WARNING: spoilers for episode 1 of Falcon and The Winter Soldier
The LGBTQ+ community and Marvel fans rejoiced over the possibility one of the characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is bisexual.
Disney+ released The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, a new series reuniting Anthony Mackie (Wilson/Falcon) and Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier) to portray the mismatched duo who team up for a global adventure that will test their survival skills as well as their patience.
The show takes place six months after the events in Disney Plus' WandaVision—which depicts the devastating consequences of reversing the Blip.
Colloquially known as "The Snap", the Blip refers to when half of all life on earth was exterminated when Thanos snapped his fingers while wearing the Infinity Gauntlet embedded with all six Infinity Stones in Avengers: Infinity War.
The series' first episode sees Bucky—who was a victim of the Blip and is on a quest to seek atonement by apologizing to the victims from his time when he was brainwashed as the Winter Soldier.
After his crimes committed as the Winter Soldier were pardoned and Thanos' extermination was reversed in Endgame, Bucky attempts to seek a normal life.
He is set up on a date with a waitress named Leah, who asks:
"Have you dated much since half the fish in the sea came back?"
Bucky fumbled in his response—which is understandable given the approximately 70 years since his last date—and mentioned how he experimented with the "whole online dating thing" and saw a "lot of weird pictures."
"I mean, tiger photos? Half the time, I don't even know what I'm looking at, it's a lot," he said, referring to tiger pictures predominantly found on the male profiles of dating apps like Tinder.
The line indicated he may have scrolled through the profiles of male and female genders suggesting his dating interests are open to both.
Fans interpreted Bucky's tiger photos comment to mean he is canonically bisexual.
i just watched fatws and can i just say BUCKY BARNES IS BISEXUAL WHAT . THE TIGER PIC COMMENT I JUST ?? he was looking at MEN'S PROFILES— ً jensen ツ (@ً jensen ツ) 1616433504.0
the winter soldier is a raging bisexual and no one can tell me otherwise— dan🔗 (@dan🔗) 1616925347.0
Author Saeed Jones wanted clarification from non-LGBTQ social media users and asked:
"Straight people, I have a question. On Tinder, is it men who tend to post pictures with tigers all the time? Or women?"
"I ask because Bucky complained about all the tiger pictures he sees on Tinder. (I want him to be bi so bad. LOL.)"
Straight people, I have a question. On Tinder, is it men who tend to post pictures with tigers all the time? Or wom… https://t.co/0lgA78m2OB— Saeed Jones (@Saeed Jones) 1616379988.0
Podcaster Lauren Shippen responded "as a fellow bi who was on the dating apps for a bit, the tiger photo thing is very much a male phenomenon, so Bucky has his filters set to men and women."
"bi Bucky is real, it's canon now, try to take him from me!!!!!!!"
also, not for nothing, as a fellow bi who was on the dating apps for a bit, the tiger photo thing is very much a ma… https://t.co/3o7LKvNTy0— Lauren Shippen (@Lauren Shippen) 1616213031.0
Others confirmed the tiger photos phenomenon.
@laurenshippen I did a quick search and umm... yeah. Posing with tigers on dating apps seems to be mostly a guy thi… https://t.co/yM3lUvZqY1— Chris Evans’ Beard (@Chris Evans’ Beard) 1616280095.0
@theferocity Yeah it’s a men thing, NOT women... 😮— Malinda Frevert (@Malinda Frevert) 1616411311.0
@theferocity https://t.co/kMhC9Hm934— Lindsay Gellman (@Lindsay Gellman) 1616380490.0
@theferocity I'm bi so I see all kinds of profiles and 98% of the time it's men who are posing with tigers or other… https://t.co/ciYjG0tl7I— Hazel (@Hazel) 1616421735.0
@theferocity Women tend to pose with elephants and men with tigers. Bucky is TOTALLY community https://t.co/2PnlxAdsCG— Alicia T. Crosby (she/her) (@Alicia T. Crosby (she/her)) 1616382936.0
@theferocity I had the exact same thought after watching the pilot. Sam and Bucky better get hitched by the next phase of Marvel— Isaiah (@Isaiah) 1616381225.0
@theferocity YES IT’S (mostly) THE MEN I HAVENT STARTED THE SERIES YET AND THIS JUST GOT ME SO HYPE— ya granny's onlyfans (@ya granny's onlyfans) 1616417947.0
Fans have long speculated over the Winter Soldier's sexuality after sensing a perceived romantic tension between him and Steve Rogers in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
NME's Amon Warmann addressed the topic of Bucky Barnes possibly being "bisexual or queer" in an interview with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier head writer, Malcolm Spellman.
When Warmann asked if Bucky's bisexuality might be "definitively answered" at some point in the series and what the purpose of the line about tigers in dating profiles was, Spellman remained evasive and teased:
"I'm not diving down rabbit holes, but just keep watching."