Over the course of its eight season run from 2006 to 2014, the USA Network dramedy Psych routinely proved that it had some of the best writing and casting in the history of comedic television. Following the mad cap adventures of fake psychic detective Shawn Spencer and his best friend and partner in crime Burton Guster, Psych is far and away one of the zaniest and most creative series to ever air. The series was such a beloved cult hit that Psych the Movie aired in the winter of 2017, and Psych the Movie 2 is expected some time in 2019 as well.
While much of Psych focused on the crimes that Shawn and Gus helped to solve in Santa Barbara, California, the series also carefully wove in relationships romantic, platonic, and familial along the way. Some of these relationships were clearly meant to be cringe-worthy, included for the sake of over the top cases, but others soon became some of the best parts of the series as a whole. We take a look back at the best and worst relationships the series ever introduced.
10 Worst: Gus and Mira
Psych never shied away from exploring its characters backstories. A main feature of the series even followed the childhood and adolescent years of Shawn and Gus and the crazy adventures they got into when they were younger. But the season two episode "There's Something About Mira" introduced a part of Gus's backstory that the series really, truly could have done without ever including.
"There's Something About Mira" revealed that the normally straitlaced Gus once got incredibly drunk on spring break in college and impulsively married Kerry Washington's Mira Gaffney. Mira is incredibly spoiled and stubborn, needing everything done her way or not at all, and she treats Gus like a total doormat. The episode also doesn't shy away from the fact that there are some clearly psychopathic tendencies to her character, even if she turns out to be all right in the end. But it's safe to say that Gus should never have been involved with someone like her - and we're glad the series never revisited it.
9 Best: Gus and Selene
It was a long time coming for Burton Guster when he finally met the woman who very well may be "the one" in Psych the Movie. It certainly didn't hurt that this character was played by Dulé Hill's real life love, Jazmyn Simon. Gus has never been the best at flirting with women, occasionally coming off as too eager for his own good. So when he meets Selene and the sparks quickly fly in some pretty dramatic ways, it was only a matter of time before these two became involved.
Sure, Selene may not exactly share Gus's rightful outrage regarding the demotion of Pluto's planet status. And maybe she comes on a little too strong. But the back and forth banter these two had in the first Psych movie only has us all the more excited to see what Psych the Movie 2 has in store for them.
8 Worst: Shawn and Joy
There are just some things that aren't ever okay, according to the traditionally understood "bro code." Dating a best friend's sibling - especially in secret - may just be one of the worst things that one guy could do to another. It was a real mistake, therefore, when the third season episode "Christmas Joy" revealed that Shawn had been secretly hooking up with Gus's sister, Joy, on and off throughout the years.
Joy and Shawn never felt believable in any romantic capacity, considering how uptight and flat Joy is made to appear as a character. The added element of their selfish sneaking around, coupled with the dramatic and emotional revelation of their relationship to a clearly hurt Guster family, all but guarantees that this couple could never be worth rooting for. Thankfully, Joy never resurfaced again throughout the remainder of the series' run.
7 Best: Henry and Madeleine
Psych doesn't embrace the dramatic side of its dramedy pedigree very often, but one of the best ways it tackles the tough emotional family drama is in the case of the Spencer family. For his entire childhood and adult life, up until the series' third season, Shawn blamed the dissolution of his parents' marriage on his father. But as it was revealed, it was his mother, Madeleine (played masterfully by Cybill Shepherd), who chose to end the marriage, and leave her family behind in pursuit of her own happiness.
This revelation allowed the series to tackle some weighty dramatic material, forcing Shawn to reevaluate his view of his father, and Henry to deal with his own unresolved love for Madeleine. Later in the series, the two would even reconnect, revisiting days of their romance past and forging a new future - all to Shawn's total horror and embarrassment.
6 Worst: Shawn and Juliet
This may be the most controversial ranking on this list, but it's true: putting Shawn and Juliet in a romantic relationship was one of the worst decisions that Psych ever made. From the series' second episode, it was telegraphed far too clearly that these two would be a couple we were meant to root for. But time and again, the series routinely proved that they were totally wrong for each other.
Shawn never opened up to Jules in any meaningful way, with Juliet only learning the truth about his so-called psychic powers after she caught him a particularly lazy lie. They also fight far more frequently than any healthy couple should, mostly due to their polar opposite personalities and Juliet's inability to accept Shawn for who he is. The fact that the series rushed their marriage in a total out of character shotgun wedding at the end of Psych the Movie only further reinforces the truth: Shawn and Juliet's relationship was written to fill the need for a relationship, rather than meaningfully serve the overall series' story.
5 Best: Lassie and Marlowe
Looking back at the series' earliest seasons, it's virtually impossible to imagine Carlton Lassiter falling in love with someone, and becoming a total romantic in the process. But all of that changed as soon as he met Marlowe Viccellio. Sure, they may have met under the most unconventional of circumstances, but there's no denying that Lassiter and Marlowe had one of the series' strongest relationships. When Lassie and Marlowe first met, she was a suspect in a series of murders, with Shawn and Gus both believing that she could even be a vampire.
It would be revealed that Marlowe was in fact a criminal, stealing blood to help her sick brother who had an incredibly rare blood type. And though she would go away for a few years, Lassiter remained faithful and in love with her the entire time, visiting her frequently in prison. Once Marlowe was released from her prison stint, the two of them were married in true over the top Psych fashion, and eventually brought little Lily Lassiter into the world.
4 Worst: Gus and Rachael
Poor Gus. Time and again, the true romantic believer main character on the series was forced to have his heart broken in his long-standing quest to find Miss Right. When the series introduced Parminder Nagra as Rachel in the seventh season, it really did seem like Gus had finally found the one. A single mother that Gus meets through an online dating service, Rachael added a fun element to the series, revealing Gus's true romantic nature in a new way that had never been shown before.
It also allowed the series to reveal Gus's desire to be a father someday, through his awkward bond with Rachael's young son, Maximus. But in the end, Rachael would break Gus's heart as many before her had done, choosing to reunite with her ex-husband in England and unceremoniously breaking up with Gus via a delivery of a basket of cookies and a note informing him that they needed to talk.
3 Best: Shawn and Abigail
Shawn Spencer is a lot to handle. There's no way of denying that. And not many people would be able to handle him, even for a little while. But far and away the most well-equipped to do that in any of his canonical romances was Abigail Lytar, the girl who got away from his high school days. The two reunited as adults at their high school reunion, and it was clear that the spark had never gone away, no matter that things hadn't gone their way in the past.
As an elementary school teacher, Abigail had a specific level of patience and skill when it came to handling someone as zany and over the top as Shawn, and she also brought a certain kind of levelheadedness to Shawn's world. Though she would sadly break things off with him when she realized his life was far too dangerous for her, Shawn and Abigail's season-long relationship still stands the test of time as one of the best the series ever created.
2 Worst: Lassie and Victoria
It's sometimes hard to remember that Carlton Lassiter was once married early on in the series' run. After all, in the pilot episode, he's engaged in an affair with his then detective partner, who is sent to another station after their affair is made public. During the first season, it's revealed that Lassie and his wife have been separated for a few years - but deep down, he clearly still holds a torch for her.
It's not until the third season that Victoria makes her first appearance, however, and when she does, it's unarguably one of the series' most emotional moments overall, and for Lassie in particular. In "Tuesday the 17th," Lassie thinks that Victoria wants to meet for dinner so they can start all over again, only to learn that she's ready to have the divorce made official, serving him with the papers right there on the spot.
1 Best: Shawn and Gus
Sometimes, the most romantic relationships in life are the ones that aren't romantic at all. From the very beginning of the series, it was clear that the relationship between lifelong best friends Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster was the beating heart of the series. No matter what romantic relationship they were in, or what case they were working on, or whether they were in an argument, the two would always be the most important people in each other's lives.
Through their shared life experiences, shared love of all things 1980s and popular culture, and their innate ability to understand each other's bizarre shorthands and tics, Shawn and Gus routinely proved that they were the most well-suited for each other, far beyond any plausible romantic partner. "I don’t blame you, Shawn. You’re my best friend, and we got a chance to live out our childhood dreams. I don't blame you, okay?" Gus tells Shawn during one adventure that turns particularly dramatic. Heartfelt confessions don't get more grand, and subtly romantic, than that.