This was written by Commodores guitarist Thomas McClary, who told the story in a Songfacts interview
: "I was driving to the studio, and I saw a road sign that said, 'slippery when wet.' And I was like, 'That's an interesting slogan there. It could be a good song title.' But obviously, they were talking about a road. So that was the beginning of the thought process and how it tied into when a relationship starts to go sour."