A Florida barber has become an internet sensation after pretending to cut off his 10-year-old customer's ear in the ultimate prank.

Jude Sannicandro, the owner of Hair Medics in Naples, used a fake rubber ear and blood to convince Vito DiPalma that his ear had been chopped off, according to the Daily Mail.

Sannicandro quickly came under fire for the bloody stunt after posting the video online, with many critics calling it "harsh" and "completely awful".

But the barber said it was merely revenge in an ongoing prank war with one of his favorite customers.

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Sannicandro has been the family's barber for decades and often play pranks with Vito, the barber told Yahoo! News.

But Sannicandro decided to up his game when Vito left a fake cockroach on his counter and genuinely frightened him.

"It scared the the crap out of me, especially because earlier that day there was a real cockroach in our bathroom," Sannicandro said.

"I told Vito that he opened a can of worms, but he said that he wasn't scared and was too old to cry."

So Sannicandro began planning the prank of all pranks and made sure to get permission from Vito's parents before putting it into motion.

During Vito's regular haircut, the video shows Sannicandro as he begins to use the clippers and sets the boy up for the prank by warning him it's the 'real sharp one'.

Then he suddenly exclaims, "Oh s**t! Oh, don't move".

"Am I bleeding?" Vito asks.

Sannicandro turns the clippers off and grabs paper towels, where he's hidden the bag of fake blood.

As Sannicandro puts the towels to Vito's ear, he slowly starts to squeeze the 'blood' out of the partially unzipped bag.

The boy's calm demeanour suddenly changes as he begins to feel the fake blood running down the side of his face.

"Oh no," he says. "Mommy!"

"Shhh, don't tell her," Sannicandro says. "I think you're okay, we'll just put a little pressure on it."

But as he pushes out more blood, Vito becomes even more scared and squeezes his eyes shut in fear.

"Oh my god dude, I think we need to call an ambulance," Sannicandro says as he swings Vito's chair to face the mirror.

"Yes, yes, yes," Vito says, panicking. "Please call mommy, please."

"Oh my god dude," Sannicandro suddenly exclaims as he lets the fake ear roll down Vito's body and onto the floor.

"Is that my ear?!" the child screams. "No, no, no!" he continues, yelling for his mother to "get over here now."

Vito's mother tries to hold back laughter as she comes into the room and asks what happened.

"It's not funny!" Vito says as he tries to take deep, calming breaths.

"We got another one, what's the big deal?" Sannicandro jokes.

He then turns to Vito and says, "Hey do you remember that roach prank, when you said I couldn't make you cry?"

"Yes," Vito says.

Sannicandro then removes the towel to reveal Vito's ear, still firmly intact. "You're fine," he tells the boy.

Vito glares at his pranksters for successfully fooling him before bursting into a big smile, realising that at least he still has his ear.

But then Vito bursts into a big smile after realizing that his ear is, in fact, still intact. Photo / YouTube
But then Vito bursts into a big smile after realizing that his ear is, in fact, still intact. Photo / YouTube

"He got you, he got you!" his mother yells as she bursts into laughter.

"But I did not cry!" Vito exclaims, now beaming with pride.

"You cried, you cried," his mother says as Vito admires his ear in the mirror.

Sannicandro's video has since racked up more than 451,000 views and the barber says he's not bothered by his critics.

"I wouldn't have pulled this on anyone else but Vito," he said. "He's a unique old soul, and I've been cutting his hair since he was a baby."

And Sannicandro knows Vito will soon get his own revenge.

"I'm not worried," he said. "I will always outdo Vito."