This self motivational anthem was, according to promotional materials, inspired by a poem written by vocalist Doug Robb's older brother. It is "is an ode to everyman or woman, someone who has worked all their life and is just looking to get the rewards they deserve, like the band itself."
The amusing video for this song shows a different side to the band. Doug Robb told Artist Direct: "That side of us is probably truest to who we are on a regular basis. It's not something we show a lot of people. People that hang around us, even for a little bit, realize the only thing we take seriously is the music. Everything else is fair game for a joke. The video shows that side. I don't even know if it's something that we'd want to explore. We're so goofy half of the time, at least with each other, that if we were like that all the time, as far as how people saw us, we could be like the next Weird Al Yankovic."
Fall Out Boy's "The Kids Aren't Alright" song title is not a reference to The Offspring's 1998 single of the same name. It actually alludes to The Who's 1979 rockumentary film called The Kids Are Alright.