When a phone number is dialed by TV and movie characters, it's usually a fake one starting with 555. The numbers 555-0100 through 555-0199 have been reserved by the phone companies in order to prevent prank phone calls to real people.
During this '80s electro-inspired song, Jimmy Eat World uses someone attempting to dial a nonexistent number to illustrate the struggle to keep going when life isn't working out.
Got the feeling I've been talking to a dead, dead line
There's always a reason to let it change
Is there anyone there listening while you cry, cry, cry?
There's always a reason for the pain
Frontman Jim Adkins explained "555" alludes to the phone number that people plagued by poltergeists were urged to call in the Ghostbusters film. He explained to Kerrang:
"I remember watching Ghostbusters as a kid, that was the number to call on their commercial, and I remember trying it. So the concept behind 555 is basically feeling frustration that your prayers, for lack of a better word, are going to an uncaring universe. Like, 'I'm doing everything right. Why can't I get a win?' There's no hope in that song.
I feel like it's a struggle for acceptance. You're not going to get anywhere unless you honestly accept the reality of where you're at. If you can take that step, things seem a little less scary and hopeless. And that's it, but it's still super hard."
The song's sci-fi music video features Jim Adkins as a supervillain in command of a legion of followers. He explained in a press release:
"'555' sees me cast as a galactic evil master, overseeing an army of cloned species doing my bidding – this is the only life they know, joining me in song in this post-apocalyptic dystopia."