Justin Bieber hit the VMAs on Sunday night with a friend on his arm -- his snake, Johnson!

No word yet on why the Biebs brought his snake, but he did stop and say hello to girlfriend Selena Gomez, who co-hosted the pre-show. She called him "babe," and he gave her a big kiss ... on the cheek!

Stay with X17 online for all the pics and latest news from the VMAs!