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Shawn Spencer might not have had the most conventional childhood — what with his ex-cop father teaching him the ins and outs of scary-specific observational skills from a young age — but that doesn't mean "Psych" never dove into a kid-favorite holiday several times over: Christmas.
In fact, it could be argued that grown Shawn (James Roday) is better suited to the fun-filled holiday than his younger self. With his long-suffering life-long best friend Gus (Dulé Hill) at his side, there's no holiday or mystery they can't tackle.
While "Psych" wasn't one of those shows that dedicated a whole episode to Christmas every season, it was chock full of all kinds of holiday spirit. There are Halloween episodes, Valentine's Day episodes, and, yes, a few Christmas episodes. Three Christmas episodes, to be exact. Let's break them all down now as you stock up on binge-worthy series for the holiday season on Peacock.
"The Polarizing Express" – Season 5, Episode 14
This episode opens with Shawn making a mistake that results in an important case being thrown out. With the entire police department (rightfully) blaming him, Shawn doubles down on his blasé attitude and gets himself suspended. As a result, Henry and Shawn have a blowout fight that causes Shawn to fall into a series of "It's Wonderful Life"-style dreams in which he experiences what life would be like for the other characters if he'd never come back to Santa Barbara.
Featuring a delightfully unhinged cameo from actor Tony Cox (portraying himself), Shawn relearns the meaning of Christmas and maybe, just maybe, ends up fixing his mistakes in the end.
"Christmas Joy" – Season 3, Episode 9
Once upon a time, Shawn had a lil' bit of a fling with his best friend's older sister, Joy. And when Joy returns home for the holidays and hopes for a repeat of their secret affair, things go a little wonky. We'll save you from any spoilers about how it all goes down, but we will tell you she's a vital part of helping Shawn and Gus solve a string of grifts featuring Santa suits and the local mall. It doesn't disappoint.
"Gus's Dad May Have Killed An Old Guy" – Season 2, Episode 10
When Gus' parents (Phylicia Rashad and Ernie Hudson) are arrested for killing a mean old man in their neighborhood around the holidays, Shawn sets his sights on proving their innocence. And if he's able to show along the way to his friend's parents that he is not and never has been a bad influence on their son? All the better.
Honorable Mention: 'Psych: The Movie'
While the advertising for 2017's "Psych: The Movie" billed the first of the franchise's three films as a Christmas-themed spectacular, the movie is more of a "based in December" than "taking inspiration from Christmas" kind of thing. Still, it's never a bad time to get immersed in the "Psych" story.
You can watch all of "Psych" on Peacock.
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