The exact thermal rotational spectrum of a two‐dimensional rigid rotor is obtained using Gaussian wave packet dynamics. The spectrum is obtained by propagating, without approximation, infinite sets of Gaussian wave packets. These sets are constructed so that collectively they have the correct periodicity, and indeed, are coherent states appropriate to this problem. Also, simple, almost classical, approximations to full wave packet dynamics are shown to give results which are either exact or very nearly exact. Advantages of the use of Gaussian wave packet dynamics over conventional linear response theory are discussed.