Max Spencer (played by Joshua Bowman) is a new gymnast in The Rock. He first appeared as a photographer friend of Austin. Austin later revealed that Max is a gymnast and wants to train in Denver or at The Rock. In the end, he chooses to train at the Rock. Max has shown an interest in Payson. They get very close, but never officially dated yet. Lauren has called "dibs" on Max and gets very close to him.
One day while running with Payson they find a dog. Payson and Max take care of the dog together, while Lauren thinks they're dating. Lauren invites Max over to play basketball with her. They almost kiss, but Lauren stops him telling him they must have an official date first. Max goes over to Payson's house to check on their dog, Phoebe, and asks Payson if its okay of he dates Lauren. She responds by saying, "why wouldn't it be" even though she has feelings for Max.
When the Tanners throw a dinner party Max comes and Lauren sneaks him up to their attic. Lauren tries to get Max in bed with her when he tells her he's not ready. Lauren then gets upset and yells at him, leaving the room. Downstairs, Payson tells Max that she loves him, but he doesn't respond. Payson then leaves.
Austin sees Max in a room alone drinking. Max is drunk and Austin comes in there and asks what happened. Max explains. He says he's confused and doesn't know what to do. He then kisses Austin saying that he is bisexual. He wants to tell Payson because he does love her, but he won't want to date her if she knows.
In the same episode he goes to get his jacket and runs into Lauren. Lauren is crying because Summer and her father just broke up. Max asks what's wrong and Lauren says she wants to go on a ride, just as friends. Lauren is so upset she doesn't stop at a stop sign resulting in a car crash. At the hospital Kaylie and Payson come to see Lauren, and Austin comes to see Max. They then realize they were in the car together. Max has a broken collarbone, while Lauren just has a few bruises.
In the season 2 finale Max tells Payson he loves her and then is about to tell her he's bi. Payson interrupts him first and tells him whatever he will say doesn't matter.
In the season 3 premiere Max and Payson are still dating. They haven't seen each other in months, Max being in rehab and Payson being at camp, so they send letters to each other. In the last letter Max breaks up with Payson telling her he's confused and doesn't know what he wants.
Payson thinks its her fault because she's new to the whole girlfriend thing. Austin tells her that he's bi and it's not her fault. Payson is still upset about the break-up.