Eleven years ago to this day, my favorite comedy show premiered on the USA Network. I?m not exaggerating one bit ? Psych is my favorite comedy show of all time. I?ve seen The Office, I plowed through Parks and Recreation, I?ve experienced Curb Your Enthusiasm, and I loved every minute of Seinfeld. But when I need a pick-me-up, I know I can turn to the fast-talking, high energy, and rock solid chemistry of Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster and still manage to find another three new laughs, along with several more old ones. It?s a show that spans the spectrum from silly to witty, and even though every single joke doesn?t land and some of the episodes are just too weird, the sunniness of their fake Santa Barbara skies are always the home of a wholly lovable cast that keeps a procedural crime show fresh and enjoyable.
The day Psych was taken off Netflix, I felt like a piece of my soul was cut out of my heart. I?m also not exaggerating one bit. Within a few days, I fucking got a puppy and named him Spencer to shoulder the loss of quick and easy accessibility to my favorite comedy show.
So, to commemorate Psych?s eleventh anniversary, we?re ranking each and every one of its 121 episodes. Let?s dive in.
121. Episode 4.6 ? ?Bollywood Homicide?
This was the least funny and most culturally stereotypical of the episodes? and it confirmed my long-standing opinion that white dudes look good in Indian clothes but white girls can?t really pull it off. Sorry, Maggie Lawson.
120. Episode 6.14 ? ?Autopsy Turvy?
Woody?s like J.R. Smith. Give him 5 shots a game, and he?s really useful. Give him the 15, and you have yourself a mess.
119. Episode 5.14 ? ?The Polarizing Express?
James Roday?s self-directed, It?s a Wonderful Life-inspired episode, featuring Tony Cox, was utterly pointless, even though it was a vehicle for rounding Shawn?s character into shape.
118. Episode 8.9 ? ?A Nightmare on State Street?
A star-studded guest cast that includes Phylicia Rashad and Bruce Campbell, of Burn Notice fame (woooo USA Network family)giddy can?t rescue another episode straight out of Roday?s mildly twisted mind.
117. Episode 7.3 ? ?Lassie Jerky?
Half The Blair Witch Project remake and half promotion for USA?s Monday night WWE Raw, this episode actually had a pretty sweet action scene at the very end.
116. Episode 2.3 ? ?Psy vs. Psy?
Shawn gets lucky with the murderous Lindsay Leikin, but even the debut of the patented ?Wait for iiiiiit? isn?t quite enough to recover from Lou Diamond Phillips.
115. Episode 3.6 ? ?There Might Be Blood?
Jane Lynch really isn?t that funny, but at least Kirsten Nelson got an episode all to herself.
114. Episode 3.3 ? ?Daredevils!!?
One of the sillier episodes of an otherwise stellar third season, ?Daredevils!!? had a classic James Roday-trying-to-be-serious monologue at the end as Shawn tries to talk down a suicidal Dutch Jenkins.
113. Episode 4.2 ? ?He Dead?
Starts with a joke about veganism and sets Christine Baranski up perfectly for a bunch of rich people jokes.
112. Episode 5.4 ? ?Chivalry Is Not Dead? But Someone Is?
Nods to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and a hilarious scene of Gus trying to get ?some sugar? off the lesbian murderer Jean, played by Lee Garlington
111. Episode 2.1 ? ?American Duos?
I have major beef with this episode, and it barely escapes the bottom ten just because of its cult appreciation. Gine Gershon?s Paul Abdul-knockoff was just so fucking annoying. And this episode inspired videos like this:
THAT IS NOT HOW YOU APPRECIATE PSYCH. But hey, first mention of the Blueberry referred to as the Blueberry.
110. Episode 7.14 ? ?No Trout About It?
The definitive indication that Psych was, indeed, wrapping up, especially with Anthony Michael Hall?s simultaneously brief and overextended, though thoroughly unsatisfying, recurring stint on the show.
109. Episode 7.13 ? ?Nip and Suck It!?
?Oh, for the love of Lori Loughlin.?
108. Episode 1.13 ? ?Game, Set? Muuurder??
Airwolf Windbreakers and Battleship, seems about right.
107. Episode 7.5 ? ?100 Clues?
Too many references to too many things all packed into one episode based off a movie based off a board game. Clisby may have stolen the show?
106. Episode 5.3 ? ?Not Even Close Encounters?
Freddy Prinze, Jr.?s guest appearance was actually pretty good, and we got a look at ?Sean? being on Lassie?s crap list.
105. Episode 4.10 ? ?You Can?t Handle This Episode?
John Cena as Juliet?s brother was a little weird? but Ghee Buttersnaps made up for it.
104. Episode 2.11 ? ?There?s Something About Mira?
Holy fuck, Kerry Washington was flat-out annoying in this episode. But it?s all supplemented by Gus in a sweater vest and a flat top.
103. Episode 3.10 ? ?Six Feet Under the Sea?
I recently binged Royal Pains (don?t judge), and lo and behold, Brooke D?orsay is a lead character? The USA Network takes care of its welcome characters.
102. Episode 4.11 ? ?Thrill Seekers and Hell-Raisers?
This was actually one of the more robustly cast guest ensembles? but after the bunny love in the opening sequence, the jokes were hit-and-miss.
101. Episode 7.6 ? ?Cirque Du Soul?
Shawn and Gus babysit Rachel?s kid, Maximus, and lead straight into seeing his first dead person. Lassie and Marlowe move in with Juliet and Shawn. I may have ranked this episode too low, but fuck it, all the episodes are pretty great.
100. Episode 2.6 ? ?Meat is Murder, But Murder is Also Murder?
One of the first all Gus episodes in the series, where Gus feigns being the psychic between the two to impress his ornery uncle. One of the best early back-and-forths between Shawn and Gus too:
Gus: Maybe we should find out if anyone else hated him ? see who else had a motive.Shawn: Shh! Shh!Gus: What?Shawn: You?re going to start a crime-fighting revolution with talk like that.
99. Episode 6.8 ? ?The Tao of Gus?
Easily the best scene in this episdoe: away from Santa Barbara at some ponzi-scheme of a cult, Shawn calls Juliet while washing some woman?s ?bloomers.? Wait, there was this too:
Oh Gus, hitting on women.
98. Episode 5.11 ? ?In Plain Fright?
A ghost in a carnival? and Shawn being scared to tell Gus about starting to date Juliet because he thinks Gus?ll feel left out.
97. Episode 4.12 ? ?A Very Juliet Episode?
A little backstory on Juliet goes a long way. Luckily for Shawn, Juliet and Scott fail to meet up again the next year.
96. Episode 2.14 ? ?Dis-Lodged?
Show creator Steve Franks and writer Andy Berman (Chuck from The Wonder Years) had portraits hanging in the Monarch Lodge lobby.
95. Episode 8.4 ? ?Someone?s Got a Woody?
Tighten it up.
94. Episode 1.6 ? ?Weekend Warriors?
Getting Peter Michael Goetz (of Glory fame) to play a Civil War reenactor was an extremely underrated and witty move. And, of course, Lassie with his fake mustache.
93. Episode 2.8 ? ?Rob-a-Bye Baby?
?99 Red Balloons? by Nena is a great nod to the early 80s.
92. Episode 3.12 ? ?Earth, Wind, and? Wait for It?
Gus?s nickname: Step Anthony Wally Ali (Cat Stuck in a Tree)
91. Episode 6.15 ? ?True Grits?
Anthony Anderson, set to guitar twangs. This was pre-Blackish Anderson because he?s probably too famous to be on Psych now.
90. Episode 6.9 ? ?Neil Simon?s Lover?s Retreat?
Romantic getaway on Gus?s card. Ring in the Nintendo DS. Great premise. Not too many good jokes though.
89. Episode 5.15 ? ?Dead Bear Walking?
Lassie?s oddly attractive kid sister shows up for a documentary about a runaway, murderous bear. Best scene: Shawn rolling up to a drive-thru and ordering 2 cokes, 1 large fries, and 128 Crabby Mal-fish sandwiches, tartar sauce, no buns. Followed closely by Shawn asking the waiter for meatloaf at the vegan restaurant.
88. Episode 6.1 ? ?Shawn Rescues Darth Vader?
87. Episode 5.2 ? ?Feet Don?t Kill Me Now?
Lassie tapping with children. Creepy, but hilarious.
86. Episode 8.3 ? ?Remake A.K.A Cloudy? With a Chance of Improvement?
I?m partial to the original episode. This one?s a little too loaded to typical Psych humor. Still great though and an original concept.
85. Episode 1.15 ? ?Scary Sherry: Bianca?s Toast?
The first official Juliet episode, so it has some sentimental value. Also the first episode to starting the running ?Gus is Bud from The Cosby Show.?
84. Episode 2.9 ? ?Bounty Hunters!?
Camp Tikihama makes its first appearance. And of course, close talking and the first instance of sexual tension between Shawn and Juliet.
83. Episode 3.14 ? ?Truer Lies?
Jonathan Silverman?s character was pretty damn annoying, but the Fries Quatro Queso Dos Fritos made its first appearance.
82. Episode 1.14 ? ?Poker? I Barely Know Her?
An episode about Shawn using his powers to win poker should?ve been higher, but the first season involved the show still figuring itself out.
81. Episode 8.6 ? ?1967: A Psych Odyssey?
Flashbacks to Dul Hill as Myles Velour underscored a pretty emotional farewell episode for Juliet.
80. Episode 7.8 ? ?Right Turn or Left for Dead?
A tribute to Gwyneth Paltrow?s Sliding Doors that has a bunch of good jokes about Swedes.
79. Episode 7.4 ? ?No Country for Two Old Men?
Best scene: Mexican gangsters trying to do the cabbage patch while Henry and Lloyd dig their own grave in the desert.
78. Episode 6.3 ? ?This Episode Sucks?
This is one of the sillier episodes, but Lassie finding love merits this rank.
77. Episode 4.8 ? ?Let?s Get Hairy?
Gus hitting on the Goth girl? classic.
76. Episode 1.7 ? ?Who Ya Gonna Call??
Blatant Ghostbusters reference and multiple personality disorder and lipstick stains on Gus?s forehead.
75. Episode 6.16 ? ?Santabarbaratown?
The neo-noir feel didn?t really work, but Henry re-tucking his shirt while questioning a suspect was hilarious. Plus, a great cliffhanger ending.
74. Episode 8.7 ? ?Shawn and Gus Truck Things Up?
Mystic River references aren?t really a dime a dozen?
Oh yeah, Lassie had a baby too.
73. Episode 7.2 ? ?Juliet Takes a Luvvah?
Jealous Shawn makes an appearance? after he moves in with his parents? and walking in on them fucking.
72. Episode 6.7 ? ?In for a Penny??
William Shatner as Juliet?s conman father is an interesting casting. I?ll never get enough of the Psych rich people, Victorian harpsichord background tune.
71. Episode 4.14 ? ?Think Tank?
A solid, solid reference about Winnie from The Wonder Years becoming a mathematician.
70. Episode 4.15 ? ?The Head, The Tail, the Whole Damn Episode?
Was Henry Spencer the real shark in this episode?
69. Episode 5.6 ? ?Viagra Falls?
Two classic Gus nicknames in one episode: Imhotep or He Cometh in Peace (?Go ahead and show her your ?cometh in peace? face?) and Control Alt Delete.
68. Episode 4.4 ? ?The Devil?s in the Details? and the Upstairs Bedroom?
?My name is Shawn and this is Shawn, no relation.?
67. Episode 2.7 ? ?If You?re So Smart, Then Why Are You Dead??
Very good names for the teacher?s last names: Shockey, Gdel, Hahn, Goddard, Meitner.
66. Episode 2.2 ? ?65 Million Years Off?
65. Episode 1.8 ? ?Shawn vs. the Red Phantom?
First use of Magic Head.
64. Episode 8.2 ? ?S.E.I.Z.E. the Day?
Seize Eggs I don?t know Zebra Eighties for the 1980s and something about hot dog on a stick.
63. Episode 7.12 ? ?Dead Air?
A player named Gus was one of the best short-lived alter-egos on the show.
62. Episode 5.11 ? ?Dual Spires?
If I could?ve gotten through every episode of the first season of Twin Peaks, I probably would?ve ranked this higher.
61. Episode 6.12 ? ?Shawn and the Real Girl?
My dream scenario for my and CJ?s stint on The Bachelorette.
60. Episode 4.13 ? ?Death is in the Air?
Shawn gets oh so close to confessing his feelings to Juliet. And the great Michael Vick joke.
59. Episode 3.7 ? ?Talk Derby to Me?
A whole episode predicated on getting Henry Spencer to say ?broads.?
58. Episode 1.4 ? ?Woman Seeking Dead Husband: Smokers Okay, No Pets?
Shawn and Gus tricking the two recently released convicts using three sets of reflections to pass messages
57. Episode 6.4 ? ?The Amazing Psych-Man & Tap Man, Issue #2?
Best scene: Shawn and Gus feeling up Joey McIntyre before accusing him of being the Mantis.
56. Episode 7.11 ? ?Office Space?
Just an episode about Gus doin? Gus things.
55. Episode 5.5 ? ?Shawn and Gus in Drag (Racing)?
Gus?s nickname for the show: MC Clap Yo Handz
54. Episode 6.5 ? ?Dead Man?s Curve Ball?
Best scene: Shawn in Gus?s Seabird mascot costume, flipping off drivers as he drives the Blueberry.
53. Episode 8.8 ? ?A Touch of Sweevil?
Beauregard is chillin?.
52. Episode 1.3 ? ?Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Piece?
I have nothing but fond memories about this episode. But I don?t have too many laugh-out-loud memories.
51. Episode 3.3 ? ?Zero to Murder in Sixty Seconds?
Wally may have been one of the funniest criminals on the show. Fortunately, Timeless was un-cancelled for a second season.
50. Episode 3.13 ? ?Any Given Friday Night at 10 PM, 9 PM Central?
It?s sad that for its first 3.5 seasons, Psych was relegated to Friday nights, aka TV night for senior citizens, loners, and chubby middle-schoolers.
49. Episode 5.8 ? ?Shawn 2.0?
Declan Rand, gug.
48. Episode 8.5 ? ?Cog Blocked?
That time where Gus turns into a badass for exactly one episode.
47. Episode 7.9 ? ?Juliet Wear the Pantsuit?
46. Episode 6.6 ? ?Shawn, Interrupted?
Gus?s nickname for the show: Suggs. ?I?m like the ice cream man, except I have barbituates!?
45. Episode 5.9 ? ?One, Maybe Two, Ways Out?
Best scene: Shawn and Gus finding super off-the-grid, former secret agent Strabinsky for a third time in less than a couple days.
44. Episode 5.1 ? ?Romeo and Juliet and Juliet?
?There is a Chinese bun in the oven.?
43. Episode 1.9 ? ?Forget Me Not?
The only thing that would?ve made this episode any better was if Captain Connors threatened to stick his foot up someone?s ass.
42. Episode 3.5 ? ?Disco Didn?t Die. It was Murdered!?
Shawn, Gus, and Henry drive around ?Santa Barbara? in an old Chevy, chasing leads about militants from the 70s.
41. Episode 4.5 ? ?Shawn Gets the Yips?
Best quote: ?Now there?s a purple-haired lesbian, running around, with the dyspepsia that should be mine.?
40. Episode 1.11 ? ?He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me Oops He?s Dead!?
Green aliens, naked men in pastures, speed dating, and Shawn and Juliet?s first sign of actual chemistry.
39. Episode 1.12 ? ?Cloudy? With a Chance of Murder?
Best scene: Gus telling the judge that his only legal training pre-law in his sixth grade class.
38. Episode 2.5 ? ?And Down the Stretch Comes Murder?
A whole episode contrived only to make countless jokes about Henry?s colorful shirts.
37. Episode 2.15 ? ?Black and Tan: A Crime of Fashion?
Best quote: ?I?m Black and he?s Tan. You should be ashamed of yourself? and your family.?
35/36. Episode 7.15/16 ? ?Psych: The Musical?
Utterly nonsensical, boring at points, but a great undertaking, nonetheless.
34. Episode 6.13 ? ?Let?s Doo-Wop It Again?
Blackapella?s second episode wasn?t as wrought with hilarity as the first one? but still one of the funnier episodes of the series.
33. Episode 2.12 ? ?The Old and the Restless?
Assuming an identity as Talmadge McGulager, Henry goes undercover in an old home. Shawn and Gus solve the case and dance like this:
32. Episode 3.9 ? ?Christmas Joy?
The family-oriented Christmas episodes were some of my favorite. It?s also hilarious that Joy never showed up again.
31. Episode 3.8 ? ?Gus Walks into a Bank?
Shawn: Look at you, man. Surviving a bank hostage crisis and still looking all Poitier on a hot day.Gus: What.Shawn: Go ahead. Slap me in the face, tell me to call you Mr. Tibbs.Gus: I?m not doing that!
30. Episode 4.3 ? ?High Noon-ish?
Very underrated episode, packed with great jokes.
29. Episode 5.16 ? ?Yang 3 in 2D?
The end of the Ying/Yang trilogy was? unsatisfying. But the Merry tapes made it for me.
28. Episode 6.11 ? ?Heeeeere?s Lassie?
Gus?s nicknames for the episode: Fellatio del Toro and Eddie Adams from Torrance
27. Episode 7.10 ? ?Santa Barbarian Candidate?
An homage from one of my favorite shows to one of my favorite shows.
26. Episode 5.7 ? ?Ferry Tale?
Gus?s walkie-talkie voice makes this episode
25. Episode 3.11 ? ?Lassie Did a Bad, Bad Thing?
?You take a lick, I take a lick, you take a lick??
24. Episode 2.15 ? ?Shawn (and Gus) of the Dead?
23. Episode 1.5 ? ?9 Lives?
Shawn channels a little boy-cat who prefers to ride shotgun and Gus feels left out. The premise alone is gold.
22. Episode 4.1 ? ?Extradition: British Columbia?
The Pierre Despereaux series felt a little contrived when I watched them for the first time, but they?ve grown on me.
21. Episode 8.1 ? ?Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster?s Goblet of Fire?
The final season premiere came out with a bang.
20. Episode 7.1 ? ?Santabarbaratown 2?
Militant Shawn is the second-best Shawn, just like how the Cranberry is the second-best Ford Echo.
19. Episode 5.13 ? ?We?d Like to Thank the Academy?
One of my favorite episodes but isn?t ranked higher because of its low significance in the overall arc of the show.
18. Episode 4.9 ? ?Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark?
The Paul Walker hate is sad?
17. Episode 3.15 ? ?Tuesday the 17th?
That ranking happened organically, I promise. The scariest episode of Psych.
16. Episode 6.10 ? ?Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy, Rusty Old Dagger?
15. Episode 4.7 ? ?High Top Fade-Out?
Was Keenan the best guest star on the show? Quite possibly.
14. Episode 3.4 ? ?The Greatest Adventure in the History of Basic Cable?
One of the best episodes on your first run-through of the show. But not at all rewatchable.
13. Episode 1.2 ? ?Spellingg Bee?
Just a classic episode that set the tone for the procedural nature of the show.
12. Episode 2.13 ? ?Lights, Camera? Homicidio?
Might be a little culturally insensitive, might be very culturally insensitive?Best scene:
11. Episode 1.10 ? ?From the Earth to the Starbucks?
In the top eleven, only because this episode contains the first instance of this:
10. Episode 1.1 ? ?Pilot?
The pilot for Psych views like a movie and sets up the eight year run for the show. The banter between Shawn and Gus isn?t quite there yet, Henry is a little too curmudgeonly, and Juliet isn?t even in the show yet. But still, the pilot has to be in the top ten.
9. Episode 2.10 ? ?Gus? Dad May Have Killed An Old Man?
A family of super sniffers and Phylicia Rashad as Gus?s mom. Nothing gets quite better.
8. Episode 6.2 ? ?Last Night Gus?
The Hangover-knock off may be a funnier watch than the last two, if not all three, original Hangover movies.
7. Episode 3.1 ? ?Ghosts??
The show was starting to turn to a recurring plotline about Shawn?s relationship with his parents? divorce? but they didn?t revisit that as much as they could?ve. I think I like that they didn?t.
6. Episode 7.7 ? ?Deez Nups?
A shit-ton happens in this episode: Lassie gets married, Lassie admits that Shawn and Gus are his friends, and Juliet finds out Shawn?s secret. And there?s a mob shootout at the wedding.
5. Episode 3.16 ? ?An Evening with Mr. Yang?
4. Episode 4.16 ? ?Mr. Yin Presents??
Entirely working off the regular script, these two episodes were chilling. The humor was witty, not silly. And the cliffhanger at the end of ?Mr. Yin Presents?? was incredible.
3. Episode 5.10 ? ?Extradition II: The Actual Extradition Part?
Shawn and Juliet FINALLY get together. Enough said.
2. Episode 8.10 ? ?The Break-Up?
I didn?t have an irrelevant bully pulpit like The Crevice when Psych ended, so I?ll write my blurb about the finale now. Most long-running shows end sourly. The Lost finale was horrid, How I Met Your Mother and Friends left a lot to be desired, The Office had a bad finale? even Seinfeld?s closing was stupid. Obviously, Psych isn?t quite as meritorious a show as those others, but it?s a comedy show that stays true to its premise and its characters. They brought along each and every one of the characters ever so slowly, and even though the day-to-day of the plots were unrealistic, the development of these characters were indeed real.
The finale had Shawn, who had decided to move to San Francisco to be with and propose to the love of his life, coming clean and saying good-bye to everyone he associated with in Santa Barbara, except for Gus, hoping for some kind of odd clean break. And Gus, who was dealing with abandonment issues, follows Shawn right up to San Francisco because Shawn and Jules may break up, but Shawn and Gus never will. And that?s the beauty of this finale. It?s nothing grand, nothing jarringly different. It?s just a procedural and a natural stopping point for eight years of silliness.
1. Episode 3.3 ? ?Murder?? Anyone?? Anyone?? Bueller??
Here we are, the best Psych episode of all time. It?s got everything ? all the important characters at their best: Shawn and Gus quibbling, Shawn and Juliet making fun of other people because they connect on a different level in terms of pop culture), Shawn being charming with Abigail, Lassiter being angry, Karen having an interesting life outside the plot of the show, a murder, Shawn and his parents have a moment, Henry and Maddie having a post-divorce moment, a classic Shawn and Henry scene, and all of the best 80s references all packed into one episode. It?s a time capsule that feels like a Hughes teen rom-com packed into a procedural crime show ironed over with witty dialogue. It?s the quintessential Psych episode.
If you?ve made it all the way through this enormously undertaking, I congratulate you, and I hope that you, like me, are now motivated to (re)watch this series. And, for those skeptics who think that this show can?t be watched again, I promise it can. There?s also good news on the horizon ? this December, USA?s airing a Psych TV movie, picking up in 2017 after the conclusion of the show. Needless to say I?m excited.
I?m gonna go buy the whole box set of this show and binge watch it over the next few weeks.