Bowling for Soup frontman Jaret Reddick was happily married with a couple of kids when he wrote this, but two relationships in his younger days gave him material for the lyric to "Ohio" and some of the band's other popular songs. The first girl that broke his heart was "Emily
," and the next one is the girl he sings about in this song, who is the same girl from the song "Surf Colorado." In our 2010 interview with Jaret Reddick, he explained that Ohio was used for lyric effect. Said Jaret: "She actually did go to Colorado, so I couldn't go back there again, and I wanted to name-check my theatre arts teacher, and his name was Leland. So Leland rhymed with Cleveland, and so as that verse was getting written, the next line became, 'She said she needed a break, a little time to think, then she went to Cleveland with some guy named Leland that she met at the bank.' I was writing that song with my friend Zac Maloy and we just sort of sat there for a second, and then almost at exactly the same time, we go, 'There's nothing wrong with Ohio.' And that song was born.
Actually, that is another good example of a song that was literally written in minutes. And the funny thing about the bridge to that song and the whole 'Troy Aikman wants you back' thing is, we had taken a little break and we were in the bathroom, and we were talking between the stalls, and that whole idea and basically all the lyrics were written during poop time."