(I’m warning you now. I found an incredible site for Psych gifs and this post is full of them. You just have to see these two characters in motion in order to understand them. The website is here.)
I dare you to find a friendship as flawed and strange, yet undeniably perfect, as the relationship shared between BFFs Shawn and Gus of Psych.
If you’re unfamiliar with the show, let me just give you a little run-down. Shawn is a “psychic detective,” and yes there’s a reason why that is in quotes. He is, in fact, a fraud. He’s highly observant and can make connections that most others can’t. In the pilot episode, Shawn was almost convicted of a crime because he seemed to know information that only the person who would’ve committed it did. In comes his brilliant plan – he’s a psychic! And guess what? The police buy it, hire him as a consultant, and Shawn sets up his own psychic detective business with his best friend Gus.
Gus is Shawn’s opposite in pretty much every imaginable way. Gus works for a pharmaceutical company and often gets dragged into these things by Shawn. He doesn’t pretend to have any special powers, but the cops let him tag along as Shawn’s wingman (and oftentimes his interpreter). More often than not, Gus’ major contribution to the team comes in the form of that green paper that can be found in his wallet.
Here’s the funny thing about Shawn: if you put his personality down on paper (so to speak) he looks like a terrible person. He’s lazy. He can’t keep a steady job. He never goes an episode without lying to someone. I think I’ve seen him be serious only two times in the last five seasons. He’s constantly taking money from Gus without asking, and always gets them into trouble. He never follows the rules. He has to be right. He loves proving people wrong. He’s nosy and he can be pretty arrogant.
And Gus looks like a saint compared to him. He went to college. He got a fantastic, well-paying job. He’s organized, respectful, and kind. He’s not oblivious to other people’s feelings like a certain someone else. He does what he’s told and doesn’t ask too many questions. He picks up the slack that Shawn leaves behind, which often involves important things like paying the bills and doing the taxes.
And yet Shawn has his admirable qualities. He genuinely likes helping people and catching the bad guys. He’ll even go out of his way to help someone feel better by taking the fall for it – which means even more because you know that isn’t how Shawn usually operates. And Gus has his flaws too. He’s a little more rigid, a little harder to convince to do something crazy. He works too hard and doesn’t often stop to have a little fun.
And yet, when these two are together, they are the exact definition of perfection. They are literally yin and yang – completing each other to form a perfect, wonderful, flawless circle.
Gus is Shawn’s sense of reason, his conscience. He tells him when he’s going overboard (which is pretty often). He reigns in the crazy and tends to be the one making excuses when Shawn forgets his manners. Shawn reminds Gus to loosen up a little bit. He reminds him that it’s okay to get dirty once in a while. He shows Gus how to live life to its fullest.
And even though these guys are (literally and figuratively) black and white, they’re also so, so similar. Both have a strange affinity for making references to ‘80s movies. They know what the other one is thinking without having to say anything. And so many times they’ll cover for the other person, even if it makes them look foolish. Isn’t that true friendship?
And because you can’t just explain their relationship in words, here are some gifs so you can get to know them a little better.
And while writing this, I realized that my best friend and I share a very, very similar relationship. I’m Shawn and she’s Gus. I’m the lazy, crazy, spacey one. She’s the organized, well put together, calm one. In college, I used to purposely mess up her perfectly made bed just to annoy her. And I used to “let” her make mine in the morning (otherwise I wouldn’t do it). And just like Shawn and Gus, we can read each other’s minds. We always have each other’s backs. And there’s nothing that we can’t tell each other.
We often fight this like:
And on occasion we’ve been known to do this:
Sometimes we switch roles. I’m usually like this:
And definitely like this:
But at the end of the day, this is what we look like:
So, I need to know – what are you and your best friend like? Do you defy the laws of physics, yet seem to work so perfectly together? Do you press his or her buttons just because you can?
(P.S. I had an incredibly hard time writing this article. I still feel like I didn’t get it all out the right way, but these are two of my all time favorite characters, so it’s going to be hard to capture their essence in words alone. PLEASE, for the love of all things hilarious and wonderful, go watch Psych.)