- Epileptic Trees: A common fan-theory that emerged about the final issue was that Winter Soldier wasn't Bucky Barnes, but some random guy that Cap brainwashed into thinking he was Bucky through the power of the Cosmic Cube. Ed Brubaker eventually Jossed that one in an interview with Newsrama, pointing out that Cap, while holding the Cube, said, "Remember who you are", not "Become who I think you are" or "Be Bucky".
- It Was His Sled: The series's pivotal twist that Winter Soldier is Bucky Barnes Back from the Dead became so well known that by the time the movie rolled around Marvel gave up pre-premiere on trying to hide it.
- Jerkass Woobie:
- Aleksander Lukin is a cold Corrupt Corporate Executive who wants to restore the USSR so he can have his military prestige again. To this end he uses the Cosmic Cube to blow up Philadelphia, brainwash other CEOs, and use the Winter Soldier to murder anyone troublesome. But one can see why he'd miss that position, having worked his way up to a place of power after being orphaned in World War II. He also shows his moral side when he abandons the Cosmic Cube after it drives him mad enough to nearly kill his friend. By the end of the arc, he's got the Red Skull trapped in his mind, a fate sure to drive him mad even without the Cube.
- Winter Soldier himself, as years of brainwashing have eliminated nearly every memory of who he used to be. Luckily, Cap's use of the Cosmic Cube restores his old identity.
- Like You Would Really Do It: It came to no surprise to many that the Red Skull turned out to be alive by the end of the arc, as he was taken out in such an anticlimactic sniping.
- Memetic Mutation: Inverted; with the help of that year's Batman: Under The Hood, the series killed off a popular catchphrase associated with comics, that is: "No one stays dead in comics except Bucky, Jason Todd and Uncle Ben."
- Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: This is the comic that forever changed the image of Bucky Barnes from "Marvel's even lamer Robin analogue" to a stone-cold and merciless assassin, to the extent that some people now know him better as the latter than as the former.
- Signature Line: Winter Soldier's dialogue with Steve where he responds: "Who the hell is Bucky?" was so iconic that it was repeated verbatim in the MCU film and appeared (albeit censored) in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!.
- Wangst: Now, Jack Monroe's terrible life is rightfully complained about by him, but he keeps himself from doing things that would might actually help him as his body and mind weakens, like contacting the Avengers or Steve's help. Instead he prefers to mourn about his issues by himself.
- The Woobie:
- Jack Monroe's one issue cements just how terrible the last year of his life has been. His enhanced strength is diminishing, his immune system is deteriorating, and he's slowly going insane. Add that in to the numerous inadequacy issues he has, feeling he was an inferior Bucky, an inferior Nomad, and an inferior father to his daughter.
- Bucky Barnes after he gets his memory back and has to live with the guilt of all the crimes that Winter Soldier committed.
YMMV / Captain America: Winter Soldier