Vocalist Ben Gibbard explained this song to VH1 News: "I had just loved this idea of there being a remainder, when you used to do long division that there could be a remainder, this idea that could be a metaphor you could use in a larger context. I went home and I sat down and I wrote it all in an hour and I thought, I'm so glad this is done because there was this point where everyone was just waiting for me to do my job and I wasn't doing it. I had written thirty songs for this record and I couldn't finish this one that everybody liked."
Boston leader Tom Scholz went back to his job at Polaroid after releasing the group's debut album. When his co-workers kept coming by to tell him "More Than A Feeling" was playing on the radio, he knew it was time to quit his day job.