnie" Guster (Phylicia Rashad) is the mother of Gus and Joy Guster, and the wife of Bill Guster. She first appeared in "Gus's Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy" (2.10) and most recently in "Christmas Joy" (3.09).

She first appeared in "Gus's Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy" (2.10), in which Shawn and Henry visit the Gusters for Christmas. She, along with her husband, was arrested for the murder of their neighbor. It was believed that they murdered him after it was revealed that she was being blackmailed for insurance fraud, and that Mr. Guster had been having an ongoing feud with the deceased. Shawn is determined to solve the case, due to their dislike of him. They blame him for being a negative influence on Gus. However, he solves the murder, revealing that it was not in any way connected to them. They are grateful, and finally accept Shawn.

Mrs. Guster returns in "Christmas Joy" (3.09). Shawn, Gus, and her daughter Joy all stay with the Gusters for the holidays. It is made known that she had used a bookie to place one bet, and had lost most of her savings. However, her family forgives her, and she forgives her family for all the mistakes that they had made as well.

Bill Guster[edit]

William "Bill" Guster (Ernie Hudson and Keith David) is the father of Gus and Joy Guster, and the husband of Winnie Guster. He first appeared in "Gus's Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy" (2.10) and most recently in "Christmas Joy" (3.09).

He first appears in "Gus's Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy" (2.10), in which Shawn and Henry visit the Gusters for Christmas. He, along with his wife, is arrested for the murder of their neighbor. It is believed that they had murdered him after it was revealed that he was having an ongoing feud with the deceased. Shawn is determined to solve the case, due to their dislike of him. They blame him for being a negative influence on Gus. However, he solves the murder, revealing that it was not in any way connected to them. They are grateful, and finally accept Shawn.

Mr. Guster returns in "Christmas Joy" (3.09). Shawn, Gus, and his daughter Joy all stay with the Gusters for the holidays. It is made known that he had lost his job months earlier, and had been looking for a job during the days ever since. However, his family forgives him, and he forgives his family for all the mistakes that they had made as well.

Mr. Yang[edit]

Mr. Yang (Ally Sheedy) was a serial killer who murdered her first victim in 1995. That year, she killed six people after a game of cat-and-mouse with each of them. Over the next 14 years, she killed two others, and was still not caught, nor her identity revealed. She first appeared in "An Evening with Mr. Yang" (3.16) and most recently in Psych: The Musical (7.15).

In "An Evening with Mr. Yang" (3.16), she returns, this time, to play her game with Shawn Spencer. After Henry's adamant protests to the contrary, Shawn accepts her proposition, vowing to bring her to justice. She first kidnaps Shawn and Gus's waitress and holds her hostage. After leaving several cryptic clues for Shawn, the hostage is finally returned, but replaced with Shawn's mother, Madeleine. After strapping a bomb to Madeleine, Yang sits and watches as the SBPD swarms a drive-in theater looking for her. Shawn finds her car, and she finally comes face-to-face with her target. She reveals to Shawn that she is going to write a book about them, and is finally arrested.

When Shawn and Gus speak to Mary (a psychologist who helped bring Yang to justice) a year later, in "Mr. Yin Presents..." (4.16), he reveals that it would be impossible for Yang to work alone, and proposed that she was working with a Yin. He discerns this from Yang's book, entitled From Serial Dater to Serial Killer: How Murder Kept Me Skinny. Mary's theory proves to be true, and Shawn, Gus, and Mary proceed to visit Yang in her tiny cell at an asylum. She is being held in a completely white and grey cell, due to her tendencies toward violence when exposed to color (to which Gus responds, "What about my face?!"). While there, Yang admits to working with a Yin. She says, "If you think I'm sick, you ain't seen nothing yet." This proves to be true, as Yin (representing chaos) has no rules.

In "Yang 3 in 2D" (5.16), it is revealed that Yang had lived only three blocks from the Spencers. It was there that she had her picture taken with Shawn by Madeleine. After briefly letting Yang out of the asylum to help capture Yin, Shawn and Gus discover that Yang is actually Yin's daughter, and that Yin had actually committed each of the murders attributed to Yang (including the attempted murders of "An Evening with Mr. Yang"). They watch helplessly as she murders her father for trying to harm Shawn. She is subsequently taken back into custody.

Yang's sexuality is questionable, as Yin, her father says, that she "developed an unhealthy crush" for Shawn in "Yang 3 in 2D." However, Yang says in Mr. Yin Presents..." that she "has the googly eyes" for her "lady guard friend," a woman in charge of escorting visitors to Yang's cell during her incarceration. The guard, however, is "playing hard to get." Yang also says in "Yang 3 in 2D" that "hosting The View and making out with Elizabeth Crowley is impossible," indicating that this might have been a fantasy of some sort of hers.

Yang appears in Psych: The Musical (7.15), in which she becomes the main informant for information on an escaped murderer being chased by the SBPD. She is later stabbed to death by the actual murderer after saving Shawn's life. This is followed by an after-death duet between her and Mary, in which the latter reveals that she probably won't get into heaven.

Mr. Yin[edit]

Mr. Yin (Christopher Turner and Peter Weller) was Yang's counterpart and former partner, and was even more murderous than she. He was evidently obsessed with the films of Alfred Hitchcock, as his murders were almost always taken right out of a Hitchcock film. Yin first appeared in "Mr. Yin Presents..." (4.16) and last in "Yang 3 in 2D" (5.16).

Yin first appears in "Mr. Yin Presents..." (4.16). His existence is unknown until then, when Mary Lightly proposes that Yang had a partner during the events of "An Evening with Mr. Yang" (3.16). He begins murdering people, starting with the waitress who served Shawn, Gus, and Mary pie. He arranges the body (with two rocks) into a Yin/Yang symbol. Mary warns that, while Yang followed a set of rules, Yin would not. He said that once a person discovered the rules of Yin, the rules would change. This proves to be true very soon, when Yin murders Mary, just as "Mother" kills Detective Arbogast in Psycho. Yin flees, and then "casts" Shawn, Gus, Lassiter, Juliet, and Henry as "archetypal characters from Hitchcock's canon." While there, he kidnaps Juliet. He then travels to the airport, where McNab is picking up Abigail. Yin drugs McNab and kidnaps Abigail, forcing Shawn to choose which one he wants to save. Yin ties Abigail to the bottom of a pier, and forces Shawn to make another decision: catch Yin or save Abigail. Shawn picks Abigail, and Yin flees, once again. The episode ends with Yin stroking a picture of Yang with a young Shawn Spencer.

In "Yang 3 in 2D" (5.16), it is revealed that he is actually Yang's father and had committed all of the murders attributed to her. His true identity is revealed as Professor Karl Rotmensen. He has also taken on a new apprentice (Allison Cowley), replacing Yang. After a brief reconciliation, Yang murders him.

Mary Lightly[edit]

Dr. Marion "Mary" Lightly III (Jimmi Simpson) was a criminal psychologist who was obsessed with the Yin/Yang cases. He also had a fondness for racquetball. He first appeared in "An Evening with Mr. Yang" (3.16) and last in "Psych: The Musical" (7.15).

In his very first scene, he is forced to explain his name, saying that his "father was named Mary, his father before him was named Mary, and his father before him was named Craig". He has very odd quirks, including a "creepy handshake." After studying the Yang case for 13 years, he returned to Santa Barbara when Yang resurfaced. He provided several insights that were invaluable in catching Yang and bringing her to justice.

In "Mr. Yin Presents..." (4.16), he visits Shawn and Gus, revealing that he never left Santa Barbara, and reveals his theory that Yang was not working alone. He believes that a Yin exists, and that he is even more murderous than Yang. After following Yin's clues, Shawn and Gus are led to believe that Mary is, in fact, Yin. However, after following him to (what appears to be) an abandoned building, they see him stabbed, just as Martin Balsam in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. He dies in Shawn's arms. In the final scenes of the episode, Shawn, Gus, and Mary's mother are shown attending his racquetball-themed funeral.

In "Yang 3 in 2D" (5.16), the team discovers a videotape made by Mary days before his murder. It mostly consisted of random poetry and thoughts (including questioning the popularity of One Tree Hill), but eventually included valuable insight to the Yin/Yang relationship. Mary stated that he believed Yin would be jealous of Yang's popularity, and that Yin would attempt to take "revenge of the highest malevolence". During the video he refers to himself as "Marion", which is probably his full name.

Mary makes a brief appearance in "Psych: The Musical" (7.15) in an after-death sequence. In a duet between himself and Yang, he implies that Yang will probably not go to heaven, but promises "to give it a shot."

Pierre Despereaux[edit]

Pierre Despereaux (Cary Elwes) is an extremely elusive Canadian art thief. He first appeared in "Extradition: British Columbia" (4.01), when Shawn and Gus travel to Canada on vacation and recognized him. Shawn called Lassiter and confirmed his identity. However, it is revealed that he, in fact, is simply an insurance fraudster.

Despereaux returns in "Extradition II: The Actual Extradition Part" (5.10), in which he is accused of multiple murders after his escape from prison. He is later cleared of the murder charges and finally extradited to the United States.

He returns again in the episode "Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy, Rusty Old Dagger" (6.10), in which he races with Shawn and Gus against a gang of art thieves to find an old dagger that opens a secret stash of paintings. Over the course of the investigation, he is forced to fake his own death in order to avoid prison. Despereaux, along with Shawn and Gus, uncovers the art, revealing many seemingly worthless paintings. He later steals one of these and removes the paint, revealing a Rembrandt underneath. He is now believed by the SBPD to be deceased, though Shawn and Gus know that this is false. It has been confirmed by USA that Pierre Desperaux will return to Psych in Season 8.

Elwes reprised his role in the episode "Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster's Goblet of Fire" (8.01) which was a British themed episode.

Declan Rand[edit]

Declan Rand (Nestor Carbonell) is a fake criminal profiler who briefly dated Juliet. With the exception of Gus, Madeleine and Henry, he is the only character who knows Shawn is not psychic at the time of his appearance. He first appeared in "Shawn 2.0" (5.08) and last in "One, Maybe Two, Ways Out" (5.09).

Declan first appears in "Shawn 2.0" (5.08), in which he was hired by the SBPD to a case Shawn and Gus were already working. He quickly surpassed them, and was given all the credit for the case. Later, however, they discover that he is not really a criminal profiler; he is just extremely rich and is working "for fun." Declan is aware that Shawn is not really a psychic, while Shawn is aware that Declan is not really a criminal profiler. Declan, like Shawn, soon falls for Juliet. Just as Shawn goes to confess to Juliet that he is not really a psychic and ask her out, Declan confesses that he is not really a criminal profiler. Juliet appreciates his honesty, and begins to date him.

In "One, Maybe Two, Ways Out" (5.09), Shawn and Gus need Declan's assistance in another case. He agrees, but must confess to Juliet every time he helps, to Shawn and Gus's vehement protests. After discovering that Declan is taking Juliet on a two-week vacation, Shawn tells Gus how he feels about Juliet. Juliet overhears everything he says. While visiting Declan, Shawn ends up alone with Juliet, and she kisses him. Declan reenters the room, and Shawn leaves.

By the next episode, "Extradition II: The Actual Extradition Part" (5.10), it is revealed that Juliet has broken up with Declan.

Marlowe Viccellio Lassiter[edit]

Marlowe Viccellio Lassiter (Kristy Swanson) is introduced as a murder suspect in "This Episode Sucks" (6.03), where eventually the SBPD discovers that she has been stealing blood in order to help her dying brother. She is then sent to prison, but not before creating a connection with Lassie. Their relationship grows throughout the sixth season and she appears later in "Let's Doo-Wop It Again" (6.13). She and Lassiter were engaged (7.06) and were married in "Deez Nups" (7.07). In "S.E.I.Z.E The Day," (8.02) she revealed to Lassiter that she was pregnant.

Minor characters[edit]

The following are characters appearing in multiple episodes in small roles.

References[edit]