Revenge is a dish best served cold is an expression that is meant to support the idea that vengeance can be best delivered if it is planned, unexpected, or cold-blooded.
The expression also suggests that taking revenge the proper way is also more satisfying than acting immediately over an injustice.
The original version of the expression was born from the pen of a 19th century French author Eugène Sue. He used an early version of the term in his novel titled Memoirs of Matilda. The English-translated version features it as the following: “And then revenge is very good eaten cold, as the vulgar say.”
The expression then saw many changes before reaching its current and most well-recognized version in the 1980s, which is the title giver for this article as well.
The term was featured initially in its current form in the 1982 sci-fi movie Star Trek II, The Wrath of Kahn.
Later throughout the years, the expression could be seen and heard in various other movies and series.