Do you have a set of commands you always try, regardless of the story, just to see if the writer thought of that? What are they? What memorable responses did you get from those?
Curious question, actually. I often start the game with “look” (just to see if the main description changes - to see if there was anything that was to be shown only the first time), “x me”, and “i”. Before that, I often try about, help, info, hint, instructions. Follow-ups might be scream, shout, jump. I sometimes try swearing just to see what the game says.
Unless the game has me really hooked from the word go. In which case I do none of the above, unless probably “x me” and “i”, because I’m so interested in exploring. I think I recall Anchorhead, Babel, Beyond and Photopia - among others, of course - striking me that way. Games which start with the PC just standing there, with nothing to go on (which usually precludes a scavenger hunt, or puzzlefest, though of course no always), are begging for me to type whatever pops into my head, just to see how it reacts.
Needless to say, if “x me” comes back with “As good-looking as ever”, that might tell me more than I wanted to know about the game I’ve just started playing.
I don’t always think of it, but most of the time I try a few commands that are inside jokes in the IF community… xyzzy, plugh, and if I find anything that resembles a large pile of objects, I try counting to see if there are 69,105 of them.
Like Peter, I always try ‘x me’ and ‘i’ as two of the first commands each game.
When bored or while trying to think of the solution to a puzzle, my fingers sometimes randomly type sing, jump, or various swear words.
Edit: I forgot to mention the meta-commands I always try: credits, about, info, menu, help, hint, intro[duction]… I feel like there are one or two others, but I don’t remember them right now.