Burton "Gus" Guster II (b. December 1977), also known as the Vault of Secrets, Fearless Guster, Big Head Burton, Magic Head, and numerous other aliases, is the deuteragonist of the series and the best friend and crime-solving partner of the protagonistic psychic detective Shawn Spencer. He is portrayed by Dulé Hill. Julien Hill (S1E2 "Spellingg Bee"), Isaah Brown (Season 1) and Carlos McCullers II (Seasons 2-6) play him in flashbacks to his youth. In addition, Dalpre Grayer plays a teenage Gus in the spin-off series Psych: Flashback to the Teen Years.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Gus has been a partner to the impulsive adventures of his best friend Shawn Spencer since they were kids. It gets him into plenty of trouble, which may be why he keeps trying to convince himself that the straight and narrow--a job as a pharmaceutical sales rep, a 401(k), and a regular paycheck of $48,000--is right where he belongs. After all, he is a "sympathetic crier" who enjoys softer interests and doesn't like heights, planes, corpses, or jumpsuits. He also has two left knees. So being part of psychic investigations isn't his idea of fun...and it brings him closer to realizing his fear that the story of Gus ends in a tragic, wrongful conviction.
Still, the idea of being a private investigator intrigues him, and while he is befuddled by Shawn's behavior most of the time, he knows that the excitement and adventure of their detective enterprise might just make it all worth it. He does, after all, bring many things to the table: 1) the Blueberry, 2) the Super Sniffer, and 3) a positive work attitude. He can also use skills he picked up from Navy Scouts and an encyclopedic knowledge of pharmaceuticals. In most episodes, he gives Shawn the necessary background knowledge to solve the case. And it probably helps that Gus is 1/16th robot (not the evil kind).
Gus was described in the serial killer Mr. Yang's book as "laughing on the outside, crying on the inside. The fastidious wrinkle in the brow of Psych". Yang also wrote that Gus has "skin of pure cocoa velvetiness" and that she would like to "use that skin to make children's dolls." Burton has many hobbies. In season 8, Gus finally manages to gather the courage to quit his job, realizing he wants to do more with his life.
In The Break-Up, Gus gets a better job but leaves it to move to San Francisco to continue being a private detective with Shawn in their new Psychphrancisco office. He makes it a whole 11 days before getting a new main job, this time at Blitzen Ross.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Burton has always been Shawn's "sidekick". He has been with him with most the cases that were given to them. While Gus may not have Shawn's abilities he has proven himself in other ways. He has a lot of knowledge in other things that a typical person may not have known, mostly related to chemistry and medicine due to his education. He also has proven himself for being very smart for knowing big words and explaining them to Shawn. Unlike Shawn who likes to jump into danger, Gus likes to think about things twice before actually doing anything. Most of the time he and Shawn end up bickering for a minute about whether they should do it or not. They typically end up doing it, much to Gus's dismay. Gus has always been nervous especially with Shawn. They usually end up finding themselves in a situation they get out of themselves or Lassiter and Juliet end up finding them.
Gus has referred to himself as "the player" on numerous accounts. He will hit on girls even in a very inappropriate situation, such as in the episode "The Tao of Gus". Gus has not had a long-lasting relationship, although he was married briefly. He has hit on a lot of girls, but is generally too over the top to have much success. Gus is attracted to the crazy girls as it has been proven in several episodes. Even though he knows that they are crazy he still likes them.
Gus is a funny guy who will stick by his best friend Shawn. Even though Shawn gets them in trouble, a lot. He is a loyal friend who will stick by the people closest to him. He complains a lot to Shawn about how he's going to get them killed but ends up helping in the end.
Education[edit | edit source]
Gus almost won the spelling bee as a kid (as seen in the episode "Spellingg Bee") but took Shawn's advice and misspelled his word. He has not forgot about it since then and still carries it around today. As a child, Gus applied for and was accepted into the Meitner School for gifted students. His parents turned down the placement. They told him it was too far to drive, but they were concerned about separating him from his close friend Shawn. They attended school together through high school, where Gus was voted "Most Well-Liked" and "King of Howdy-Day", as well as "Most Likely to Succeed" (or Become Great). Gus also did one semester of pre-law in sixth grade. The only time Gus and Shawn were separated was when Gus went away to attend college. According to what he says in 100 Clues, Gus attended Pomona College.
Gus' intelligence leads to the creation of many, often hilarious, theories and philosophies. For instance, Gus has a Teen Wolf theory, based on the movie Teen Wolf (or Teen Wolf II). This theory states that, if some guy in his high school turned into a wolf, he wouldn't be cool with him just because he could dunk basketballs. He also believes that Michael Jackson faked his death, having learned how to from Lisa Marie--since Elvis didn't die until 2008.
Family[edit | edit source]
Gus's parents, Bill and Winnie, who own a time-share in Chula Vista, are overly protective of their son... though they didn't appear to be around when Gus once got locked in a closet with an incontinent tabby named Mr. Bee. Even as an adult, they regard him as a child who needs looking after. They even protected him from the fact that they were not married when they had him, and were shocked when he told them that he knew. They also disapproved of his friendship with Shawn, whom they regarded as a bad influence. Although, after Shawn and Gus solve a murder for which Bill and Winnie had been wrongfully arrested, they mellow towards Shawn, and offer him cash to look after their son.
Gus also has an older sister Joy, which does not make sense considering the fact of his parents' marriage as stated above, who shares a mutual attraction with Shawn. Gus has stated that he thinks that she may have been adopted, while he was a "perfect little miracle." He may have a brother, as one has been referenced in Gus' blog on the official USA Network website, but received no mention in the show as aired. In the deleted scenes for "Gus' Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy" on the Season 2 DVD, Gus's mom mentions a brother who lives in Connecticut. Gus also has his uncle after whom he was named -- "Burton Guster", nicknamed "Burt" for short. The uncle seems to hate him for choosing to go by Gus instead of Burton.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Gus and Shawn have been best friends since they were born. Or, as Shawn claims, since the womb or before that. They grew up together and remained friends after 30+ years. As kids they would always go on adventures with each other. They would also fight a lot as kids but in the end always make up. As adults, Shawn convinces Gus to join him on a case. Since then they have been cracking cases with each other. Shawn has always been there for Gus even if it ends up with them being tied up or almost getting shot at. The two of them will end up getting into fights every now and then. Sometimes they would start a case by themselves (mostly Shawn), but in the end, they would have each other's backs and protect each other. About every time Shawn introduces themselves to a witness, suspect, or victim he introduces Gus with a nickname like Longbranch Pennywhistlers (see List of Gus' Nicknames for more examples). The two end up bickering during almost every episode regardless of the gravity of the situation they are in. If they are being held hostage or staking out they will bicker when they don't agree with each other. However, in the end, they end up forgetting about it and act like nothing happened.
One could also include Gus's first wife in his family--up until their marriage ended. While in Mexico on Spring Break in 1997, Gus met Mira Gaffney and married her on a drunken binge. He says that Mira is the one woman he can't resist. He broke off the relationship soon afterward, and the two lost contact until 2008 when the marriage was annulled in anticipation of Mira's upcoming wedding. Despite this, they were good friends with one another and Gus and Shawn ended up discovering the truth, resulting in the marriage being canceled.
Gus dated a woman named Rachael who he met on an online dating site. She and Shawn didn't get off on the right foot, with him going as far as to accuse her of being a serial killer, however, they do take a step forward, as Shawn is going to object to her saying an apple is a snack, however he just kept his mouth shut and looked for an apple. As this is happening, she introduces Gus to her son, Maximus, shocking Gus. Gus continues to date Rachael despite this,and even starts having days where he spends time alone with Max, but when Shawn took Gus and Max to an investigation, and Max saw a man die (despite the fact that the man was already dead when Max saw him) and later was arrested after following criminals into a laboratory and thus trespassing, she broke up with him. At the end of the episode, Rachael and Gus get back together after it is shown that Max missed him. Rachael told Gus that Shawn called her and told her what happened, revealing that Shawn both sabotaged and repaired Gus's relationship. Max has been useful in solving cases with Shawn and Gus by noticing people and objects that both Shawn and Gus missed. Later on in the season, she and Max had to go back to London to sort out their visa, when she got back in London they saw Max’s dad. One episode before the finale, Rachael sent Gus a letter with a bunch of cookies, with the letter stating that she wanted to talk to Gus. Gus considered the cookies a break-up gift from Rachael and became heartbroken as he ate them.
Gus first met Emmanuelle when investigating an insurance fraud case in Cog Blocked. The mostly blind private investigator first encountered the duo under the alias Angela Bennet, and later pulled two pistols on Shawn and Gus after finding them breaking into her house.
After hearing Gus is a private investigator, she reveals she is too. Gus accuses her of not being blind, but Emmanuelle fires back that she has astigmatism (severely blurred vision resulting in near-blindness). Gus continues to interrogate her with rapid-fire questions, none of which she answers, and their back-and-forth gradually shifts to flirting, with Gus referring to her as "Honey Bunny", and asking if she's single because she is incredibly attractive. Emmanuelle tells Gus "Don't tell me what I am."
She finally reveals she was hired by John Russell, to look into "something big", and that her real name is Emmanuelle, or Em for short. As their flirting escalates, Shawn finally snaps, and tells them to compare rates on Expedia and get a room already.
The two flirt throughout the episode, and go on their first official date after solving the murder. They date off-screen for part of Season 8, breaking up shortly prior to A Nightmare on State Street.
After their breakup, Gus says they had such great chemistry, and he thought she was "the one". He intended to make her his bride. Shawn pipes up, saying their chemistry was hit or miss, although she was tall, like Wilt Chamberlain in Conan the Destroyer.
Gus later says he saw a real future with himself and Emmanuelle, just like everyone did. Further on in the episode, he's seen leaving her a desperate voice mail, where he says they "Know each other. Biblically." which confirms the two had a physically intimate relationship before breaking up. Shawn takes his phone, telling him the ball had been in Emmanuelle's court for a while now, and that Gus had sent her five dozen roses and a cake with Nelson Rockefeller's face on it. The two were ultimately unable to reconcile and went their separate ways.
Gus meets Selene at the planetarium during Psych: The Movie. He is immediately smitten and plans to make her his, but she catches him off-guard by making the first move and inviting him up to the telescopes. However, they quickly get into a fight about whether Pluto or Eris should be considered the ninth planet of our solar system. Selene then suddenly kisses Gus passionately and he reciprocates before storming out of the planetarium in a huff.
Gus later meets her again at the morgue, where she managed to locate him through an Instagram post. After taking him aside, she explains that she has researched him all over the web and has chosen him to be her boyfriend. She hands him the "resume" of her romantic history as well as his favorite kind of sandwich (fluffernutter) and promises to give him some time to think her proposition over.
Selene later finds Gus once more as he gets back from Alcatraz, where he voiced his regret of not getting with her when he had the chance. He happily agrees to a relationship as long as he can be the "cheetah", which Selene allows. They kiss and make plans to join Shawn and Juliet on their honeymoon.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Gus is 1/4 Jamaican.
- Gus has a SuperSniffer (amazing sense of smell). In Psych: The Movie, he even claims he would be able to smell San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square from half the city away. That would mean his sense of smell would be strong enough to distinguish different scents in a radius of about 3.5 miles, or 5.6 kilometers.
- Gus is almost never introduced by his real name, as Shawn usually makes up an alias like "MC Clap Your Handz," "Lavender Gooms," "Clementine Woolysocks," and "Ernesto Agapito Garces con ya de Abelar" (which was actually given to him by Shawn's uncle). He even is shocked when Lassiter introduces him by his first name in "Feet Don't Kill Me Now". See a complete list of nicknames here.
- Gus calls himself a "sympathetic crier" in S3E9 "Christmas Joy", S4E12 "A Very Juliet Episode", S5E12 "Dual Spires" and S8E8 "A Touch of Sweevil". He also calls himself a "sympathetic sweater" in S7E9 "Juliet Wears the Pantsuit" and a "sympathetic learner" in S8E1 "Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster's Goblet of Fire". Shawn calls him a "sympathetic pooper" in Psych 2: Lassie Come Home.
- Gus often gets confused with Bud from the Cosby Show (a situation probably not helped by the fact that Phylicia Rashad plays both Claire Huxtable and Gus' mother, Winnie Guster).
- Gus tends to flick his nose with his thumb whenever he's trying to appear "cool", especially when approaching women. It's his signature move. He explains in Psych: The Movie that he considers it his "battle cry" and that it gives him the split second he needs to plan his approach.
- The "head peel" is his 4th greatest fear.
- From Office Space, Gus was probably still the vice-president of Central Coast Pharmaceuticals. However, in The Break-Up, it seems he was demoted back to his original position.
- Gus is also known for his skill on the tap floor in "Feet Don't Kill Me Now". Gus was tap dancing as a child and was ridiculed often by Shawn for his love for it. Dulé Hill is a tap dancer in real life, as he explains in the "Psych Out" titled "All Tapped Out".
- Gus's stress-relieving fantasy is to shoot Shawn in the head.
- Gus pees sitting down because all the Men's Health journals say it's better for the circulation.
- Gus goes into a mild catatonic state when a stream of blood hits him in "This Episode Sucks". This shows he has a fear of it. He also shows fear in the Pilot after seeing a supposed suicide and murder, although this could be because of his fear of dead bodies. He is also shown to faint at the sight of blood. In "Gus' Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy", Gus appears rattled when Shawn imitates the sound effects from the Edgar Allan Poe short story "The Tell-Tale Heart", although Gus gets his own back by making the rocking-chair move and the noises from Hitchcock's "Psycho". Presumably, his hemophobia is a large part of why Gus is a pharmaceutical sales rep, rather than the doctor many people seemed to have expected him to become.
- He gets seasick, although he has been on Henry's ship with Shawn and did not show any signs of seasickness.
- He loves reality TV shows and calls them "the docudramas of our time" in "Shawn and the Real Girl".
- Gus has a subscription to Safecracker's Monthly, and is an expert safecracker, as shown in "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Piece", as well as in "Viagra Falls".
- Gus got married once ("There's Something About Mira").
- According to Shawn, he has achieved "pitch-perfect AK-47 mouth action," meaning he can imitate the sounds of gunfire from the aforementioned AK-47.
- He has defused a bomb, despite running away from another.
- Gus is allergic to edible gold dust. We find this out in the episode "Right Turn or Left for Dead".
- He became a volunteer at the fire department after they caught the bad guy in Earth, Wind and... Wait for It.
- Despite often being seen as a coward and afraid of any danger, Gus does have moments of uncharacteristic bravery, such as in "Earth, Wind and... Wait for It" when Army Johnson lights himself on fire and Gus dives through the fire to tackle him with a blanket and put it out.
- He has a chronic fear of toupees.
- He has a "Magic Head".
- Gus can be distracted by the sight, or even mention, of a Labradoodle.
- Gus's favorite sandwich is fluffernutter.
- Dulé Hill played Sam the Onion Man in Holes, a film that was referenced in "65 Million Years Off"
Quotes[edit | edit source]
- "You must be out of your damn mind!"
- — Gus (repeated line)
- "You know that's right."
- — Gus (repeated line)
- "C'mon, son!"
- — Gus (repeated line)
- "You heard about Pluto? That's messed up, right?"
- — Gus (repeated line) - referencing the 2006 "demotion" to dwarf planet
- "I hear that."
- — Gus (repeated line)
- "The extra T is for extra Talent"
- — Gus (from American Duos)
- "Now everybody on my mom's side of the family thinks that I'm a psychic detective, and they think you're..."
- — Gus (from Meat Is Murder, But Murder Is Also Murder)
- "Eating my breakfast. I was having a poached egg with hollandaise sauce on an English muffin."
- — Gus (from Lights, Camera... Homicidio)
- "Wasn't Howie the victim at one point?"
- — Gus (from Murder? ... Anyone? ... Anyone? ... Bueller?)
- "Now, that's the one that bothers me. Why do people say, 'I could care less' when they really mean, 'I couldn't care less?"
- — Gus (from Disco Didn't Die. It Was Murdered!)
Gallery[edit | edit source]
The gallery page for Burton "Gus" Guster can be found here.