Tragedies like the the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner were the inspiration for this track. "I look at this little guy here," bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz told Billboard magazine, indicating his seven-year-old son Bronx. "There's a hard dialogue to be had when unarmed teenagers are being killed in a country we consider to be a bastion of freedom. What is the world going to be for him?"
Novocaine is a local anesthetic drug also known as procaine. It was created by the German scientist Alfred Einhorn in 1905 and was the first man-made painkiller that could be taken as a shot. It is used primarily today to reduce the pain of intramuscular injection of penicillin, and also by some dentists.
Pete Wentz told UK newspaper The Sun: "That song was written around the time of Trayvon Martin's murder, which was pre-Ferguson, but similar. I get angry when I look at those images, but I don't really know what to do and I just know we had to have some kind of dialogue. And so came that song."
"Sometimes you get so frustrated and angry and filled with rage that you just want to be number and that is the song. Sometimes you need an outlet is something to scream at and rage on. That is what that song is for us."
Patrick Stump hits the falsetto on multiple occasions during the song. He told Kerrang: "I'd recorded the vocals for 'Novocaine' at home, and hit this really high note. It sounded great... but the recording got corrupted, and I was worried I'd never be able to hit it again in the studio! But somehow I managed to (laughs)."