This is an important question often discussed and considered by a dear friend of mine. Even though I had never actually asked it pondered it myself previously, I think it's something everyone should seriously consider and take a strong stance on.
Of course, you can argue that whipped cream is often called whipped topping. This proves it is a topping or garnish. Something extra. It is never on it's own a side dish.
Your second argument might be that whipped cream tastes much better when licked directly off your finger and usually in a deceptive stealing type situation, and not in an actual "this is a food you may eat at dinner" type situation. This is true.
You could say that in all your experience you have never encountered whipped cream as a side dish. So, it is impossible to imagine it as such. Such assumptions are wrong however, and you should never limit things by your own small personal experience within your measly exsistance. You are not the expert so stop acting like it.
And, who is to say that even if, in all its history, whipped cream has never been a side dish, it can't beome one. A side dish is a food right? And even better, it's a food people like. Love actually. (Never use the word like. It's mediocre.) In fact, any personage that doesn't like whipped cream is insane and can't tell their own wants and needs.
From my personal experience with whipped cream, I know that it is always delightful. Nothing can diminish it's delightfulness except a clogged whipped cream can nozzle. And as I am a near expert on the subject, I do believe that whipped cream would make a delicious side dish.
Because what is more happy that a bowl of white fluffy fat and sugar?
Answer that one for me huh?
a coffee and tea market stand in Ely, England