Suppose that The Godfather: Part III (1990) is considered appalling, but you can't put your finger on exactly why, mainly because there are a plethora of reasons, most of which you lack the training/education/expertise to comment in-depth on (e.g. the writing, directing, editing etc.), so you use what you consider to be a disastrous moment/scene as an example, and think "this pretty much sums it up", for example this scene, what would you call a scene like that? A single word or expression is satisfactory.

As an example:

"The Godfather 3 is so bad, for so many reasons, but here is a ______ that perfectly represents everything wrong with the movie."

An expression is also acceptable, and the example I gave is flexible (doesn't have to be structured as it is in the example).

  • I had posted an answer "epitome" but after more thought I decided it wasn't used to point out a something representative of why something is bad... more for pointing out the essence of a positive thing.
    – Tom22
    Jul 11, 2017 at 4:19
  • You might say "this scene distills everything that is wrong with the movie"... I'm suddenly shy about posting it as an answer though.
    – Tom22
    Jul 11, 2017 at 4:21
  • 2
    @Tom22 As a native English speaker, I'd say that's an incorrect assumption. "Sauron is the epitome of evil", or "Gollum is the epitome of ugly", or "Al Pacino's scream at the end of Godfather 3 is the epitome of what makes that film god awful", etc. they all sound like appropriate uses of the word Jul 11, 2017 at 4:21
  • @Tom22 Maybe you should "undelete" your answer, and lets see how it goes.;-) I will upvote it (did not DV in the first place). Was just an off-the -cuff comment. Jul 11, 2017 at 4:24
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    @GhotiandChips and Cascabel thanks for the encouragement .. I do think I've heard it used like this... just harder to find examples.
    – Tom22
    Jul 11, 2017 at 4:26

3 Answers 3


I think a great word for you is Epitome

You would rewrite your sentence something like:

The Godfather 3 is hopelessly bad for many reasons; this scene is the epitome of everything wrong with the movie.

epitome at Oxford Living Dictionaries.

1. a person or thing that is a perfect example of a particular quality or type.

"she looked the epitome of elegance and good taste"

synonyms: personification, embodiment, incarnation, paragon; More

2. a summary of a written work; an abstract.

Note.. the most common uses of this word is to call out positive traits but I've certainly heard it used for negative summations.

  • @Cascabel I think you're right. I was just googling the use more and I think I will delete
    – Tom22
    Jul 11, 2017 at 4:17
  • Just work with it, man. Jul 11, 2017 at 4:17
  • @Cascabel You make a confusing comment. The "lowest degree" of good is also the "highest degree" of bad, so even if we take your word as truth, then "epitome" would be equally valid for describing something that represents something awful or great. Jul 11, 2017 at 4:38


representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class.


a tangible or visible form of an idea, quality, or feeling.


The Godfather 3 is hopelessly bad for many reasons; this scene is the embodiment of everything wrong with the movie.


The Godfather 3 is hopelessly bad for many reasons; this scene is quintessentially everything wrong with the movie.


That's a sample.




1 A small part or quantity intended to show what the whole is like.

‘investigations involved analyzing samples of handwriting’

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