Ethyl Phillips (nee Hinkleman) is the cranky mother of Fran Sinclair.

Seventy-two-year-old Ethyl is wheelchair-bound, but still takes regular swipes at son-in-law Earl Sinclair with her cane.

In "Hurling Day", after being pursued by Robbie and Fran that she doesn't have to go through with Hurling Day and tantalized by the prospect of making Earl's life a continual misery, Grandma Ethyl becomes a permanent member of the Sinclair household.

The cynical Ethyl derides Earl as "Fat boy," but has a soft spot for Baby Sinclair, often reading children's stories or lurid romances to him. Ethyl's late husband was Grandpa Louie, who she still expresses a sentimental longing for.