This song was originally titled "Orange County Girl," in reference to co-vocalist Mark Hoppus' wife, who is from Orange County, California.
Producer John Feldmann commented on the song to Fuse TV
: "There's no drama. There's no heaviness to it. It's about this girl who is a little bit out of her mind but we love her."
The song nearly got left off California. John Feldmann explained: "We wanted to write a classic, no-brainer pop-punk song: major key, fun, happy, classic. We wrote that one pretty early on. It kind of got shelved because it felt too happy compared to the rest of the record.
Travis (Barker, drums) really drove a couple of these songs home. He came back to this one and said, 'Dude, we cannot leave this song off the record. It's too important for the Take Off Your Pants and Jacket-era of Blink.'"
English gothic rock band Bauhaus ("Bela Lugosi's Dead
") get a namecheck:She got a black shirt, black skirt and Bauhaus stuck in her head
Feldman said: "(Matt) Skiba came up with the 'Bauhaus' lyric and we were talking about that...How many Blink fans are going to even know who Bauhaus is? At the end we decided 'Who gives a f---?' and did what we want. It's a fun line!"
There is a nod to another English Goth band as well
She said no I'm not, no I'm not, no I'm not alright
I lost my head on the door
The lyric is a reference to The Cure's album The Head on the Door.
Mark Hoppus (from NME): "It's one of the most deceptively simple songs on the record. We kept trying to beat each successive chorus, so the song is now an amalgamation of probably four different chorus ideas."
Travis Barker's daughter, Alabama (born December 24, 2005) plays the piano during the bridge. "We were still figuring out parts, and Alabama walks over to the piano and says, 'I have an idea,' and she starts playing this idea that ended up becoming the bridge part of the piano; it was very organic," Travis Barker told People. "I was so proud of her."