Entertainment Weekly asked David Cook if this song is meant to be ironic in any way. He replied: "The song was unintentionally ironic. I had the harmonic riff in my head for five months. In my lyric journal, I had 'Mr. Sincere' written down, and sincere turned into sensitive. I wanted to write about something outside myself and get a little metaphorical. He lives in a village devoid of feeling. They get so afraid of this child who has feelings that they kill him. It kind of took on this Tim Burton-like, twisted vision of James and the Giant Peach for me. But I know people look at me as that sensitive guy."
Angus Young created the distinctive opening guitar part for "Thuderstruck" by playing with all the strings taped up, except the B. He learned the studio trick from his older brother George Young, who was the rhythm guitarist for The Easybeats.